Sports Nutrition

The Surging Demand for Sports Nutrition in China’s Booming eCommerce Landscape

Who needs sports nutrition?

Sports nutrition, especially for processed foods or supplements contain special needs of some nutrients, provides additional support to the physiological and metabolic state, exercise ability, and particular effect of sports people (those who participate in physical exercise 3 times a week or more, each time duration is above 30 minutes, and experiencing medium exercise intensity).

In China today, fitness has become increasingly popular as more and more people embrace healthy living and incorporate exercise into their daily routines. With this rise in interest comes a corresponding increase in demand for sports nutrition products among fitness enthusiasts looking to enhance their workout effects. Indeed, this trend has contributed significantly to the rapid growth of the sports nutrition market.

Sports Nutrition Market Analysis

Over the past decade, China’s fitness industry has experienced tremendous growth due partly to government-backed sports policies. As more and more people embrace healthy living, we’ve seen significant increases in the number of individuals who engage in physical exercise regularly – in 2022 alone, there were over 327 million active Chinese gym-goers, representing an impressive penetration rate of 23%.

Looking ahead, projections indicate that fitness population and penetration will continue to rise steadily as Chinese people become even more health-conscious. By 2026, it is anticipated that the further increase in the population of fitness enthusiasts will up to approximately 416 million with a projected penetration rate of 29.3%. These figures not only underscore China’s growing interest in wellness but also highlight just how much potential exists within its booming fitness market.

Population & Permeability of Fitness in China

The fitness boom in China has been accompanied by rapid growth in the sports nutrition market. As more and more people seek to enhance their workout effects, the demand for specialized products continues to rise. According to the data, in 2021, the overall size of China’s sports nutrition market was valued at ¥4.1 billion – already an impressive figure.

But it doesn’t stop there: this market will definitely continue expanding rapidly over the next few years. Indeed, by 2022 we saw a further increase to ¥4.8 billion, and recent trends suggest that annual growth rates are expected to stay high at around 39%.

As Chinese consumers become increasingly focused on health and wellness concerns, we can expect continued growth within this sector as well. With a projected value exceeding ¥6 billion anticipated for 2023 alone, it is clear that sports nutrition represents one of the most promising markets for businesses looking to capitalize on China’s growing interest in healthy living.

Market Size & Growth Rate of Sports Nutrition in China

Sports Nutrition Market is Promising

The sports nutrition market in China is poised for explosive growth, driven by a variety of factors. One key catalyst has been the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted many people to seek ways to improve their health and boost immunity. With gyms closed or operating at reduced capacity, Chinese consumers have turned increasingly towards outdoor activities like running, jogging, and frisbee – leading to an explosion in participation rates.

At the same time, government policies aimed at promoting healthy living have also played a significant role in driving demand for sports nutrition products. By 2025, officials hope to significantly expand access to fitness facilities across the country while improving overall conditions for physical activity. As a result of these efforts, we’ve already seen marked improvements in average fitness levels among everyday people: what was once considered “master” level marathon performance can now be achieved by over 1,000 participants.

As consumer interest in wellness continues growing steadily, alongside broader societal changes regarding diet and nutrition consciousness, so does interest grow around professional-grade supplements explicitly designed with athletes’ needs in mind. Indeed, it seems only natural that as more individuals adopt active lifestyles, they will become ever more invested into enhancing their workout effects through the use of specialized sports nutrition products.

Future Trends for Sports Nutrition Market in China

Public Fitness

With the progress of Chinese society, people will pay more attention to the quality of life and health, among which fitness and workouts are the effective ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The trend of fitness in China is on the rise, and the potential demand for sports nutrition is snowballing. In recent years, many cities have begun to hold various forms of sports and hiking activities, and a vast array of gyms and clubs have emerged continuously. People’s awareness of the necessity of sports has become more and more profound, which has lead to the vast market demand for sports nutrition.

Post-Covid Era

As we look to the future, it’s clear that sports nutrition products will continue playing a vital role in the health and wellness ecosystem. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on demand for these products, it has also led to significant shifts in consumer behavior – particularly around health awareness and supplement needs.

Envisioning what lies ahead, this trend will only intensify as more people prioritize their own well-being. With a growing emphasis on preventive healthcare measures and long-term lifestyle changes, there is tremendous potential for businesses operating within the sports nutrition market to capitalize on evolving consumer preferences.

Capacity to Advance

After decades of development, the sports nutrition market has made significant inroads across various regions within China. However, there are still marked differences between different markets – for instance, North America already boasts relatively high penetration rates.

In 2015, per capita sports nutrition expenditure accounted for approximately 10% of total health expenditure in North America. In contrast, China’s domestic market remains in a nascent stage and has yet to reach this level of maturity. Nevertheless, it is foreseeable that there is ample room for growth over the coming years as more people embrace healthy living trends and seek out ways to enhance their workouts.

Segmented Market

With the development of the economy and society, the scale of professional sports players and people who pursue health in China is constantly increasing, and their demand for sports nutrition products is showing a drift of diversification. In order to meet the increasingly diversified and specialized endogenous needs of consumers, sports nutrition product manufacturers are constantly innovating product types, and the market appears to be moving toward subdivided functions, from extensive to refined development. For competitive sports players, their main demands include improving their speed, strength, endurance, coordination, flexibility, sensitivity, and post-exercise recovery, etc.

Sports nutrition products encompass a wide range of offerings, including sports supplements, drinks, snacks, meal replacements, and slimming products. These products are available in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, powder mixes, liquids, or soft sweets. Consumers have multiple options when it comes to usage timing – they can be taken before or after workouts or during diets.

Sports Nutrition Segmented Market

The market for sports nutrition products is vast and caters to individuals across all age groups and genders with varying levels of athletic activity. There is something for everyone – from children to older adults, heavy or light users, men and women alike.

For the future, sports nutrition food manufacturers need to reflect product expertise in terms of nutritional formula, efficacy experiments, and solutions characteristics, such as designing different formulas, dosages, taking methods, and combining them with sports training, etc.; for the general fitness and health population, in addition to meeting the most basic sports nutrition and improving sports function needs, companies will pay more attention to raw material sources, packaging, Features such as flavor and portability, as well as personalized demands such as slimming and meal replacement.

Sports Nutrition & China eCommerce

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the fitness industry as more people transition from offline to online workouts. This is partly due to the rise of Chinese Social Media Platforms such as Douyin(Chinese Tiktok) and RED(aka Xiaohongshu), which have helped popularize at-home fitness routines. As a result, this trend appears to be moving towards becoming mainstream.

According to the predictions, the proportion of the online fitness market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years – from 47% in 2021 up to 61% by 2026. This projected growth suggests that online fitness will soon surpass its offline counterpart.

Amidst the ongoing process of consumption upgrading, there has been a noticeable shift in consumer habits, purchasing frequency, and scenarios regarding healthy food. As more and more consumers turn to online shopping, the scale of eCommerce sales for nutrition-based products continues to rise. With round-the-clock availability on both eCommerce stores and social media platforms, this mode of purchase is convenient and caters to the needs of those seeking healthier options.

To further capture this growing market segment, companies are adopting diverse marketing strategies that engage audiences through KOL collaborations, celebrity endorsements, fan economy promotions, as well as livestreams and online word-of-mouth recommendations. By leveraging these tactics effectively, businesses can quickly raise brand awareness while simultaneously improving overall customer experience.

As 2023 has passed half, it is clear that these trends will continue gaining momentum as greater emphasis is placed on health consciousness among consumers.

As we’ve seen, the sports nutrition eCommerce market is booming in China, with increasing demand from both professional athletes and health-conscious individuals. Whether you’re already a player in this market or looking to get started, our team at MOREXGE can help you navigate the complexities of China’s unique digital landscape. With our expertise in logistics, customs clearance, and brand marketing among other services, we’ll work with you to achieve success and growth within this exciting industry.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity – contact us right now to learn more about how we can support your business goals.

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