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How to Sell Your Health Products to China?

Dragon Social > Doing Business in China  > China Market Insights  > How to Sell Your Health Products to China?
china health products, sell health products to China

The China health products market is extremely valuable. The size of the elderly population has made the selling of health products seem effortless. However, it is always essential to be detail-minded and to understand the target market.


Do you want to avoid mistakes and be successful in the China health products market? If so, you’ve come to the right place.


The Landscape of the China Health Products Market


Before digging deep into the topic, it is critical to know about the landscape of the market first.


In 2016, the net worth of the industry was RMB 260 billion. Experts expect the figure to be RMB 400 billion in 2021, maintaining a yearly growth rate ranging from 10% to 15%. On the other hand, the position of health products in China is shifting from luxury goods to ordinary consumer goods.


China health products market, sell health products to China

The China health products market has been expanding rapidly and is only expected to grow further.


With the rise in living standards, the two largest consumer groups, the middle-aged and elderly groups, are paying more and more for health products. Forecasts also predict that the spending of elderly Chinese will climb to the level of RMB 106 trillion between 2014 and 2050. A huge portion of the spending is distributed among the categories of health, wellness, and medical care.


Foreign Brands are Entering China


The entry of foreign brands is changing the market as multinational companies often enjoy advantages in funding, R&D, production management, and marketing. Nonetheless, there are existing barriers. For example, the traditional Chinese culture of health products is affecting consumers choices.


china health products market, sell health products

Many foreign brands are entering the China health products market.


As for the competitors, Amway, Avon, and Herbalife gained approval to include health food products as one arm of their direct selling businesses. However, enterprises like Wanji, Golden Sun, Infinitus and Hong Fu Loi account for larger shares in the traditional health product market.


How to Attract Chinese consumers?


Here are some tips for you!


1. Plan Your Marketing Strategies Carefully


Devising a proper marketing strategy for selling your health products in China is crucial to your business. Gaining exposure for the products both online and offline is necessary as it is a highly competitive market.


Some companies have made mistakes in the past. They tried to deceive elderly groups with grand promises regarding the benefits of their products and believed that it would magically maintain their sales. However, this decision is no different from catching all the fish by draining the pond. It is not sustainable and brings with it negative connotations for the market as a whole.


Building up a trust-worthy image is imperative for health companies. You don’t want to risk your credibility in exchange for short-term sales targets. In fact, young people are buying health products as well. They help the parents to choose and make sure they are not being deceived. Young people are educated and extremely sensitive to anything similar to multi-level marketing or pyramid schemes. Once they consider your brand a fraud, it will be difficult to rebuild trust.


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Planning your marketing strategies carefully when selling health products to China.


What Chinese consumers desire are genuine and safe products. Therefore, how to gain trust has become a big issue. Utilizing various platforms, such as Zhihu, is one of the many effective ways of selling your products to China.


Dragon Social is a professional China marketing agency. If you want to sell your health products, don’t hesitate to contact us!


(Related Article: Why Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency Is The Best Move For You)


2. Double-Check the Advertisement Content


Currently, “deceptive advertising” is a major issue for the regulators in China. They’ve increased the number of industry-wide random inspections to protect consumers rights accordingly.


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Check your advertising content and don’t get it banned!


According to the latest update, companies cannot use health functions to name the products. Advertisements should include the warning “This product is not a substitute for medicine”. The related departments will take severe measures against deceptive advertising. Before releasing any campaign, make sure it does not violate the regulations in China.


To address the confusion of customers, the content of a health product advertisement must be consistent with the user manual and label. Moreover, the company must not compare the products’ effects with other healthcare equipment or drugs.


(Read more about WeChat Advertising)


3. Utilize Multiple Sales Channels


At present, companies mostly use methods like direct selling, conference marketing, and E-commerce to sell health products. Survey results further indicated that using the direct selling and conference marketing models can help you to achieve higher sales revenue, although E-commerce is quickly catching up as one of the main sales channels.


china health products, selling health products, e commerce. china e-commerce

E-commerce is becoming influential in selling health products in China.


Another important trend in the industry is purchasing through TV and online platforms. They are becoming powerful as Chinese customers welcome E-commerce more than ever. In recent years, foreign brands expanded into the market through cross-border E-commerce. For instance, Swisse and Blackmores have set up overseas flagship stores on Tmall Global to gain Chinese consumers.


Making your products present in multiple channels can attract more customers. It can also facilitate the selling of your products significantly.


4. Cultural Gaps


Contrary to the western world, “Health and Wellness” plays a significant role in Chinese culture. It is deep-rooted in China’s history and still influences the Chinese today. Ancients often explore how to keep your body and your mind healthy. Classic articles and concepts about the art of prolonging life are also popular.


chinese culture, chinese medicine, chinese herbal medicine, chinese health products

Chinese herbal medicines and traditional culture affect the choices of Chinese customers.


Regarding the latest report, there are 12,807 types of Chinese herbal medicine resources in China. 4 billion people use products related to Chinese herbal medicine around the globe, showing the increase of its international influence. Companies are cooperating with relevant agencies to build global platforms for Chinese herbal health products. For example, Amway invested US$25 million in the Amway Botanical Research Center in Wuxi to study the power of Chinese herbal medicine.


If companies want to enter China health products market, it is necessary to know more about the local culture. Both the designs and developments of products and marketing strategies should include elements that Chinese consumers are familiar with and interested in.


5. Stay Up-to-date with Regulation


The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) regularly updates  the list of allowed food manufacturing enterprises.


It expanded the scope of health foods’ function certification to 27 functions, dividing them into two main categories. The first one consists of 16 functions related to preventing diseases, alleviating symptoms and auxiliary therapy. The other one includes 11 functions such as enhancing health and physical fitness. Health products having the same formula can only apply for certification in no more than two health functions.


There are other changes constantly happening, and the key to success in China health products market is to follow the latest regulations. Violating laws in China will cause you troubles and will definitely affect sales.


Conclusion on China Health Products Marketing


The China health products market is becoming competitive but is growing rapidly. Foreign companies need to be detail-minded when entering the country. Remember to plan your marketing strategies carefully and avoid breaking the regulations.


We will stay up-to-date with any trends and regulation changes in the China health products industry. If you have any questions regarding the selling and marketing of your products, feel free to contact our Dragon Social team!

Yoyo Ng

A passionate marketer who wish to pursue a career in China marketing. Studied at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Currently working in the Dragon Social team to collaborate with professionals.

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