Health Supplements

Driven by fast aging population, rising disposible income, and increasing awareness of health protection (prevention rather than treatment)


According to Vietnam’s Administration of Food Safety (under Ministry of Health), the government body in charge of product registration of health supplement or dietary supplements or functional food products (more recently also known as “neutraceuticals”), there are currently about 30,000 products licensed to be marketable, more than 70% of which are produced domestically. The portion of adult population (aged 18 and above) consuming health supplements of all kinds is about 58%. Of particular note, the people’s awareness of food supplements for health care has been greatly enhanced during and after Covid-19.

Total value of Vietnam’s health supplements is estimated at US$738.5 mn (2022) and is growing at around 13% per annum. The herbal/traditional product category is heavily dominating the market with 79% market share while the non-herbal/traditional product category is taking up the rest of 21% market share. Despite that, the herbal/traditional product segment is still expanding at a higher pace than the non-herbal/traditional, given the local people’s consistent preferences for the former.

The market is rather competitive with top 5 players accounting for less than one third of total market share. 7 out of top 10 players have a market share of less than 5% of total market share.  Top 5 players include Herbal Life, Traphaco, Amway, Nuskin, and DHG (Traphaco and DHG are locally-owned manufacturers; however, they are listed companies and the foreign ownership has kept increasing, being 46.2% and 54.1% respectively). This suggests there are in fact no leading players that are truly “local”.

Key Characteristics and Trends

  • Consumers, especially the elderly, are consuming more and more health supplements. People are more aware of preventing illnesses with health supplements rather than treating with drugs.
  • Consumers prefer products that contain mixture of ingredients rather than one single ingredient. Herbal/traditional and probiotic ingredients are most favored among various kinds of ingredients.
  • Top demand in terms of product functions are: general health (eg. assorted vitamins and minerals), beauty (eg. skin heath, anti-aging), mental health/ neuroleptics (eg brain enhancement, memory boost, sleep bills). Next major products are joint health, eye health and digestive health.

Distribution Models

Brick-and-mortar (physical-store-based) distribution channel account for 70% of total sales of health supplements. This includes: i) pharmacies; ii) drugstores; iii) beauty and health specialist retailers. More pharmacies are becoming drugstores when they try to diversify their product offerings. Beauty and health specialist retailers, mostly foreign-owned chains (Guardian, Medicare, Watson,), are becoming a trend with aggressive expansion.

Electronic retailing accounts for the remaining 30% market share, in the following formats: e-commerce platforms  (Tki, Lazada, Shoppee, etc.) , beauty specialist website (Watson, Hasaki, Chiaki, Sieuthilamdep), Personal social media channels of individual merchants on social media platforms: Zalo, Facebook. TikTok, Youtube.

Market Dynamics or Drivers

  • A gradually aging population: Vietnam is gradually transforming from a golden to an aging population, with the ratio of people aged 65 and above in 2040 being 20%.
  • The increasing disposable income: More affluent people translate to more demand for health supplement products
  • Increasing awareness of health enhancement/ illness prevention with the effects of internet and social media.

Key Challenges

  • Fierce competition with upcoming new key players: There are so many players in the marketplace, including a large number of importers. 7 out of the top 10 players have a market share of less than 5%. Local giant companies or conglomerates such as Vinamillk or Vingroup are planning to enter the market in the near term.
  • Major, compliant players have to compete with much smaller players with sub-standard, counterfeit, and illegal products that are offered at much cheaper prices.

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