China Double 11 data: Vitamins, probiotics, lactoferrin sales doubled against backdrop of muted spending

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Vitamins, probiotics, lactoferrin sales doubled in China's Double 11 amid muted consumer spending

Related tags double 11 e-commerce lactoferrin

Vitamins, probiotics, lactoferrin for infants and toddlers, and over 30 nutrition products saw their transaction value at least doubled in China’s Double 11 shopping festival this year, says JD Health, amid muted consumer spending in the country for the most part of this year.

The other products where transaction value had at least doubled were folic acid, supplements for sleep support, and those that regulate the ‘three highs’, namely blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood sugar, according to data from JD Health.  

The transaction value of lactoferrin for infants and toddlers, for example, jumped more than 235 per cent year-on-year, while lutein products for infants and children also increased by over 123 per cent.

BYHEALTH’s protein powder retained its position as the bestseller, followed by Neocate’s Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) for infants, and Yanzhiwu’s ready-to-eat (RTE), JD Health said in response to NutraIngredients-Asia’s ​queries.

A similar trend could also be seen on Alibaba’s Tmall, as sales of infant and toddler lactoferrin went up by 200 per cent, and products for blood sugar increased by 400 per cent, similarly for the antioxidant pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ)-related vitamin supplements.

Describing this year’s performance as “stable growth”, ​JD Health said that there were 35,000 brand merchants participating in JD’s Double 11 event for the first time, breaking a new record.

Against the backdrop of uncertainty economic environment post-COVID and rising unemployment rates among youngsters, China consumers have been cautious in their spending.

Overall performance hard to gauge

It is difficult to gauge how exactly e-commerce companies have performed in this year’s Double 11. Part of the reason is because they have stopped releasing their gross merchandise value (GMV) figures since last year.

Based on third-party data, the GMV for Double 11 grew only by 2.08 per cent this year, Jason Yu, managing director of Kantar Worldpanel, told us.

“Over the last year, they (the e-commerce companies) didn’t release any specific GMV numbers anymore. They will just say for example we have a record high in terms of the number of orders or the number of brands that's breaking etc.

“All these numbers are a bit vague. There are third party companies which did a full-scale auditing, which was more based on web crawling.

“If you take into consideration the performance on all the platforms, the growth in GMV was only 2.08 per cent,” ​he said.

Considering product returns, the GMV growth might be even lower, he added. 

“I would say that the market is flat.It's not definitely a spectacular growth that we had witnessed before 2021."

On the other hand, social commerce across Pinduoduo, The Little Red Book, and Douyin (TikTok) has been growing rapidly, and are now strong competitors of the traditional e-commerce firms.

However, due to the lack of officially certified data, Yu said that “it's very difficult to actually know what is really going on.”

Consumers still invest in health

Still, based on his company’s data, he said that there has been a trend over the past nine months or so that interest commerce has been thriving – registering double digit growth.

This is especially so on platforms such as Douyin and those driven by livestreaming, which shows that China’s e-commerce scene going into a period of adjustment.

Based on data from the first nine months of this year, he said that the health and nutrition category was still growing, although COVID-19 had passed its peak.

“Consumers continued to invest in health and continued to buy products that offer high efficacy and convenience for them to consume,”​ he said.

Top 10 bestselling health and nutrition products on JD Health in Double-11

  1. BYHEALTH protein powder
  2. Neocate FSMP for infants
  3. Yanzhiwu RTE bird’s nest
  4. MoveFree Joint Health glucosamine chondroitin
  5. Abbott Ensure
  6. ChildLife Essentials Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc liquid sachet
  7. Dong-e-e-jiao
  8. Swisse high purity deep sea fish oil capsule
  9. Swisse Plus 70 milk thistle tablets for liver health
  10. Swisse milk thistle tablets for liver health

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