Opportunities and challenges in China health food market under the new registration and filing system

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China health food market is undoubtedly seductive to both domestic and overseas health food enterprises. According to the CFDA’s statistical data, by the end of 2016, about 16000 health foods have been registered in China, which involved with more than 2500 production enterprises, with an output value of about 400 billion Yuan.


According to Roland Berger survey in 2016, China health food market gets large and grows faster with an annual growth rate of 13% from 2005 to 2015, which ranks as first in the world, but is still much lower than US, including the proportion of sticky users and sum of consumption per capita, etc. That means China still has a huge rising space in health food market.


From consumers’ perspective, senior citizen is expected to reach 248 million in 2020, which is main health food consumption population. Secondly, with the improvement of living standards and aggravation of environmental pollution, Chinese gradually increase the health consciousness for themselves which is also the driving factor of the health food consumption.


From national level, government issued several positive policies, which will be beneficial to the healthy development of health food industry, like “Plan of ‘Health China 2030’ ”, “Notice about printing and distributing the ‘13th Five-Year’ healthy aging planning”, and “Notice about printing and distributing the national nutrition plan (2017 - 2030)”. Which pointed out that government are making efforts to develop health food, nutritional fortified food, duel-protein food and other new nutritional & health food. Under the positive regulation structure, China food nutrition health industry will surely receive more attentions and grow more vigorous.


Accompanies with the promising future, there are also problems exist in China heath food market like lots of health food imported without authorization, exaggerated functional claims, illegally advertisement, etc. In an interview on CFDA’s director Wang Hong in August of 2017, he said that, the Department Of Special Food Registration will promote health food filing system and further promote research on health food claims and evaluation methods.


 In order to regulate and promote health food industry, CFDA issued a series of regulations like “Administrative Measures for Registration and Filing Management of Health Food”, “Opinions about further strengthening the administration work on health food (exposure draft)”. Documents related to health food filing and opened the filing management system. Meanwhile, in order to strengthen the administration on health food, CFDA set up the Department Of Special Food Registration and launched the new registration management system. So far, a single registration system is replaced by registration and filing dual system, which will simplify the application process as well as shorten the duration.


After registration and filing dual system has been comprehensively established, 771 pieces of review opinions were successively issued including new product registration, alteration registration, technology transfer, etc. FoodMate kindly remind that nutrient supplements (which need to be filed) enterprises kick off the filing process as soon as possible. Whereas, for health food with function claims, there are still uncertainties due to function directory has not been released yet, relevant enterprises are suggested to closely follow up the latest changes, prepare registration dossiers actively.