As consumers and public health agencies aim to reduce and prevent chronic diseases and increase healthy lifespans, demand for supplements as a tool to prevent medical conditions and stay healthy has increased in tandem with the ageing population in Asia Pacific, especially in China and Japan.
Across the three largest Asia Pacific markets, China, Japan, and South Korea, dietary supplements is the leading category within the VDS industry. In Japan, tonics is on a steady decline while demand for dietary supplements is rising. In China, dietary supplements remained the largest category within VDS, and in South Korea, consumers are increasingly buying pills and tablets to address health issues rather than relying on health drinks and tonics alone, which is boosting dietary supplements sales.
In addition, Asia Pacific generated almost 60% of global herbal/traditional dietary supplements sales and China dominated with 43% retail value share in the region. Asia Pacific’s long history of traditional medicine in the forms of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Kampo, Unani, Traditional Thai Medicine (TTM), and Hangul/ Hanja explains the dominance of this region. The market leaders in China are New Era Health Industry and Tiens Group.
A rising middle class in China and a holistic wellness approach to health and prevention to avoid expensive health costs and increase healthy lifespans will continue to drive demand and encourage ageing consumers in Asia Pacific to purchase VDS over the forecast period. Access to more information and connectivity is changing the way many consumers purchase VDS, especially among Millennials. Their search for healthier (ie clean label) and more “snack like” and customised products, in tandem with the rise of online sales, is causing strategy disruption in the VDS industry.