While the U.S. GDP is just 53% larger than China’s, the U.S. supplement market is 126% bigger. It seems obvious, then, that the world’s most population-dense country offers a tremendous runway for growth. Nutrition Business Journal noted this as one of the "Top thoughts on the Chinese market" in its recent Global Supplement Business Report, and its projections for the country are driven by this potential.
A particularly strong prospect for sports nutrition has been reported for the last few years, and NBJ’s 2019 estimates indicate continued success for the category. Sports, meal, homeopathic and specialty supplements represent just 19% of China’s market but have the strongest growth in the market at nearly 13%. On the other hand, growth for herbs and botanicals, which have the largest market share in China, has dropped from 10.9% to 6.4% as interest shifts to sports nutrition and specialty supplements.
Across all categories, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for global supplement sales from 2019 to 2022 is 5.8%, but the CAGR for China’s supplement market is notably higher at 7.5%. This projection is slightly lower than the country’s peak sales growth of 11.7% in 2012, but still significant in what is now a $20 billion industry.