12 facts about China’s healthy living trend

Chinese consumers are trying to balance their hard work and office stress by eating healthier and safer food. To many Chinese, practicing preventive health care and devoting more time to sports activities are part of their daily life. Health-consciousness has established a firm footing in Chinese society. What are the 12 most important research findings and statistics about this unmistakeable trend?

1 Chinese feel the pressure

Many Chinese consumers are finding that growing incomes and rising standards of living can take a toll on their personal lives. Recent consumer research has shown that 42% of consumers said they find it increasingly difficult to enjoy their lives, and 45% expect to face more pressure in the future.

2 They care about their food

Food safety is a rising concern among Chinese consumers: 72% of consumers now worry that the food they eat is harmful to their health, up from 60% in 2012.

3 Many are looking for ‘healthy & nutritious’

More than half of Chinese consumers are focused on eating healthy and nutritious foods. Fruit juice penetration is up 2% - compared to 2015 – while categories perceived as being less healthy have seen penetration drop: 21% for carbonated soft drinks, 15% for chewing gum, and 16% for Western fast food.

4 Organic and green are new, popular categories

‘Organic’ and ‘green food’ are associated with ‘safe food’. Almost 4 out of every 10 Chinese consumers (38%) mention this attribute among their top three grocery shopping criteria.

5 Healthcare is a topic

Chinese consumers worry about getting ill. It is why many Chinese save money for. healthy lifestyle aspirations also influence how they view healthcare. 58% of Chinese mention worries that a family member could fall ill among the reasons for saving.

6 Preventive healthcare is a growth market

In China, there is a growing demand for preventative healthcare products. Many are prepared to spend money on private medical insurance, regular health check-ups, lifestyle apps and wearables.

7 Sports participation is going up

The rate of participation in sports activities in China is increasing each year. Chinese consumers are prepared to invest time and money to stay healthy. Many are increasingly participating in sports and are purchasing sporting goods. A recent McKinsey China consumer report shows that 3 out of every 4 (73%) of urban consumers in China are now participating in sports activities, which is similar to the US.

8 Many prefer the gym

Almost two in five (37%) Chinese consumers have a gym membership, a number that is expected to increase in the coming years according to research by Mintel.

9 Wearables are popular

30% of consumers use mobile or tablet apps to track their activity levels. About 1 in 10 consumers uses wearable devices to track sleep quality, heart rate, and blood pressure. Furthermore, 74% of consumers show an interest in using wearable devices to manage their health in the future.

10 There is a market!

Market research, compiled by HKTDC Research, estimates that China’s health food and nutritional supplement market is worth more than €134 billion (RMB1 trillion). This market is expected to continue to grow. As of June 2016, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) had approved a total of 16,573 health food products, of which, 15,822 were domestically made and 751 were imported. According to estimates, in China’s health food market, functional food accounts for about 65% while nutritional supplements account for the remaining 35%.

11 Special category: health food

Survey data from China Health Care Association show that sales of health food in China are around RMB200 billion annually, of which consumption by the middle-aged and the elderly accounts for more than 50%. This shows that the potential of the health food market targeting the middle-aged and elderly is the largest.

12 Target female city dwellers

Female urbanites are major health food consumers. The scale of the female health food market is set to expand continuously. Most women buy health food for purposes of beauty, weight loss, blood replenishment, bowel movements and detoxification.

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