Apr 15, 2021|

JD Data: Health and Wellness in the Spotlight


by Ella Kidron

With spring in full bloom, so are Chinese consumers’ health and wellness goals, according to a report by the JD Big Data Research Institute released on Apr. 14.

In the month of March, the keyword “low sugar” was searched over 10 times more than the same period last year. “Weight loss and fat reduction” was searched over 10 million times. Searches for cordless jump ropes, which have become highly popular as an at home workout option, increased more than 640%. Looking at purchasing habits, affordability of healthy habits is a commonality across food, exercise and supplement choices.

Low calorie beverages, dark chocolate, low sugar cake, low calorie cereal and low sugar coffee have become popular food choices for consumers looking to make healthier choices. This makes items like soda water, black sesame powder, barley and oat cookies, black wheat whole wheat meal replacement toast, Oolong tea hot commodities in the Chinese market.

Consumers aren’t only looking for options to be healthy but also for them to be convenient. Sales of low calorie convenience foods have increased 432% since the previous period, while low sugar grains and low sugar coffee and milk tea have increased 222% and 100% respectively. From an age group perspective, Post ‘95s consumers are the heavyweights for the low sugar coffee and milk tea market, while post ‘85s eye fat-free and low fat milk as well as Oolong tea, and post ‘75s want dark chocolate.

Nutritional supplements are also sizzling. In March, the sales volume of probiotics, protein supplements, fitness powders, enzymes and bone health related products increased 768%, 766%, 684%, 466%, and 357% respectively.

Ye Yang, head of the health supplements division at JD Health, explained: We hope to use the JD Health platform to provide Chinese consumers with abundant, high quality health products that meet the physical needs and habits of Chinese consumers.” She added that supplementing a weight and fat loss reduction plan with the JD Health platform’s nutrition and medical consulting services will make the process more scientific and effective.

Consumers are also vying to exercise more outdoors. In March, sales volume of exercise-related items from ice sports gear to swimwear increased 461% and 349% respectively. Broken down by age group, consumers born after 1995 are mainly buying exercise apparel, consumers born after 1985 are looking to go for a dip in the pool, and those born after 1975 are hitting the slopes.

It is said that most things come in 3s. In this case, healthy food and nutrition supplements, activity and smart equipment are a triple threat. According to the data report, in the smart health equipment realm, the proportion of electronic scales with health monitoring capabilities sold reached over 90% while sales of heartrate monitors and watches with blood oxygen meters are up 170% YOY. Consumer attention to watches with electrocardiogram (ECG) functions increased over 10 times in the same period.

Many consumers have placed a renewed focus on their health and wellness since COVID-19 broke out. Ms. Wu, a regular JD customer explained, “Before the pandemic, I didn’t really workout or watch what I ate, but now I have been reminded of the fact that we all have just one life to live, and am doing my best to keep up a good nutrition and exercise routine.” She regularly buys supplements such as probiotics on JD, and invested in a smart hula hoop that can count the number of rotations completed and calculate estimated number of calories burned.