Why Australian health supplements are the gift of choice for this migrant community.
- Australian vitamins and health supplements are popular gift items for many immigrant communities.
- Vitamin D, multivitamins and vitamin C are the most commonly consumed supplements in Australia.
- Health experts urge people to use only the supplements they need.
Every year when she visits her home country, there are a few things her family always asks her to pack.
Lauren Yu and her children. Source: Supply
Her mother’s favorites are bottles of Australian wild honey and jars of instant coffee.
Small products such as pawpaw ointment or propolis spray, mainly manufactured in Australia, are welcomed by her friends and relatives.
I also buy a lot of vitamins and health supplements when they are on sale. My friends like Australian products, and Swiss products are not sold in Korea yet, so I always bring them to Korea.
As such, they have become a popular gift-giving option in many immigrant communities.
Giving the gift of health
Korean-Australian pharmacist Angela Song runs two pharmacies in the Sydney suburbs of Campsie and Eastwood.
Korean-Australian pharmacist Angela Song
She says that more and more people are focusing on the health of their loved ones when it comes to gifts.
Even if you have all the wealth, it means nothing without health. Many people buy nutritional supplements when they go to Korea for the gift of good health.
Pharmacist Angela Song
“Generally, these products are called ‘health food’ in Korea, and many countries regulate them based on food quality,” he says.
In contrast, Australia uses the name ‘complementary medicine’ and the same government agency that regulates medical devices and pharmaceuticals regulates and monitors these products with pharmaceutical standards.
Ian Son of the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
“These products are labeled with the ‘Made in Australia’ logo, which seems like a badge of honour,” she says.
Domestic market strong
Although the market has more than doubled in the last 10 years, the growth rate has slowed considerably in the last three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ian Sun from the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). Source: Supply
Mr Sun, from Kotra, says he expects the industry to return to pre-pandemic levels after the border reopens this year.
“They are Swiss, Black Morris and PharmaCare. You may not be familiar with the name PharmaCare, but you may know their brands, Nature’s Way and BioGlan,” he says.
Before the pandemic, Blackmores could actually be considered the top company, but now the top three companies are dividing the market into three segments.
Ian Sun from the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
Black Morris first entered the Korean market in 2012 and Pharmacare followed suit last year. As of August, Pharmacare sells its products in more than 600 pharmacies across Korea.
Trends and demands
Multivitamins and vitamin C produced the top three supplements, followed by fish oil, iron, B vitamins, calcium, probiotics and vitamin E.
Dr Young Kim, a GP in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield
Dr Young Kim, a GP in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield, says vitamin D is the most common supplement she recommends to her patients.
She says, “Although it’s necessary to heal wounds when we’re injured and to strengthen bones, ligaments and teeth, it’s not made by the body, so vitamin C can only be obtained from food or health supplements. It happens,” she says.
Health experts urge people to take only the vitamins and supplements they need. Source: AAP
Finding a balance
She urges people to be careful.
No matter how good vitamins and supplements are, if your body doesn’t need them, they’re not good products for you.
Korean-Australian pharmacist Angela Song
Korean-Australian GP Dr Kim, who has practiced for more than 20 years, stresses that vitamins and nutritional supplements are not a substitute for daily food.
Vitamins are well present in food, so it is important to use them only with a good balance.
Dr Young Kim, GP in Sydney
Disclaimer: This information is general and not specific advice. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional for accurate information about your situation.