The title of this post is based on an earlier post on the big overlap of food and medicine in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Foods and beverages with cosmetic properties have become so popular in China, that a phrase zhuang shi tong yuan ‘cosmetics food same source’ has been coined on the existing concept of yao shi tong yuan ‘medicine food same source’. It is becoming a lucrative market. It reached RMB 23.8 billion in 2022, and is expected to exceed RMB 25.57 billion in 2025, with a compound growth rate of 3.8%.
Many regular foods are regarded as good for your skin, hear, nails, etc., in China. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be beauty food due to their rich vitamin content. As a result, the online market for dried fruit preserves has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Among the most popular subcategories, dried mango stands out. Another popular product is canned yellow peach, which ranked first on Tmall in 2022. However, that was party due to the rumour that canned yellow peach could prevent COVID-19 infection.
This is by itself not a typically Chinese trend, but as soon as it landed in China, TCM became an influential factor. Red dates or goji berries nourish qi and blood, moisturise and the complexion. Mung beans and white fungus detoxify the intestines and have an anti-aging effect. Black sesame seeds keep your hair black. That wouldn’t work for me, but it would for most Chinese. These thousands of years old health preservation concepts are now being implemented by Chinese consumers in their daily diets. Many companies have started cashing in to this, adding TCM ingredients to foods and drinks. This post introduces a new products in this category recently launched in China that can be regarded a trend-setting product.
Yoghurt for your skin
Collagen is good for your skin; that is old news. However, instead of spending a lot of money on an expensive cream and investing considerable to put it on your face each and every morning, you can now start the day with a helping of collagen yoghurt YO Collagen Yogurt by Sanyuan (Beijing). Each helping contains 1250 mg of small-particle collagen imported from Germany. The two flavours, peach-lychee-jasmine and grape-pomegranate-rose, contain chewable pulp. The protein content reaches 4.5g per bag, which is 65% higher than the national yogurt standard. Erythritol is used as sweetener instead of sugar. You take your collagen with all the other nutrients of yoghurt and enjoy the tart fruity flavour at the same time. And you only need on hand, with the other free to do whatever you want to do.
In August 2021, Bright Dairy and Bloomage Biotech launched a range of jointly developed beauty drinks enriched with different cosmetic ingredients: collagen, hyaluronic acid, and cranberry powder. Hyaluronic acid became a genuine vogue in that year.
21Beauty has launched a high-fibre #drink that is said to improve one’s complexion in October 2021. The company was founded in April of that year as a specialist producer of fruit and vegetable fibre foods.
Unilever the first international investor
Unilever became a shareholder of Shandong Hebao Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a producers of cosmetics, including a collagen cosmetic drink.
I will keep you informed on this page, by adding new cosmetic foods launched on in China.
Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975 and regularly travels to the remotest corners of that vast nation. He is a co-author of a major book introducing the cultural drivers behind China’s economic success