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Nielsen Korea Launches Online/Offline Integrated Index for Health Functional Food


Red ginseng is the biggest-selling product across both online and offline channels
Lactobacillus products are sold more online, whereas bulk and expensive, high-end  products are sold at offline stores

Seoul, Korea – Aug. 2, 2018 – Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, announced its launch of an online/offline integrated index(1) that allows users to measure the sales performance of health functional food. According to Nielsen Korea’s Health Functional Food Index, the Korean functional food market as of Q1 2018 stood at KRW 185 billion on e-commerce(2) and KRW 101.3 billion in offline retail channels(3), revealing that consumers preferred to purchase health functional food through online channels.

More specifically, the online functional health food market was 1.6 times the offline market as of Q1 of 2018. Analysis on popularly sold product types indicated that Korean Red Ginseng was the most popular product sold across both channels. In  particular, Red Ginseng accounted for more than 80% of all sales through offline stores. Apart from Red Ginseng, however, the portfolio of products sold online and offline differed significantly. In the online market, Korean Red Ginseng (35.8%) was followed by lactobacillus products (11.3%), vitamins (7.4%) lutein products (3.5%) and milk thistle products (2.7%). In the offline market, Korean Red Ginseng dominated sales (81.5%) to a greater degree than the online market, followed by vitamins (5.4%), lactobacillus (3.5%), omega-3 (1.9%) and lutein (0.7%).

A deeper look into offline transactions showed that the majority of product lines sales have a 6:4 ratio of hypermarkets versus chain supermarkets including department stores. In particular, vitamins, lactobacillus, and omega-3 products were mostly bought at hypermarket stores. Additionally, an analysis of top 10 most popularly sold red ginseng products revealed that consumers were most inclined to buy bulk or expensive, high-end products at offline stores. However, lactobacillus products and milk thistle products were sold online rather than through offline channels.

Nielsen Korea Vice President Choi Kyung-hee stated, “With our aging society and increasing awareness of health and well-being, health functional food is evolving and it’s becoming rich in variety and form. With this ongoing trend, health functional food market is expected to continue its upward trajectory both in size and quality. That said establishing channel and sales strategies based on accurate sales performance data and insights will be critical for companies moving forward.”

(1)Nielsen Korea Health Functional Food Index includes ginseng, lactobacillus products, vitamins, omega-3, milk thistle products, lutein products, etc. (products with more than one component, products for weight control, calcium products, zinc products).

(2)Online channel includes open markets, social commerce, total online malls, home-shopping online malls, but excludes brand online malls, online malls which sell certain categories.

(3)Offline channel includes hypermarkets, chain supermarkets, department stores, but excludes pharmacies, H&B stores.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

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