Amid Pollution Problems, China's Health Food Industry Blossoms

March 27, 2015 9:40 PM

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Amid Pollution Problems, China's Health Food Industry Blossoms

At first glance, the World Health Store seems like any other health nut’s paradise: Shelves are cramped neck-high with supplement bars, whey protein for bodybuilders, Nature’s Bounty Evening Primrose Oil and Navitas Naturals Chia Powder. But this is Beijing, and the store that used to serve almost entirely a health-conscious foreign clientele now has so many Chinese customers that they’re nearly outnumbering foreigners. “Questions around the safety of water, food and air in China have made people much more health-conscious,” says Howard He, a store manager.

That growing fear of China’s dangerously dirty environment has given birth to one of the fastest-growing segments of China’s consumer marketplace: foods with perceived health benefits. Sales of organic foods in 2014, for example, grew at a breakneck pace of 35 percent, according to analysts at Eurom...

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