The Korea Herald


Korean dietary supplements makers eye Chinese market

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Feb. 4, 2024 - 16:14

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Researchers at Korea Ginseng Corp. (KGC) Researchers at Korea Ginseng Corp. (KGC)

South Korean dietary supplements manufacturers are accelerating their entries into the growing Chinese market as the number of elderly people continues to increase in the country, according to industry sources on Sunday.

On the back of an aging population, the Chinese dietary supplements market grew 3 percent on-year to reach around 73 trillion won ($54.5 billion) in 2022, according to a report released by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

Among Korean companies, Korea Ginseng Corp., the country's leading ginseng manufacturer, has been enjoying the recent market expansion.

KGC established its office in China in 2009 and founded a research and development center in 2013. Sales of its China-based office remained at 60.8 billion won in 2020, but increased to 75.2 billion won in 2021 and 90.7 billion won in 2022.

“The Chinese market accounts for the largest proportion of the company’s overseas sales. The company will continue to develop and introduce new dietary supplements to expand its market share in China,” an official from KGC said.

Daesang Wellife, a dietary supplements arm of South Korean food giant Daesang Group, is increasing efforts to make a foray into the Chinese market.

Daesang Wellife said the company will sign additional business agreements with Sinopharm International, a subsidiary of China's largest pharmaceutical distributor Sinopharm, to establish a joint venture and build a dietary supplements manufacturing facility in China this year.

In December 2022, the two companies first signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint venture and the factory. In December last year, Sinopharm Group Chairman Liu Jingzhen visited Daesang Group’s research center to discuss plans.

When Daesang Wellife enters the Chinese market, the company will be mainly responsible for the development of dietary supplements and marketing of its products, while Sinopharm will be in charge of distribution in China.

“(Daesang) aims to take the lead in the Chinese dietary supplements market and advance into the global market,” an official from Daesang said.