Health has been one of the most talked about trends in China in recent years. Consumers are spending up a storm to proactively keep well, creating a boon for sectors such as meds, infant well-being and healthy food.
Businesses in China and abroad are profiting from this health trend. Being a pharmaceutical tycoon has become one of the most promising ways to secure a spot on China’s billionaires list. Anti-cold drugs were the must-have item for the hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists visiting Japan during Golden Week. Similarly, ANZ’s Sleeping Giant study expects spending on medical to be the fastest growing category by Chinese consumers between 2013 to 2030, climbing from 9.7% to 16% of total consumption.
Yet while most trends point to an increasingly aware and health-conscious consumer, a saunter down many Chinese city streets clearly illustrates that not everyone is riding the healthy train. Over the past five years, overweight kids have become a regular sight in China, with 23% of boys and 14% of girls under 20 now overweight or obese; children mainly cared for by their grandparents are twice as likely to be that way.
An even more concerning reality is the increase of Chinese puffing on cigarettes. Two studies by Beijing’s Academy of Medical Sciences involving 750,000 Chinese men and women, discovered about two-thirds of young Chinese men become cigarette smokers. Most start before they are 20. Unless they stop, about half of them will eventually be killed by their habit. These smoking rates, coupled with pollution and increasingly sedentary lifestyles have contributed to someone getting cancer every ten seconds in China.
One bright spot from the research is that smoking rates among Chinese women are plummeting, as more make conscious efforts to improve their health. Hopefully their influence in so many household purchases will also rub off on the smoking habits of their boyfriends and husbands.
Skinny readers in Shanghai are invited to attend the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum 2015 this Friday 23 October. 200 business leaders and dignitaries from across Asia and Ireland, famous Irish sportsmen and a good line up of local experts will be there, including China Skinny’s Mark Tanner who will be discussing successful branding in China. Like any Irish-run event, it’s bound to be both educational and great craic. More information here. On the subject of Shanghai, China Skinny is now part of the Shanghai Bloggers iPhone app, the go-to app to keep up with what’s going on in Shanghai. Well worth downloading. Go to Page 2 to see this week’s China news and highlights.