Apart from the popularity of TCM in China, a rising middle class and bigger advertising budgets are also contributing to the rapid growth of nutraceutical sales, according to Euromonitor International. The average annual disposable income in China doubled from $800 in 2003 to $1,600 in 2008, and is expected to reach $2,500 by 2013. The category is growing again. Dietary supplement sales increased 9% in 2010 after growth of just 5% in 2009. Euromonitor attributes the gain, in part, to the introduction of new products that target different consumer segments, as well as a greater investment in marketing.
With its focus on the health of skin, hair and nail, nutricosmetics will become the next major category in nutraceuticals. According to Euromonitor, China’s nutricosmetics sales figures of $813 million in 2010 will rise dramatically, led by gains in the beauty supplement category. No wonder why there have been new entrants such as L’Oréal with its Inneov brand. The company clearly recognizes the potential of the market, noting that beauty supplements are “part of the routine of Asia women.”
Currently, the consumer base nutricosmetics are targeting in China is still not as diverse as in western countries, and women ages 20-40 are the primary target group.
Unfortunately, these gains may be tampered by the scandals regarding dietary supplements, which may increase Chinese consumers’ skepticism regarding nutricosmetics. If, however, tougher regulation on dietary supplement and functional foods go into effect this month, the long-term prospects of nutricosmetics are promising.