China’s “518 Nutrition Day” becomes a marketing treasure trove

Today marks China’s first annual “518 Nutrition Day”, held just two days short of the upcoming “520” holiday

Sponsored by Xinhua News Agency and guided by the national Chinese Nutrition Committee, this event was created in response to the “Healthy China 2030” initiative, a national project designed to promote health literacy as well as foster a mass-market appeal for a healthy lifestyle. 

There is no doubt that maintaining good health is of the utmost importance to Chinese citizens of all socioeconomic backgrounds, which has likely doubled in light of the pandemic.

Despite this pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, however, a street interview recently conducted by Xinhua showed that the vast majority of Chinese citizens were “unaware of the essential nutrients that constitute a well-balanced diet”. In fact, the “Gen Z Consumption Trend Report (2022)” released by JD Health (a subsidary under one of China’s e-commerce giants has nutritionists expressing concern for its young generation’s overconsumption of anxiety-ridden health care trends.

Image: Tang Chen Bei Jian/Weibo

The creation of this event has thus become a prime opportunity to deliver the government’s message on the importance of “food diversification” and a “scientific intake of seven nutrients”.

Nutrition specialists were seen carry out interactive activities with the public on Weibo, and share specific dietary recommendations for key age groups ranging from office workers who live a fast-paced lifestyle to the elderly, propelling the hashtag “518 China Nutrition Day” to draw in over 42 million views on the largest microblogging site. Other live broadcasts covered hot topics such as “How To Personalisze Nutrition” and even debunked popular nutrition myths.

By endorsing the theme of “Scientific Nutrition for a Healthy China”, this initiative has certainly drawn the attention of the old and young alike, who have shown their support by the dozens online. Part of their success in outreach can be attributed to the familiar faces featured on the ads, from beloved skiing world champion Eileen Gu to other professional athletes from the Chinese national cycling, rugby and volleyball teams.

With a message that rings true to Chinese people from all walks of life, companies in the food and beverage industry as well as the sports industry currently have a unique opportunity to participate in the future of this newfound holiday’s festivities. “518 China Nutrition Day” is sure to pave the way for a healthier population for years to come.


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