According to the published report from Roland Berger consulting, by 2020-2022 China’s health supplement market may reach USD 25 billion . This means that the Chinese market will probably very soon surpass the US market even though for the moment Chinese spend 28 times less on vitamins and dietary supplements compared to the American people. The population tends to have a healthier and more functional alimentation. During these last years, the Chinese expose their preference for high protein and dietary fiber food.

Dietary food supplement : Trends

As of my last update in April 2023, I can provide insights into trends and expectations that were shaping the dietary supplement market in China leading up to 2024. These insights can serve as a basis to understand the market’s direction. Here are 10 anticipated facts about the dietary supplement market in China for the year 2024, based on these trends:

Need a cost effective TP (Tmall Partner) to sell in China?

We are an Official Tmall Partner e-commerce Agency. Our Services: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.

  1. Market Growth: The dietary supplement market in China was expected to continue its rapid growth trajectory into 2024, driven by increasing health consciousness among Chinese consumers and an aging population seeking wellness and longevity solutions.
  2. E-Commerce Mega Dominance: Online sales channels, including e-commerce platforms and social commerce, were projected to dominate the dietary supplement market, facilitated by China’s advanced digital infrastructure and the population’s comfort with online shopping.
  3. Functional Supplements: There was a growing demand for functional dietary supplements that target specific health concerns, such as immune health, digestive health, cognitive function, and sleep improvement.
  4. Plant-Based and Natural: (Green touch) A rising preference for plant-based and natural ingredients was influencing product formulations, with consumers seeking clean-label supplements that are free from artificial additives.
  5. Premiumization: Chinese Consumers were willing to pay More for a premium for high-quality, poducts , scientifically backed dietary supplements, leading to an increase in the market share of premium brands and products.
  6. Local Brands Gain Momentum: Local Chinese brands were expected to gain market share, leveraging their understanding of local consumer preferences
  7. Crossborder & Regulation: The Chinese government was anticipated to enhance regulations and oversight of the dietary supplement industry to ensure product safety and quality, affecting both domestic and international players. CECB Crossborder ecommerce is the main solution
  8. Personalized Nutrition: Advances in technology and data analytics were driving a trend towards personalized nutrition, with consumers seeking customized dietary supplement recommendations based on their health data and personal goals.
  9. Cross-Border E-Commerce: Cross-border e-commerce platforms were projected to remain a key channel for importing foreign dietary supplements into China, despite tighter regulations, due to continued consumer trust in the quality and efficacy of international brands.
  10. Sustainability Concerns: Environmental and sustainability concerns were influencing consumer choices, leading to a preference for dietary supplements with

Description of the Market

We should, therefore, define Vitamins and dietary supplements from a western viewpoint. These products are amid food and medicine because they bring to the body nutriments contained in some ailments. They can correspond to different needs. Consequently, customers can use them to strengthen their immune system by fortifying, for example, blood regulation or to improve the quality of sleep.  

  • Actually in China functions over the immune system are the most favored by customers.  
  • There are other products that can help those who want to lose weight or brighten their skin.
  • Health professionals can recommend some products to children in order to improve their growth and development.

If you want to start your business in this field, this is a good period to do it because the Government is supporting this market. The idea behind this project is the wish to have a healthy population and to reduce medical expenditures.  In the 5 year plan, they aim to reach 1 trillion RMB with a growth rate of 20 %. Even if the goal seems high the market shows good opportunities considering the increase of the population’s purchase power and the broader targeted consumers.

We can notice the progress of 12 percent in the vitamins and dietary.

HUGE demand

We have to highlight an important trend in the Chinese market. It is about the fact that the Chinese population is getting older. This phenomenon can be explained by the previous one-child policy. China as a consequence, needs to care about their health more than others.

Chinese people consume Calcium and protein powder which express their wish to be taller and stronger. They are looking for a convenient product. As a matter of fact, their purchase the most pleasurable taste and forms. More traditional Chinese ingredients are getting increasingly popular too.

Skepticism toward mainland market

Because of corruption in the medical industry, all the products produced in China about food and health are facing Chinese people’s skepticism. Trust in Chinese brands is very low. Hence, foreign brands are welcomed. They are looking for trustable international quality brands which use high-end technologies. Regarding, dietary supplements, the market is relatively open because the Chinese can’t rely on professional guidance. The market is very segmented and Chinese brands are not popular.

China Digital : Opportunities in 2024

In terms of strategy, China is a very developed country. Thus, there is a set of highly developed e-commerce systems, very convenient for the marketing promotion and the distribution of the product.

For most foreign products, the main sales channels in China are e-commerce platforms like Taobao, operated by the Alibaba group. One could say that e-commerce platform has had a huge impact in China and they have even almost replaced pharmacies. They represent the second-largest sales channel for health supplement products. Consumers can benefit from easy delivery. Concerning legislation, legal procedures are getting clearer to accelerate the application and approval process.

Thanks to the powerful cross-border e-commerce, international companies have been able to bypass mainland regulations on health products and avoid local taxes. As a consequence, they can be competitive in terms of price with domestic products.

Strategy to Adopt

One reliable strategy for new players is to get in the market through direct sales licensing and then leverage e-commerce sales channels for quick expansion. You should after considering traditional offline channels such as pharmacies to sell your products. Another good way consists in cooperation with local firms. By working with the Chinese firm, international companies can take benefit from the advantages of their Chinese partners in terms of policy insight and distribution channels. In this way they as a foreign brand you don’t need to apply for your own licenses.

Since the pandemic, China’s vitamins and dietary supplements market has experienced robust growth, and sales through digital channels have been expanding continuously. The market size of consumer health products in China was USD57.1 billion in 2023, with an e-commerce penetration rate of 42%. In this evolving market, Douyin, as China’s most popular short-video platform, has quickly risen to become a popular platform for purchasing health products.

Douyin’s Expanding Role in the Health Products Market

As of February 2023, Douyin has eased entry requirements for health product brands, moving away from its previous invitation-only policy which had maintained high barriers to entry. This shift is expected to attract a surge of new brands to the platform, intensifying the need for stringent regulatory oversight to prevent misleading health claims. To address these concerns, Douyin has already prohibited the sale of products making certain specific health claims, such as lowering blood sugar, improving memory, promoting lactation, and aiding in weight loss, among others.

In China, younger demographics are increasingly becoming predominant consumers of health products, and Douyin is poised to be a pivotal channel for both marketing and sales in this sector. Despite facing regulatory challenges, Douyin’s sustained popularity with this younger audience solidifies its position as a significant player in China’s consumer health landscape.

Best ROI : Douyin (Tiktok)

Douyin’s rise as an e-commerce platform offers emerging brands novel opportunities to engage with consumers. A comparative analysis between the top-selling brands on Tmall and Douyin reveals notable differences: established brands like Swisse, By-Health, and Yanzhiwu have dominated Tmall through strong traditional retail channels, whereas newer brands such as WonderLab, Nutrend, and Wugenvboshi (Five Doctors), all established post-2018, have quickly risen to prominence on Douyin.

To bolster its position in the e-commerce marketplace for health products, Douyin actively partners with these burgeoning brands for various promotional activities. For instance, Nutrend participated in the “Douyin New Brands Accelerator” campaign shortly after Douyin launched its e-commerce operations in 2021.

In 2024 by leveraging an extensive network of influencers, ranging from micro to mid-tier, Nutrend ensures that its products maintain high visibility and engagement, collaborating with approximately 20,000 influencers monthly.

Douyin the most popular online APP for health products in China

According to Euromonitor, for the categories of vitamins and dietary supplements,Douyin is challenging Top retailer in China

Douyin Ecommerce surpassed JD for VTC sales starting from 2023 and had a growth momentum

Starting your business in the dietary complement market could be very successful considering the support of the government. As a foreign brand, you don’t have a negative image as the local ones.

It is important to define the segment in which you want to be specialized and to characterize your target in the order you have an accurate approach. Thanks to its significant experience GMA can provide reliable expertise and good solutions.

GMAT tips for Selling dietary supplements in China

It involves (of course) navigating a rapidly evolving Ecommerce .

GMA tips for successfully marketing and selling dietary supplements in China through platforms like Tmall,, Douyin, utilizing user-generated content (UGC) on platforms like Xiaohongshu (also known as “Little Red Book” or “Red”), leveraging public relations (PR) for credibility, collaborating with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), and engaging in livestreaming:

  1. Leverage E-commerce Giants Tmall and
  • Platform-Specific Strategies: Develop tailored strategies for each platform, understanding that Tmall is often seen as a premium marketplace, while is valued for its logistics efficiency and authenticity guarantee. Customize your store design, product listings, and marketing messages according to the unique audience of each platform.
  • Brand Flagship Stores: Consider setting up flagship stores on Tmall and to establish your brand’s presence and credibility. Use these platforms’ analytics tools to gain insights into consumer behavior and preferences.
  1. Engage with Douyin for Brand Awareness:
  • Creative Content: Create engaging and informative content on Douyin that highlights the benefits and unique selling points of your dietary supplements. Short, captivating videos can help capture the audience’s attention.
  • Hashtag Challenges: Participate in or create hashtag challenges to increase visibility and engagement. This can also encourage user-generated content, further promoting your brand.
  1. UGC on Platforms Like Xiaohongshu (Red):
  • Encourage Reviews and Shares: Foster a community of users who review and share their experiences with your products on Xiaohongshu. Authentic, positive reviews from real users can significantly influence potential customers.
  • Content Collaboration: Collaborate with users who are known for their health, wellness, and lifestyle content to create authentic and relatable posts about your supplements.
  1. Enhance PR Credibility: 🙂
  • Trust and Authority: Work on building trust through PR activities such as securing endorsements from health professionals, obtaining certifications, and sharing research that backs the efficacy of your supplements.
  • Media Coverage: Aim for coverage in reputable health and wellness magazines, newspapers, and online platforms to build your brand’s credibility and visibility.
  1. Collaborate with paid influencers:
  • Strategic Partnerships: Partner with KOLs who align with your brand values and have a following in the health and wellness space. Their endorsement can lend credibility and attract their followers to your brand.
  • Diverse Content: Work with Chinese KOLs to create a variety of content, from product reviews to educational content about the health benefits of your supplements.
  1. Capitalize on Livestreaming:
  • Interactive Sales: Use livestreaming on platforms like Douyin, Tmall, and to sell your products in real-time, answer questions, and interact directly with consumers. This can enhance customer engagement and lead to immediate sales.
  • Special Offers: Offer exclusive deals and promotions during livestream sessions to incentivize viewers to make purchases on the spot.

Success in China’s dietary supplement market requires a multifaceted approach, leveraging both online and offline channels, understanding local consumer behavior, and adhering to regulatory requirements. Combining these strategies effectively can help build a strong brand presence and drive sales in this lucrative market.

*source :

For more information, please go to the contact session.

Similar Posts


  1. Hi, I am mr David soh here, need advice to export health supplement to china, from malaysia

    Full range product frm usa

    Tq n pls advice

  2. Hi
    nice to meet you. I am Matt Zhang, work for a Chinese online distributor and we are searching to distribute foreign brands of dietary supplement to China.
    It become popular online, and we would like to get your contact please for collaboration.

    1. Hi Matt,

      Here is Barbara, I am a representative of a European company trading dietary supplements. The project we are working on right now is to expand our sales to Asia, especially to China. If you are still looking for new brands to collaborate with, please contact me on:
      Thank you!

  3. Hi Matt,

    Here is Barbara, I am a representative of a European company trading dietary supplements. The project we are working on right now is to expand our sales to Asia, especially to China. If you are still looking for new brands to collaborate with, please contact me on:
    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *