Malaysians are particularly concerned about preventing heart problems, hypertension, and the onset of diabetes because their nation has the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in Southeast Asia. 1 This is good news for online retailers who sell dietary supplements and health supplements because these goods meet Malaysians’ fundamental desire for disease prevention rather than disease cure.
Additionally, Malaysia’s eCommerce channels are expanding quickly, which is being tapped into by the industry for health supplements. What are some important historical facts and emerging trends that you should be aware of if you intend to sell your goods in Malaysia?
Market Overview of Malaysia’s Health and Dietary Supplements
Currently, sales of vitamins and nutritional supplements in Malaysia have increased from MYR 2.07 billion in 2014 to MYR 3.1 billion (USD 730 million) in 2019. (USD 488 million). 2
It might surprise you to learn that Malaysia doesn’t have a dominant player in such a developing market. However, this implies that you have a chance to enter the market. However, it’s useful to know the top 5 brands in Malaysia’s market for vitamins and nutritional supplements, according to Euromonitor’s findings:
- Nutrilite by Amway
- Brand by Suntory
- Kinetica Crisp Pro by Kino Biotech
Amway is the leading brand, however, its market share in 2019 is only 12.8%. 3 You can see from this that the product lines and brand shares are fairly diverse, each of which caters to a particular set of demands.
This is since Malaysia, like Singapore, has a wide population of cultures, with 68.6% of its residents belonging to the ethnic Bumiputera (which includes Malays), 23.4% of Chinese, 7% of Indians, and 1% of other ethnicities, according to data from 2016.
In addition, as of 2018, 76% of Malaysia’s population lived in cities, making it one of Southeast Asia’s most urbanized nations, just behind Brunei (78%) and Singapore (78%). (100 percent). With so many people residing in urbanized regions, there are benefits such as a high internet penetration rate (83%) and other modern comforts including built infrastructures that support the expansion of eCommerce. The urbanite’s living situation does, however, have some disadvantages, such as a hectic and stressful existence.
This background influences how Malaysian consumers make their purchasing decisions for health supplements, which can assist you in determining which of your goods can best suit their needs and way of life.
Going Above and Beyond: Seeking Supplements and Other Products Free of Sugar to Prevent Health Issues
Malaysians’ increased interest in health and dietary supplements is a result of their view that prevention is preferable to cure as well as the country’s growing health consciousness.
The rise in sales of vitamins that advertise being sugar-free is proof of this. While chewing on goods like gummy vitamins may be enjoyable, some of these vitamins have added sweets that could defeat the purpose of maintaining health and raise the risk of diabetes. Younger customers are lured to these sugar-free vitamins as a result of the increased knowledge of the need to reduce sugar intake in order to improve their health and delay the onset of diabetes.
Supplements for weight loss and slimming teas are two more product categories that are becoming more popular. The preference for these goods is far from superficial since Malaysian consumers also want to avoid obesity and the heart problems that come with it. 8 Popular items like Lennox Garcinia Cambogia, which contains the Garcinia cambogia fruit, frequently have a herbal composition, which affects how Malaysian consumers view the supplement’s efficacy.
Herbal Product Purchases are Driven by Cultural Beliefs
The market share for herbal and conventional medicines in Malaysia’s health supplement sector is about one-third. The varied cultural origins of Malaysian customers are a major factor in this propensity for herbal products. The Chinese have some awareness of the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine while growing up, whereas ethnic Malays are frequently exposed to the profusion of locally grown herbs like kacip fatimah and tongkat ali.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Malaysia has a market for herbal health products.
Malay Women Consume Herbs for Women-Specific Issues
Herbal remedies are used by married Malay women in Malaysia to treat both general health problems and problems unique to their biological gender. These include issues with postpartum care, menstrual irregularities, fertility, and other things. Malay women also prefer to use herbs because they believe that naturally sourced ingredients are safer for consumption.
Within this group of consumers, 22.4 percent of them obtain their herbal products through online means. For this group of consumers, the reasons for getting herbal products are driven by their accessibility and convenience.
Women in Malaysia also use herbal items generally outside of this consumer category, with goods like Herbs of Gold by Vita Life Sciences Ltd presenting Pueraria Mirifica Plus Wild Yam. This product is successful in Malaysia’s health supplement industry and contains active substances to support feminine health.
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Proliferation Allows Oriental Herbal Brands to Shine
The general public in China is somewhat familiar with the notion that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an effective treatment option. In Malaysia, the ethnic Chinese have largely favorable opinions regarding TCM, with 94% of Chinese respondents to a study by the University Malaysia Sarawak stating that they have previously sought out TCM.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Brand’s by Suntory, a product line known for utilizing TCM ingredients, is the third largest market share holder in Malaysia’s vitamins and dietary supplements industry with 10.5%, only behind Amway (12.8%) and Usana (11.1 percent). Yomeishu and Eu Yan Sang are a couple of other well-known companies that can serve this market.
There is a chance for multinational companies that offer supplements infused with herbs to enter the market and serve these customers. The results from Nielsen, which show that 84% of global brands are favored for vitamins or supplements in 2017, put the cherry on top of this. 15 It would be simple to break into Malaysia’s health supplement business, and you could top it off by offering hassle-free cross-border shipping to Malaysian customers.