Three key takeaways from the China’s wellness and beauty trends scoring with Gen Z
In the wake of pandemic uncertainties and prolonged lockdowns, the natural consumer response – especially for young generations in China – is to turn to “health and wellness” products for self-care, mental health, and a long-term investment in their livelihood.
But what exactly does “health and wellness” entail? This catch-all category of the beauty industry encompasses everything from vitamin gummies and holistic nutritional supplements, to oil-infused skin cleansers and hair loss prevention products.
In recent years, technological strides have given China’s young consumers greater access to better quality wellness products, catapulting the industry into the number one trending position. With a current value of more than 10.1 trillion RMB and an annual growth rate of 5 to 10 percent, this booming market is evidence of a shift in the consumer mindset: healthy lifestyles and self-care products aren’t indulgences, but in fact, necessary ingredients to survive the day-to-day grind.
Health and wellness come from the inside out
In the wider context of China’s increased anxiety levels, COVID uncertainties, burnout-inducing 996 culture, and the widespread phenomenon of revenge bedtime procrastination, it’s clear that wellness today means something different than to previous generations. For China’s Gen Z and millenials, the focus has pivoted from chronic disease or hair care towards mental health and nutrition-based products that support wellbeing.
Wellness is a lifestyle, it’s a choice, and it’s attainable. Rather than focusing on appearance-based results, brands looking to enter the wellness space should aim for multivitamins, stress alleviation, stress reduction, or ideally multi-use products – in other words, helping consumers look and feel good.
The Snack-ification of beauty and health products
In a beauty market as large as the mainland’s, brands need to find their niche audience by differentiating their products, and that includes packaging and aesthetics. Beauty snacks in the form of gummies or candies not only provide a delicious wellness experience but also offer convenience on-the-go, so they’re less like medicine and easier to take.
Though there’s an influx of candies, shakes, gummies, and drinks from Korea, Japan, and Europe on platforms like Tmall Global and JD Worldwide, but the research still showed that the local brands can maintain their hold by gamifying packaging for young Chinese consumers. Providing a novel experience with creative flair is sure to be more memorable for beauty-obsessed customers.
In choosing better supplements, Chinese Gen Z often turn to knowledgeable online sources, including KOLs, influencers, or nutritional experts with a platform.
Clean beauty looks different in the Chinese market
While there is certainly interest in cruelty-free, sustainable beauty, consumers in the mainland are more focused on efficacy and are very ingredient-oriented. This trend is dictated in part due to the top-down market sway of governmental policies like the recent seems having some progress for cruelty-free cosmetics import policy, as opposed to grassroots campaigns for sustainability that might take off in the West. For products, this translates to high quality, natural ingredients – brands need to prove to discerning consumers what makes their beauty formulas active and clean.