May 7, 2011 Beijing – The association’s executive director Jeff Crowther was invited to attend the “11th China International Health Industry Expo” shown above second from the right. This is Crowther’s fourth visit to the expo as a ribbon cutting VIP since 2007. Below are some pictures of the expo and observations by Crowther.

Show Overview

This show continues to grow year after year. However, it is still very much a domestic show. There are very few foreign dietary supplement companies or foreign companies in general present. The only ones visible were Natrol Factors and Robinson Pharma, which both had small booths. World Health Store was representing Jarrow Formulas, All American EFX, Pacific Health Labs, Forward Foods and Chef Jays. Also Manuka Honey from New Zealand had a booth. The remainder of the show was mostly made up of domestic products mainly food, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Oils…..lots and lots of cooking oils and imported olive oil. In fact, the expo was divided into five halls. Hall number one was devoted to oil, so one fifth of the show was oil. Not surprisingly the organizer gave me two jugs of oil as a gift for attending the opening ceremony.

Oil has always been a staple in Chinese cooking, so no wonder the market loves to experiment with all types of oils in their cooking. Over the last six years extra virgin olive oil has become very popular as a gift due to its higher costs. However, few Chinese consumers know how to consume olive oil since salads and marinades aren’t on the menus at most Chinese homes.

The retail price for olive oil has dropped dramatically in China since I first saw it on the shelves over six years ago making it increasing more accessible to consumers. In the pictures to the left: top/left is an importer of a variety of olive oils and bottom/left is a local company producing canola oil. Some of the more interesting oils presenting were palm, walnut, tomato and tea or camellia oil.

Products for skin with anti-aging / whitening properties are always hot in asia and this show didn’t disappoint. There were many booths showcasing liquid products such as collagen, CoQ-10 and berry mixtures as well as bird’s nest a traditional Chinese medicine product that is supposed to nourish the blood, thus used in many skincare supplements. Below are a few examples:

One of the most odd or could be innovative products I saw was an at home spirulina harvesting machine. That’s right, produce your very own green super food at home. Besides the size of it, I’d be very concerned it would start producing unwanted bacteria or other undesirables. See below pic:

Overall, it was an interesting show and I was happy to see companies improving greatly in the areas of marketing, merchandising and packaging. I’ll be attending two more shows this year one in Shanghai and another in Beijing in September. I’ll be sure to cover those shows as well. For those of you that can’t make it out to these shows, I hope I gave you a useful however brief glimpse into this show’s feel.  Until next time.

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