Bone and joint the mainstay, growing attention on fish oil, novel ingredient NPD

Additionally, a growing list of novel food ingredients approved for use in 1) nutraceuticals and 2) conventionally regarded as both food and Chinese medicinal herbs is set to fuel new product innovation.

The value of China’s dietary supplements imports climbed 7.3 per cent to US$1.65bn in Q1, while exports went up 11.4 per cent to US$970m.

China’s import of fish oil and seal oil had increased in value, based on data from China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products (CCCMHPIE). 

China imported most of its health foods from the US, Australia, Germany, Indonesia, and Hong Kong as of Q1 this year. 

China top five importers

Products imported from these places took up 57.9 per cent of China’s total health foods import value – of which 17.4 per cent came from the US, 14.9 per cent from Australia, and 13 per cent from Germany.

Although China imported the most health foods from the US, the CCCMHPIE noted that there was a yoy decline in import value, similarly for imports coming from Japan.   

In contrast, import value increased for products coming from Germany, Italy, Russia, and Norway.

Vitamins, beauty-from-within, pre-, probiotics products are the top selling nutraceutical categories on China’s e-commerce platforms. Categories such as liver, cardiovascular, bone and joint, weight management, are also areas of interest.

This is according to Li Gui Ying from the health industry department under CCCMHPIE. She gave a presentation on China’s dietary supplement industry development trends and international trade during the 12th Nutrition and Health Industry Development Forum, which took place in Shanghai on June 19.