A market-facing many changes
The market for healthy eating and vitamins in China has been changing rapidly in recent years. The market with annual growth of more than 10% reached last year’s sales in value exceeding 250 billion yuan. In addition, market sales are expected to increase in 2012 to reach 400 billion yuan. A great opportunity for companies to enter the market.
It is important in the first place to define this notion of dietary nutrition which may seem blurred by the diversity of elements that it may encompass. Dietary foods refer to products with a function, which plays a role in the health of individuals as they supplement the intake of vitamins and minerals, for example. This notion of complementarity is very important and needs to be apprehended by consumers because in no case do these products replace or treat certain diseases, they aim to strengthen and help individuals to have all the energy He needs for the proper functioning of their bodies.
Why can we talk about a change in the market? Because this one before had an image of exclusive and luxurious products, reserved for a certain category of people. Nowadays, awareness of the health of individuals has an increasingly important impact and the products of the market have become everyday consumer products. The aspiration to a healthier life contributes to the development of the market because consumers are more and more concerned about their health and that of those around them.
The trend for a “Healthy” lifestyle has also not spared China. Individuals are increasingly looking for a good living. Carried by social networks, this healthy eating mode has become a real state of mind that participates in awareness and awareness about our environment and the products we consume. This trend is complementarized also with the need for a healthy and sporting body, the market of fitness and sight proteins in China its sales increase dazzlingly.
Moreover, the modernization of Chinese consumers and the emergence of the middle class allowed the development of the market. These consumers change their way of consuming by aspiring to products of better qualities and thus high-end. The price value has a lower impact than before because the priority purchase criterion is quality.
The market for healthy foods can be divided into two product categories. The first will bring together foods that have health benefits. These foods have similar benefits to daily foods and regulate the functioning of the human body. Food supplements, which will complement the intake of minerals and vitamins.
Read as well: How To Market Vitamins & Health Supplements in China
Consumption of food supplements in China
A study conducted by Vision Avenue Consulting highlights the elements that characterize the consumption of food supplements by Chinese consumers. The category of consumers who consume the most food supplements is the elderly representing a share of consumers of more than 50%. Indeed, China’s population is aging year after year and this segment pays particular attention to their health and strengthening their immune systems.
Followed by the consumption of young adults, who consume this type of product for its preventive and healthy. Health is also becoming more and more important in the lives of Chinese people, particularly due to the pollution scandal. Food supplements have gained popularity towards this consumer target for their healthy side in the sense that the products come to supplement for example a diet or sports.
The study highlights four factors influencing consumers in their decision to purchase this product category. The first is the brand name of the product. Indeed, brands in China have a reassuring and reassuring side for consumers especially foreign brands. The second factor is the quality of the product followed by the benefits of the product and the price.
Increased competition from foreign players in the competitive game
The market for food supplements did not enjoy a few years ago the popularity that it has nowadays. Consumers were turning more towards more affordable Chinese medicines than on this product category. The mutation and popularity of the market quickly attracted many foreign players looking for profit to achieve in China. This entry of the international players will restructure the market because they have more significant means to innovate products and promote them. Two foreign brands are doing well in the diet food market, Herbalife and Avon.
The market has many opportunities for foreign brands. Now is the time to integrate the market if you want to expand your business. However, it is important to understand effectively the Chinese environment that operates on a different dynamic from that of Western countries.
Your choice of location and the definition of your promotional campaign are two crucial elements in the success of your expansion in China. In this second part, we will offer you some tips to develop your business in the Middle Kingdom.
Enter the market thanks to the E-commerce platform
The online purchase was a kind of disruption of the traditional economy in China. It has revolutionized and given a new dynamic of growth to the Chinese economy and its various industries. The weight of purchases made by the online channel is becoming more and more important in the country and is growing rapidly every year to reach a growth rate of more than 35% in 2016.
On this distribution channel, the two largest players have a market share of just under 80%. These players are Tmall (53%) and JD (25%) and have a cross-border e-commerce site that allows foreign brands to sell directly to Chinese end-consumers.
Your presence on Chinese social platforms will allow you to increase your notoriety among Chinese people. Going through platforms like Tmall, JD or even Taobao is an effective way of avoiding many long administrative procedures since these platforms offer low barriers to entry.
These platforms offer international companies several possible partnerships with the site for managing operations in China. For example, JD proposes to take care of inventory management and delivery of your products.
These sites will allow you to enjoy better exposure and gain a reputation in the Chinese market. However, these sites require a significant financial investment in order to have a real impact on consumers. It is up to you to choose the one that seems most relevant to your expectations.
Prioritize your branding strategy
As said before, Chinese consumers have a strong appeal for buying brands and for various reasons. One of them is the quality they give. Moreover, appearances are important in the country, the fact of owning marks is a guarantee of belonging to a certain social class, which reinforces the Chinese individuals.
To improve your branding one of the simplest and most effective solutions and invest in your E-reputation which is the key to any success in China.
For this, you have a range of solutions available to you to improve your brand image in the country. At first, positioning yourself on trustworthy platforms and forums in the country is an effective way to create a reputation.
For this, you have to convey an image and positive information. To gain confidence, spread as much information about your company, brands, and products as possible to gain visibility and improve your search results on the Chinese internet.
Encourage and encourage consumer testimonials as they have a certain weight in the purchasing decisions of your potential customers. It is a means that has a strong power of influence and that will generate interest and reassure consumers of the quality of your products. Plus, this will increase positive word-of-mouth on your brand.
Use social networks to gain visibility
Your presence on social media in China is critical to improving your visibility and attracting consumers. The censorship of the country will not allow you to reproduce the digital strategy that you use in Western countries. Effectively, exit Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, the Chinese digital environment works in a completely different way, if you do not adapt to it you are doomed to failure.
Social media is known to be the most active in the world with an average user usage of 50 minutes. On this digital sphere two very important platforms to take into account in your strategy, Weibo is considered as the Chinese twitter and which has more than 300 million subscribers, and WeChat, an application in China with more than 800 million users.
Your presence on these social networks takes the form of an official account that you can link to a microsite. WeChat can also be a good way to sell your products since the application offers its WeChat Store feature that many brands use to facilitate transaction flow with their customers.
WeChat is nicely called “The WeChat Times” because a wealth of information comes from the application, while Weibo is the most open network in China and is ideal for high-visibility messages because there is no need for log in to view content published by users.
Succeeding on these platforms will require you to interact with your audience daily to share content. Animating your account is a crucial point to develop your results and attract a new target.
How can Gentlemen Marketing Agency help you?
We are an agency specialized in digital marketing based in Shanghai which aims to facilitate your growth in this lucrative market that is China. We can be your partners who will represent you and grow your business on the ground.
We specialize in:
- Website creation, development, and audit of the site.
- Baidu Search Engine Optimization
- WeChat & Weibo Content Marketing
- Reputational management and community development.
- The creation of monthly reports and analysis by our team of experts
For more information, please feel free to contact us.