We often talk about rising obesity in China, but the other end of the spectrum is just as concerning. China has had a historic obsession with beauty. This beauty is largely defined as a one-dimensional association with skinniness – one that is openly championed between families, friends and colleagues. The perennial need to be skinny is further confirmed in data from China Skinny’s newly launched Health Supplements Tracker, which identifies weight loss as the top-selling supplement category online in China.
At a surface level, selling weight loss products would appear to be a good bet for a foreign brand hoping to tap into the enormous supplements category. Sales online are almost 50% more than the next-highest selling category, collagen. But just 2% of weight loss products sold are foreign brands. Alternatively, if we look at the fourth-largest category – weight/muscle gainers – almost two-thirds of sales come from foreign brands. The average value per sale for weight gain is also around three times higher than weight loss, allowing higher margins for foreign brands.
The two supplement subcategories are a classic example of the need to look beyond the headline sales data to identify the greatest opportunities for foreign branded products. Although domestic brands are rising in many categories, there remains numerous areas where foreign brands and products are considered far better, safer and more prestigious than the local equivalents. Sometimes they aren’t as obvious as you’d think.
The most successful brands in China all share an uncompromising use of data. This is particularly pertinent with China’s best known and fastest growing internet-native disrupter brands such as Three Squirrels, Perfect Diary and Genki Forest. Data allows them not only to identify the areas that provide the greatest opportunity, but also the ideal formats, the best marketing claims, optimised pricing and discounting levels, and to learn from rising competitors.
Fortunately, brands no longer need the army of data scientists and analysts of Perfect Diary or Genki, or to figure out what to distill from the firehose of data surging their way. With the China Skinny Trackers, you can have access to the cleanest, up-to-date ecommerce data, overlaid with quarterly consumer surveys in a user-friendly, intuitive dashboard. Insights that incorporate the key needs and requests we’ve seen from over a decade providing China services.
The Trackers’ combination of ecommerce data and consumer insights allow you to track not just historic and current data, but also future usage behaviour, the customer journey and preferences. Everything is in English allowing all stakeholders to have a better understanding of the complex China market, enabling them to support local teams with a more informed view.
The Trackers cost $999/month or less for yearly subscriptions – a fraction of the cost for similar insights from commissioned studies. As data is continually updated, you can track China’s dynamic market in real time, ensuring you adapt your tactics and strategy using insights that remain up-to-date and relevant.
To toast the launch of our Supplements Tracker, we are offering 10% off both the monthly and yearly fee on this and our Skincare, Beauty and Dairy Trackers. Just use the code ‘LAUNCH10’ when signing up. This offer is valid until 15 October 2021. Find out more about the Trackers here, or contact us if you have any questions or comments.
For our readers in China, we hope you have happy Golden Week from Friday. Our office will be closed next week but we’ll be back after the holiday, with the next Skinny on the 13th of October.
Click/tap here to see this week’s most important China market and marketing news.