Healthy food: great expectations in China

by Aurélie De boisvilliers

A new market but an increasing potential of growth

This is how all experts define China, regarding the healthy food trend. What are its major assets? A population of 1.363 million in­habitants, a continuous rise of its GNP (up 10% per year on average) and a fantastic desire of more diversified and healthier food. Not to mention the several sanitary crisis that has struck China over the past twenty years. The thirst for healthy food is higher than ever before in Histo­ry.

This is why China’s health food market will grow at an average annual rate of 10-15%!

Figures speak for them­selves: 

  • 70% of Chinese consumers say they follow a diet that limits or prohibits consumption of at least some foods or ingredients
  • 77% feel more positively about companies that are transparent about where and how products were made/raised/grown.

According to research, safety and healthiness have already become the top two attributes that affect consumers’ decisions on what to buy.

One good example of this trend certainly is the organic market.

Consequences? the volume of production and organic consumption have grown strongly and put China into fourth place in the worldwide ranking of organic markets, just behind the USA, Germany and France.

But is China a greener land? The organic volume produced covers now more than 3.5 million hectares – nearly one percent of the total agri­cultural land in China. Regarding distribution, the traditional mass market channel still dominates the distribution, despite the growth of the direct sales channel.


All imported health food must re­gister with the CFDA. The documentation to be provided includes one original and eight copies of the product formula, the list of func­tional ingredients, contents, and testing method (non-exhaustive list). Yet, before registering, the product should pass an examination as well as an evaluation by de­signated institutions authorized by the CFDA. At the end of the process, the obtained certificate is valid for five years.

Recently, a new Food Safety law has been drawn up, holding manufacturers accountable for food additives and introducing harsh fines for safety violations. it may signal a new direc­tion and era for the food industry!



- Ole Supermarkets

- WalMart

- Carrefour

- Shenzhen Nepstar

- Chain Drugstore

- City Super



- By-Health Biotech (nutrition supplements)

- Jiangzhong Group (health care products)

- Ziguang Guhan Group (functional drinks)