Why this year is the perfect year to export your food supplements, vitamins, wellness health products and to China
In this article we will see:
- Why is it time to export your brands to the health / wellness sector in China?
- Reasons Why China Will Become The World’S Largest Health / Wellness Market
- How to export food supplements and vitamins to China?
- What are the best-selling products in China? Ranking of the largest pharmaceutical companies in China
- How to successfully sell your food supplements and vitamins? How to work on the visibility and reputation of a brand in China?
- How to find Chinese distributors?
- The mistakes to avoid that many companies make
- Some examples
Why is it time to export your brands to the health / wellness sector in China?
Why this year is the perfect year to export your food supplements, vitamins, wellness health products and to China
4 main reasons:
- The Chinese crisis ends
- Many brands have stopped their business
- Health is number one concern in China
- Chinese trust international brands
1. The epidemic Crisis in China is under Control
- Spirits are high-up, china is winning this war
- Businesses are resuming and factories are producing. The world will need China’s producing power more than ever.
- The Chinese have not consumed for two months, their bank account is full and they want to spend their money.
2. Many brands have stopped their business
- Many companies have stopped marketing and have lost market share. Many brands have given up … Many businesses have closed.
- Perfect opportunities for newcomers…
- Many investors around the world are looking to invest in China and foresee a great future for all businesses.
3. Health is the number one concern in China
- Health is now a priority and health products are on the rise in terms of popularity and sales.
- Chinese people are very concerned about their health, and this crisis has created fear in the minds of millions of consumers. Health is now the number one concern…
- Food supplements, vitamins … all these products were driven out during the crisis, with the obsession to make one’s body stronger
- Sports & fitness: many Chinese people now know that working out makes it easier to resist attacks by diseases like the coronavirus
- Medical services like insurance are of course now a necessity for all Chinese.
- Chinese health products and equipment are having a positive impact on the world, and China will emerge as a health giant over the next decade, particularly in developing countries.
4. Chinese trust international Brands
- Chinese people trust foreign health / wellness products
- The Chinese are looking for authentic and reliable brands.
- Due to corruption and trafficking, there are many fake medicines / dietary supplements. This is why the Chinese are skeptical of local brands and prefer foreign brands.
- Made in France reflects quality, know-how, controlled products
- Made in Korea reflects innovation and is increasingly popular in China, especially because they are very accessible in terms of pricing.
- The Chinese government is promoting universal access to vitamins and supplements. It also encourages the Chinese to have recourse to Western products. Many of these vitamins and health supplements are additionally covered by insurance.
- At first, it was very difficult for foreign brands to sell their vitamins and food supplements in the Chinese market. But the government knows that traditional medicine is in decline and that Western products are very popular with the Chinese. This is why the government has changed the existing regulations, making it a lot easier for foreign companies to access this market in China.
Reasons Why China Will Become The World’S Largest Health / Wellness Market
- Rising standard of living for Chinese people: new health concerns
- Health issues as an aftermath of air pollution/ water… the Chinese are aware of the harmfulness of the air which surrounds them and tend to want to improve their immune system and their health in general. The Chinese have a rather healthy lifestyle, Chinese medicine and the advice which derives from it are still very often applied in China.
- A rise in health awareness of the benefits of fitness and nutrition (sometimes to compensate for air pollution)
- Westernization trends. Chinese state allows more and more foreign brands to be present in mainland China
- A richer society with new expectations: this new generation of Chinese middle class want to take care of itself and is very connected to the world
- The Chinese population travels a lot exposing themselves to more diverse lifestyles. Travel develops a spirit of openness. This is partly why Chinese consumers are spending more and more money on vitamins and supplements.
- The aging of the population: more than 220 million people. The elderly are also encouraged by the government to use this type of supplements which are more and more often covered by health insurance.
- The end of the “one-child policy”: since the lifting of this reform, we have been able to note an increase in demand for this type of product for women and children.
- More and more gyms are opening in China, fitness applications are being developed every day and practitioners like to show off.
How to export food supplements and vitamins to China?
China Cross border eCommerce
This is a question that always comes up, what are the procedures for exporting food supplements to China?
PUT ON THE CROSS-BORDER first!
Indeed, it’s easy, you sell from overseas, few regulations, few procedures. A lot easier than getting a Chinese business license, isn’t it?
You don’t have the time to wait for a licence if you wanna stay in the race. It can take years to get a licence to sell from within China. Cross border is a great option to start selling there and build your reputation there while getting things done to be able officially be in China.
Ecommerce in China
- During the crisis, pretty much all stores were closed, leading to an increase in ordered products online and spent hours shopping online. Very convenient in China with services like Hema.
- Most of the e-commerce businesses in China had a huge boom.
- Alibaba, JD … all these e-commerce companies have succeeded in increasing online consumption …
- Even the oldest users have learned how to order food online, buy products and check brand information.
- China has pretty much moved to 100% e-commerce in the past 8 weeks … this is basically the future of retail but the trend was already getting stronger anyway.
- The delivery industry was in the hottest period in its history, with millions of Didi Kuadi (aka Uber eat) delivering food and products to the people. Intelligent technology has been developed to maximize all transport and efficiency.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SELLING PRODUCTS IN CHINA? CLASSIFICATION OF THE LARGEST PHARMACEUTICAL LABORATORIES IN CHINA
BEST SELLING PRODUCTS IN CHINA:
- Calcium supplements
- Vitamin E
- Slimming products
- The most requested vitamins are calcium supplements, vitamins C and E as well as fish oils.
PHARMACEUTICAL LABORATORIES PRESENT IN CHINA:
- Infinitus (China)
- Nutrilite (Amway) (American Society)
- Sanofi (France)
- Centrum (Pfizer) (American Society)
- Swisse Wellness (Australian)
- Vitabiotics (British Society)
HOW TO SUCCEED TO SELL YOUR FOOD AND VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS? HOW TO WORK THE VISIBILITY AND REPUTATION OF A BRAND IN CHINA?
HOW TO SUCCEED IN SELLING YOUR FOOD AND VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS?
What is Branding? it is everything in China… The brand is the factor of consumer confidence in a product.
- You must win Chinese consumers’ hearts
- Be visible
- Be transparent
- Develop a good brand image
- BET EVERYTHING ON BRANDING
- No brand can break into China without working on branding
- BRANDING IS ALL IN CHINA
- Believe us, we don’t know any brand that has succeeded without working on its brand image
- Bet on your branding, work on your visibility and reputation, nothing will happen by itself
- Chinese people buy the brand, they must trust you,
- You may be known in France, but unknown in China (the Chinese do not have access to information on google, Facebook, ect … they have their own communication)
HOW TO WORK THE VISIBILITY AND REPUTATION OF A BRAND IN CHINA?
- Have a showcase site for China
You agree that when we hear about a brand, we go on Google to look at the site and in China, it’s the same, they go on Baidu (Chinese search engine) and they look carefully at your site, who are you? what do you offer as products? active substances? Ect
To know :
- Baidu, the Chinese search engine does not link foreign languages so your site can only be referenced on the search engine if it is in Mandarin
- Host your site in China or HK or Singapore: your site will row from China if the hosting is in France
- Buy .cn and .com.cn domain names, otherwise the Chinese may buy them and sell them to you VERY VERY expensive
- Be visible on Baidu, the Chinese search engine,
- Create a website dedicated to the Chinese market
- Work on your reputation: this is the key to success
- Chinese people need to be reassured: too many scandals in China, too many counterfeit products
- Reassure, give information …
HOW DOES YOUR REPUTATION WORK?
1. CHINESE PRESS TALKS ABOUT YOU
- Chinese people trust what journalists say
- Journalists should talk about you: that will give you credibility
- Press releases appear on Baidu (Chinese search engine), which means that when a Chinese person hears about us, he will go to Baidu to do research, and he will fall on the press release: CREDIBILITY
Indeed, be CREDIBLE
2. OTHERS TALK ABOUT YOU
- Who better than the community? others talk about you, positive comments should appear on your brand …
- The Chinese trust that among themselves, they give advice, discuss on forums, blogs, ask questions etc …
- Your brand should be a topic of conversation, and a topic of positive conversation…
People must talk about you!
3. INFLUENCERS TALK ABOUT YOU
- Chinese trust influencers, KOLs
- Influencers or KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) are very powerful in China.
- They are Internet users capable of generating a lot of traffic on their accounts. They are very popular and Chinese consumers trust their advice. Key influencers are effective in China, as users tend to be more impressionable, they greatly appreciate the status of these individuals.
- Finding the influencer that best fits your brand can help you attract your Chinese consumers. But, as usual, finding the right influencer is not easy. You have to get help.
Indeed, Chineses have blind confidence in their influencers, collaborate with them !!
And, yes, bet on what works in China:
- The Chinese press, influencers, and the community
SHARE INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
- All Chinese have WeChat
- more than a billion users, it’s whats-ap, Facebook
- more than 4 hours per day; personal or professional
- Chinese have business accounts
- Open a certified and professional account: with the TENCENT group (beware of scams, your account must be open in your name: which requires 1 month, 1 month and a half (a lot of documents from your mailbox, etc.)
- Share information but good information !! Don’t think it’s easy
- 4 posts per month maximum: tell great stories about your brand
- Open a WeChat, certified, professional account
- Qualitative article, share interesting information, be creative
- B TO B, B to C
- Looks like Twitter, Instagram #short message, beautiful photos
The audience on Weibo is very diverse and versatile. Among the users:
- People who use Weibo for entertainment.
- Companies looking to find out if they will do business in China.
- Journalists (who follow up on Weibo daily, seek new ideas, do investigative reporting, etc.).
- The media, to obtain and disseminate information.
- Celebrities who want to communicate with their fans.
- Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) also communicate with their communities, keep abreast of the latest trends and give advice.
- Companies that use Weibo to reach Chinese consumers, analyze their audience and promote their brands.
- The government that oversees information and also disseminates information.
- Open an account on Weibo, professional, certified
- B TO C
- # short messages, beautiful photos
Read also Weibo marketing.
HOW TO FIND CHINESE DISTRIBUTORS IN HEALTH?
HOW TO FIND CHINESE DISTRIBUTORS?
- Make yourself visible, work on your branding and you will see distributors coming to you
- Chinese distributors are looking for new brands, they often have several online stores like in TMALL, JD, RED, WECHAT ect… And, they can have many brands
- And yes, Chinese distributors go to forums, blogs, social networks, read the press, follow influencers: be on these channels and you will be contacted …
- Chinese distributors are not business angels, they are not going to invest in your brand, they are looking for opportunities … don’t think it’s the same as in France
- Work on your branding, be present on Baidu, Wechat, Weibo, the press, forums… and you will see, the distributors will want to collaborate with you
Don’t make the mistake of prospecting distributors, let them find you, negotiation will be easier.
THE MISTAKES TO AVOID OF MANY COMPANIES IN CHINA
1. Use the same strategy as in France: Many companies have tried to develop their sales in China, but failed because they used the same marketing strategy that they use in their own country without adapting it to the Chinese market.
2. Not working on branding: Many pharmaceutical companies sell their products on the big Chinese place markets like TMALL, JD and wait… and do not work on their branding. Suddenly, they do not sell products, disappointment, abandonment… damage !!!
3. Let your Chinese distributor manage: a Chinese distributor is not a business angel, he does not invest in your brand. The role of a distributor is to distribute and not to manage your marketing strategy … 2 DIFFERENT TRADES
4. Go to the biggest Chinese platforms (type TMALL, JD) and wait: many companies think that being on the biggest Chinese platforms will necessarily work, Error .. too good to be true !!!
5. Opening a store on Tmall, or JD, before working on your branding: opening a store requires a large investment whether you sell or not … € 10,000 to €15,000 per month, be sure that your products please before investing as much, a launch of a new brand takes time in China… first go to a Medium Market place which requires a significant investment per month
6. Skip the steps: 1. BRANDING then 2. Distribution
7. Have total confidence in your Chinese distributor: French people tend to trust their agent or distributor, BE CAREFUL, this is not the same in France as in China,
8. Give your marketing budget to your distributor for China: 2 different professions, a distributor distributes your product, that’s his job and that’s it !!! A marketer is a person who manages your marketing, a distributor is not a marketer
9. Manage alone: you must get help, but you must have control over what is happening in China. It’s another language, it’s complicated, but be aware of what’s going on, collaborate with a partner who will be transparent with you with DETAILED REPORTS (It’s possible !!!)
And, yes we have collaborated with more than 750 projects, today we know companies’ mistakes.
CHINA HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS CASE STUDIES
Do not hesitate to contact us (and it’s free !!) if you have an idea for a project to promote in China or if you want to develop your sales. Gentlemen Marketing Agency is specialized in digital marketing on the Chinese market.
So, we can help you, analyze your situation and suggest solutions…
GMA IN A FEW WORDS:
- Franco-Chinese Agency, expert on the Chinese market
- Team of 70 people
- Expert in the health and wellness sector
- 750+ projects
- Agency based in Shanghai and micro-branch in France, UK and Taiwan
- Branding and E-commerce expert