China’s Nutricosmetics Market Insights and Consumer Trends
BY Jekyl HeDec 15, 2023


Nutricosmetics, as a new way to provide beauty benefits through oral consumption, has kept its popularity in recent years. According to Mktindex, this category dominated the health and functional food market on Ali platforms from September 2022 to August 2023, accounting for the largest market share. Its sales value came up to CNY 13.08 billion in the same period, with a year-on-year growth of 22%. [1] According to Euromonitor’s estimation in 2022, China’s nutricosmetic market size would reach CNY23.8 billion in the same year and exceed CNY 25.57 billion in 2025. [2]

The promising market potential prompts companies to continuously make strategic layouts in this sector. For instance, S’Young Group invested in Five Doctors in 2022, a Chinese emerging nutricosmetic brand focusing on collagen peptide drinks. Bloomage Biotech launched its new functional food brand WPLUS+ in the same year. The new brand aims to help consumers achieve a more ideal health and beauty state through offering more advanced, professional and efficient oral products. Shiseido introduced its oral beauty brand INRYU to China in 2022 and rolled out a probiotic powder product under its Ultimune series in 2023, each containing 1 billion live bacteria for beautifying skin. Besides, the director of Shiseido China’s Oral Beauty Department stated that in the future, the oral beauty would become Shiseido's third largest category in the beauty industry after skincare and makeup. 


Currently, major market players in the Chinese nutricosmetic market consist of health food, cosmetic, food, and nourishment brands, which develops health, functional and nourishing food products for consumers to improve their beauty.

Brands Classification

Major Products

Representative Brands

Competitive Landscape

Health Food Brands

Functional & Health Food for Beauty

Swisse, By-health, Tongrentang

Australian brands focusing on dietary supplements and health food have significant advantages.

Cosmetic Brands

Functional Food for Beauty

Shiseido, Pola, Fancl

Japanese brands hold a competitive edge because of their technologies and R&D capabilities.

Food Brands

Functional Food for Beauty

Unomi, Wonderlab, G-Yong

The competitors are mainly divided into Japanese and Chinese domestic brands. Their products are designed to be interesting and encompass multiple categories to cater to young consumers.

 Nourishment Brands

Nourishing Food for Beauty

Dongeejiao, Tongrentang, Guanzhan

Apart from traditional brands, more emerging brands stepped into this sector.

Furthermore, while companies are consistently participating in the industry, several consumption trends have also emerged in the consumers’ purchasing process of nutricosmetic products.

The Dominance of Female and Young Consumers

In China, the core consumption group of oral beauty products is the post-90s female. Specifically, female consumers took up 82% of the total nutricosmetic users, resulted from their robust demands and awareness for beautifying skin as well as willingness to try different beauty methods. Meanwhile, although the troubles brought by poor skin condition occur in every age group, they are more evident in the post-90s and post-95s generations. A respective 50% and 44% of consumers in the post-90s and post-95s had skin troubles during the last year. [3] Consequently, consumers in the post-90s take the lead in purchasing nutricosmetics. 


Diversified Functional Demands

Consumers’ demands for oral beauty products vary based on factors such as skin conditions, genders, age groups, personal care concept, etc. For instance, in terms of age, females aged between 20-24 tend to gravitate towards whitening nutricosmetics to address the intrinsic dullness of Asian skin, while those aged above 25 show a greater interest in anti-aging products like collagen peptide drinks to maintain skin elasticity. [4] With respect to gender, distinct preferences for product functions can be observed between females and males. Female consumers generally prefer products with skin-brightening and anti-oxidant functions. In contrast, males favour products with hydrating and anti-hair loss functions. Moreover, currently, although females comprise the majority of oral beauty product consumers, there is a growing demand for nutricosmetics from males. Therefore, more oral beauty products tailored for males are emerging in the market. Taking Unilever’s nutricosmetic brand Nutrafol as an example, it has a hair growth nutraceutical product for men. The product leverages the Synergen Complex, a patented formula owned by Nutrafol, incorporating natural plant ingredients like saw palmetto, sensoril, tocotrienols, and curcumin, to address hair health concerns influenced by hormones, stress, lifestyle, metabolism, aging, and nutrition.  


Preference for Snack Forms

Nowadays consumers prefer to consume oral beauty products in daily dietary scenes and expect them to be convenient and delicious. In this case, snacks containing functional ingredients with good taste and convenient forms are favoured by consumers. The product forms of nutricosmetics have expanded from capsules, tablets, etc., to jellies, gummies, drinks, etc. Some were even designed as coffee and chocolate products to appeal to consumers. For instance, Swisse launched a type of gummies with peach oolong flavour, containing 7.5mg sodium hyaluronate and 150mg collagen peptide per piece. Tongrentang unveiled an enzyme jelly enriched with probiotics, prebiotics and collagen peptide to help consumers with gastrointestinal care, weight management and skin improvement demands. Nourishment brands like Dongeejiao and Xiaoxiandun consistently introduced snack and instant food options, such as donkey-hide gelatin and black sesame ball, and ready-to-eat bird’s nest products. 


ChemLinked Insights

Despite the popularity of nutricosmetic products, brands still need unique formulas and technologies to gain competitiveness in the market. They are supposed to strengthen the R&D capabilities through increasing scientific investment or having interdisciplinary cooperation with the health, food and pharmaceutical brands.

Additionally, the ingredients and efficacies of products play a critical role in consumers purchasing decisions. At present, sodium hyaluronate and collagen are the most welcoming ingredients. As a result, a wide range of brands had launched products featuring these two ingredients, including some leading brands like Bloomage Biotech and Swisse. Therefore, it might be rather difficult for emerging brands to acquire market share in these two sectors. Brands may seek opportunities in other relatively niche areas, such as astaxanthin and ergothione, which have already been applied into skincare products. For ingredients that are recognised and familiar to skincare consumers, they can also be more swiftly accepted and recognised by oral beauty consumers.

 Disclaimer: All images used in the article are from the Internet.

Jekyl He
ChemLinked Market Research Analyst
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