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  • How to Choose Nutraceuticals for Children

    22 January 2017
    S.Point, Member Firm (China)

    With the increasing income levels of the national population and the new policy that allows a second child in the family, Nutraceuticals for children have represented one of the hottest products sold online in recent years. Many Chinese parents confirm that they like to buy Nutraceuticals for kids online. Food safety is the biggest concern when making the online purchase. With brand name endorsement and improving compliance of online channels, online purchase of Nutraceuticals for infants and young children continues to grow.

    In a report titled How Big Data Tells about Online Purchase Trends of Nutraceuticals for Children (the Report) jointly released by S.LAB and CBNData, online purchase trends were analyzed based on big data available from Alibaba. According to the Report, nutraceuticals produced in the West are most popular, while Chinese traditional nourishing food is steadily gaining popularity too. The function of dietary supplements has been well recognized by Chinese parents, though demands and preferences vary sharply across different regions.

    S.LAB is part of S.POINT that focuses on innovation capacity building. Established in Shanghai in 1997, S.POINT has transitioned from an industrial designer to an innovation consulting service provider. Analyzing consumer behaviors and discovering consumer demands, S.POINT is well positioned to provide effective solutions to help company customers. CBNData provides a strategic data platform that combines data visibility, business analysis, and data automation terminals. Utilizing business data provided by Alibaba, CBNData provides comprehensive industry analysis as well as micro-level insights targeting segments and individual companies. Thus, it is able to satisfy data needs by the business world. The release of the Report represents the starting point of mutual cooperation by the two organizations, who look towards bigger breakthrough in terms of business models in the future. One the one hand, they hope to add in-depth consumer research to data service; on the other hand, they look to enhancing big data elaboration in an immersive consumer insights context as part of the experimentation for even more market opportunities in China.

    Increasing online purchase of nutraceuticals for children represent new born opportunities

    With more children being born in recent years, a larger consumer base is emerging for nutraceuticals for children. According to the Report, China has seen a rapid increase of domestic nutraceutical brand names for children, though the market is still dominated by foreign brand names. Statistics show that imported products account for over 50% of online sales of nutraceuticals for children, while in 2015 imported products accounted for 60.03% of total sales. Meanwhile, leading brand names account for the lion’s share of online sales, with the top ten brand names dominating the market.


    It is worth noting that Chinese traditional nourishing food has been gaining popularity in recent years. The function of dietary supplements has been well recognized. Despite the invasion by foreign products, Chinese traditional nourishing food is gaining a solid footing and continues to grow.

    Apart from staple food and nutraceuticals, nutritional snacks are gaining momentum too. According to the Report, nutritional snacks represent strong potentials. Seaweed products have seen explosive growth, becoming a top choice of nutritional snack for Chinese parents followed by milk tablets, creampuffs, fruit chips, and sausages.


    Kids of different age groups have varied needs given bone growth, vitamin supplement levels and immunity status

    Children nutrition experts identify three age groups of 1-4, 4-6, and 6-12 years of age based on body growth. Different nutraceuticals apply to different age groups. The Report provides nutraceutical demands of the different age groups.

    According to the Report, the top priority for age group 1-4, i.e., young kids learning to speak and walk, is bone development. For these young kids, the hottest selling products are those helping with bone development, with annual sales volume in 2015 reaching nearly 2.39 million yuan. In addition, natural lung nourishing products and honey products are growing fast in the market segment of very young kids, with an annual growth rate of 47.78%. For age group 4-6, apart from bone development, vitamins and minerals are important. For age group 6-12, i.e., young K-school kids, apart from vitamins and minerals, immune system enhancement is important.


    Young mothers born in the 1980s are major online buyers 

    Mother’s love is the greatest. Mothers care about growth of the kids. According to the Report, women buyers account for 70% of all online purchasers of nutraceuticals for children. More specifically, buyers aged 29-35 account for 46.59% of all buyers, and buyers aged 23-28 account for 20.16%. It is worth noting that the purchasing power of female buyers born in the 1990s is growing big. According to the Report, more female buyers were purchasing online in the first half of 2016, representing 28.59% of all buyers, compared with 25.10% in 2015. 


    In terms of what parents are buying, parents born in the 1990s tend to be more traditional. The purchase of traditional nourishing food accounts for 40.92% of all purchase made by parents born in the 1990s, compared with 25.63% by parents born in the 1980s. In addition, parents born in the 1990s tend to buy nutraceuticals for vision and brain development. According to the Report, parents born in the 1990 have grown up more exposed to foreign things; therefore they do not admire Western culture so much as their predecessors, and nor do they resist traditional Chinese culture.


    Kids in Shanghai like nutritional snacks best, while mothers in Xinjiang like Western products best

    Parents of different regions have different approaches to cultivating kids. According to the Report, parents in Central and West China like Western nutraceuticals for kids best. Preference statistics across the provinces show that mothers in Xinjiang like Western products best, followed by Sichuan. Preference for Chinese traditional nourishing food is evenly distributed across the provinces. Interestingly, major international cities such as Shanghai and Beijing don’t seem to fall for traditional products, with Shanghai parents preferring traditional products the least in the country.

    Shanghai kids like nutritional snacks the best, leading all provinces. However, the overall popularity of nutritional snacks is weak across the country, though Northeast China and Inner Mongolia demonstrate a preference for children’s cheese and milk tablets.

    Interestingly, parents in Northwest China are most generous when it comes to purchasing nutraceuticals for kids. They are most willing to spend dearly. According to the report, among the top 10 purchasing provinces that feature the biggest value per customer transactions, Gansu ranks No.2 at 120 yuan, and Xinjiang No.3 at 119 yuan.

    Original Article 

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