Asian Health & Fitness Market Growth Continues, With Regional Wellness Brands Riding The Wave

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Asia’s health and fitness industry has shown steady growth in recent years. Sales of fitness and wellness businesses and health-oriented companies have increased year on year as Asian consumers become increasingly attuned to healthy lifestyles. Riding on this trend, which appears to be a mainstay, brands are innovating to continue their appeal to the changing tastes of the Asian market.

According to a 2018 report by Oliver Wyman, the Asia-Pacific region has seen a 30% increase in sales in the health and wellness businesses between 2007 to 2017. Another 2018 report by Deloitte and the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has indicated that the fitness industry in the region has reached its highest value ever of USD$16.8 billion. In addition, given largest seven out of the 20 economies around the world will be located in Asia by 2050 according to PWC’s projections, fitness and wellness businesses are bound to innovate to stay relevant to Asian consumers.

Chinese consumers in particular have showcased a dramatic shift in interest toward health and wellbeing. Given the size of the Chinese population and it’s continually enlarging middle-class, the influence of an increasingly health-and-fitness-oriented market in the country is huge. The 2018 Global Wellness Summit saw a focus on China’s role in the future of the wellness industry: over 104 million Chinese mobile users have at least one fitness app on their phones, sportswear sales saw an 11% growth in 2017, over 15 million are subscribed to a gym membership, and the vegetarian population has grown to 50 million. In short, healthy lifestyles, plant-based diets and fitness is the trend in China and Asia more broadly – and this trend will only increase.

As their economies continue to climb, Asian consumers with greater purchasing power are evermore willing to pay premium prices for high-end quality health and fitness services. This might be able to explain the success and popularity of integrated wellness company Pure amongst the region’s health and fitness community. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the group now boasts almost 20 locations of gyms, yoga studios and their organic food concept noodfood across Shanghai, Singapore, Beijing and even New York. To keep up with the market, Pure have recently decided to launch an all-new tailored nutrition consultation service at One Taikoo Place located in Hong Kong’s Quarry Bay area. Their food brand noodfood will also unveil a line of good-for-you vegan-friendly bubble teas, the trendy drink that consumers in Asia and around the world have become obsessed with.

Speaking to their Head of Nutrition Sam Miller, we were told that Pure’s clients are no longer as focused on weight loss as a fitness goal, but have instead shifted towards more holistic goals for general health, such as increasing strength and energy levels.

Miller also spoke about the increasing popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets as an avenue to health. He recommends that people opting to eat plant-based include meat alternatives in their meals, which are a high protein source for building lean muscle, and supplement with a B12 vitamin. Indeed, plant-based proteins have become a hot choice for Asian consumers – a recent study revealed that Indian and Chinese consumers are more welcoming to lab-grown and vegan-friendly meat alternatives than their American counterparts.

With the Asian-Pacific wellbeing trend at a high, other companies are also launching healthier offerings to keep up. For example, Coffee-chain Starbucks have most recently revamped a their locations in Kwun Tong’s APM and Tsim Sha Tsui’s iSQUARE to offer a Teavana Bar to match Hong Kong’s increasingly healthy palates. Bali-based wellness lifestyle company Fivelements have also launched their urban concept Fivelements Habitat in Hong Kong’s busy Causeway Bay district, which aims to cater to overworked and stressed out city dwellers who are longing for a dose of mindfulness. The innovative urban retreat brand plans to expand to two more locations in Hong Kong and other key Asian cities over the next 18 months.

Lead image courtesy of jcomp at Freepik.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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