During the past three years of implementation of the health food filing or sometimes referred to “recording” system, the market has seen nearly five-thousand domestic approvals.

According to statistics from Shuzheng Kangxun, the official system shows a total of 104 imported health foods have been filed, of which 30 were updated on July 3. However, compared with the domestic filing wave, it is still insignificant.

Among them, companies from the United States, Canada and Australia ranked in the top three. However, in terms of the number of products, American products accounted for 65% of import records, showing an absolute lead. This is closely related to the US dietary supplement related management system and market maturity.

Nearly 60% of the products are made into tablets (including chewable tablets), and 25% of capsules (including soft capsules).

Top 10 raw materials and auxiliary materials:

(Source: ShuKangZhengXun)

HPA-China Commentary: The filing or recording process is only open to basic vitamin and mineral supplements (VMS) at this point. China regulators are considering adding some non-VMS ingredients to the approval list in the near future. Applying for a VMS recording takes about 10-12 months and can cost upwards of $20k USD depending on ingredients and agent fees. Once the filing is approved, the product can be sold in traditional brick and mortar stores. So having this approval gives the company an advantage over other foreign brands that do not have the approval and are contained to only sell through Cross Border E-commerce (CBEC) channels.

It should also be noted that the U.S. is still a key destination for Chinese companies to have their products contract manufactured and then imported to China. The main channel for imported health products is still CBEC, so the urgency by many foreign players to gain an approved recorded product is still low as recorded approvals are not necessary to sell on CBEC. (Source: HPA-China)

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