People buy medicines at a pharmacy in Chongqing on December 16, 2022. [Photo by Cui Li/For China Daily]
Fang Zheng, a 40-year-old programmer in Beijing, happily opened a packet of vitamin C he received earlier this week.
This was the fourth package he received this week. The other three contained ginger tea, protein powder, and a pair of small dumbbells.
“I started purchasing these items after recovering from COVID-19 two weeks ago. Aside from supplements, I bought a pair of sleeping pillows and some home fitness items. I spent about 3,000 yuan (US$435.6) and I still plan to buy more,” said Fang.
Chinese consumers are paying more attention to products designed to boost their immune systems, leading to an increase in related consumption.
Data from Nasdaq-based Guangzhou-based online pharmacy 111 Inc showed that sales volume and revenue of vitamin products rose 131 percent mom and 123 percent mom, respectively, in December, while sales of calcium pills and other dietary supplements also saw a rise Rise.
As a result, the company has stepped up efforts to ensure supply, 111 Inc. said.
“Our best-sellers over the past two months have been vitamin C and protein powder, which sell for 129 yuan and 369 yuan a box, respectively. Two weeks ago we were sold out. We’ve only recently had a steady supply again,” he said, a clerk at a branch of Nepstar Chain Drugstore Ltd in Beijing.
Helena He, general manager of wellness at Haleon China, said the ongoing pandemic has made more Chinese consumers aware of the importance of boosting their immunity. Over the past month, sales of Haleon’s dietary supplements have increased significantly.
“Both our domestic and overseas factories are running at full speed to ensure supplies to Chinese consumers,” she said.
Wu Dong, founder and CEO of Shanghai ADfontes Technology Co Ltd, a local fiber manufacturer, said people’s demand for products to boost their immunity has hit a new high after China streamlined its COVID containment measures.
“Currently, China’s total fiber raw material market is 4.5 billion yuan. The market is expected to reach 10 billion yuan in five years. The market has tremendous growth potential,” Wu said.
The company said it has fully prepared its supply chain to meet the expected surge in demand.
Xie Zongbo, an independent financial columnist and a member of the Caixin Global Young Leaders Forum, said, “People’s recovery from infection has led them to pay increasing attention to nutrition and rehabilitation, leading to tremendous growth in related consumption has. Although the increase in consumption may be justified in the short term, it will boost the long-term development of related sectors in China.”
Sales of home fitness equipment and sleep aids also saw growth on China’s e-commerce platforms and offline stores.
Wang Fan, a 30-year-old office worker in Beijing, said, “After recovering from COVID, I bought a fitness tracking bracelet and a yoga mat. I now practice Yoga Immunity regularly.”