COVID-19 supplement trends: Chinese consumers take two to three supplements weekly on average – Herbalife survey

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese consumers are taking two to three supplement products weekly, based on survey findings by Herbalife. © Getty Images
Chinese consumers are taking two to three supplement products weekly, based on survey findings by Herbalife. © Getty Images

Related tags: Herbalife, China, Immunity

Chinese consumers are taking on average two to three supplement products weekly, with improving immunity, overall health, and digestive system as the key reasons, according to new survey findings by Herbalife.

The survey assessed the amount of knowledge and supplement intake habits of consumers. It was conducted in 24 countries, including 2,000 respondents from China. 

As of August, nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) of the respondents in China said they were consuming supplements on a weekly basis.

On average, each of them took two to three supplement products weekly, with five in 10 taking vitamins and dietary supplements to improve immunity.

Four in 10 did so to improve their overall health, while three in 10 took supplements to improve their digestive health.

Products for improving sleep, skin health, sports nutrition, and weight management were also amongst the most commonly used products. 

When it comes to the cost, 26 per cent said they spent between RMB$101 (US$15) and 150 (US$23), while 23 per cent spent between RMB$151 (US$23) and RMB$200 (US$31) on supplements each month.

The data also showed that half of the younger adults between 18 and 24 years old – the Gen-Z adults – have the habit of taking supplements weekly.

This is in line with findings​ from China Chamber of Commerce of Medicines and Health Products Importer and Exporters (CCCMPHIE), which earlier said that the Gen-Z consumers were big spenders on health and beauty products, and thus, a consumer group to watch out for. Popular China functional food start-up BUFFX is also targeting this group of consumers.

On the other hand, there are also respondents who felt they lacked knowledge in choosing the right supplement products. When asked the reasons for not using vitamins or supplements, 10 per cent said they did not know how to choose the right products.

herbalife china infographic 1

Concerns across age and gender

While improving immunity and overall health are common concerns, women tend to focus more on digestive health, while men tend to care more about muscle-building and sports-related needs.

Age wise, those below 40 were also more interested in sports nutrition, while those above 57 years old were more concerned about improving their digestive system.

herbalife china infographic 2

Impact of COVID-19

Nine in 10 (93 per cent) said they have been adopting new habits to improve their health, including exercising more often, adopting healthier diets, sleeping earlier, and taking supplements.

In the past year, the respondents also tried to change about three unhealthy habits, namely: not exercising often (67 per cent), unbalance diet (63 per cent) , and a lack of sleep (59 per cent)

“Be it exercising, healthy cooking or including more vitamins and supplements to your routine, for many, the pandemic has provided an opportunity to improve health habits overall,” ​said Herbalife’s chief health and nutrition officer Dr Kent Bradley.

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