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Over-the-Counter, Natural Haircare and Nutricosmetics: A Look at Health Product Trends in China
Posted on 08.16.12
A snapshot of the Chinese non-prescription drug market shows many Western-style trends, some with a distinctly Asian element:
- In keeping with the growth of pre-packaged, better-regulated medicines, the over-the-counter sector in China is growing rapidly, by 13 percent annually according to a very recent Mintel study, behind only India within the Asia market (15 percent). The Chinese OTC category is still seven times larger than India’s, forecast at $14 billion (U.S.) for 2011.
- Eight in 10 urban Chinese consumers prefer to buy all-natural haircare products, and one in 10 says this is the most important consideration – tremendous proof of two things: Chinese urban centers are quickly becoming “worldly,” but shoppers retain their trust in the traditional natural element. In 2011, according to Mintel, nearly two-thirds of all new Chinese haircare products claimed to be “natural,” a claim that has even more traction since the government has brought labeling regulations more in line with the West’s.
- Asia is the world’s biggest consumer of nutricosmetics, with Japan leading the way. But experts expect China to overtake Japan by 2015. Here again it’s the combination of more advanced R&D and marketing and trust in the traditional “beauty from within” concept. New regulations have some marketers worried that this momentum will lag, but others feel that in the wake of product-safety scandals, Chinese consumers will feel reassured by products that have met regulations, and this could add to sales.
Nutricosmetics, nutriceuticals and other newer categories of healthcare products are grabbing the interest of larger pharmaceutical companies as well, Mintel reports. And with uncertainties like patent cliffs, economic troubles and new government healthcare laws challenging them in many other countries, it’s easy to see why.
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