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GNC to widen China reach

General Nutrition Centers (GNC), a nutritional products retailer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, says it is seizing an opportunity in China where health conscious consumers are seeking to live more healthily.

Driven away by an apparently endless stream of food safety scandals, consumers are turning to imported nutritional products, the company says.

GNC China, a collaboration between GNC and Chinese conglomerate Bright Food Group through its wholly-owned subsidiary Shanghai Yantang Group, has now a strong foothold in Hong Kong having launched in 2003. Last August, it was launched in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen and is now ready to expand into other mainland cities.

GNC expects China’s sales of dietary supplements, drug additives and vitamins to grow to 600 billion yuan (US$95.2 billion) by 2015.

GNC offers more than 1000 products including diet, sports nutrition, male and female health, sleeping aids, natural herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals sold in more than 47 countries worldwide.

Other foreign players cashing in on China’s booming demand for imported nutritional products are Michigan-based Amway and New York-based NBTY.

Another segment which is gaining a lot of demand from Chinese consumers is the children’s supplements such as baby formula and milk powder. Producers in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America are now supplying products in that category.


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