The construction of health food standard system is urgent

    In the Post-Pandemic era, as people pay attention to the quality of life and health, paying for health has become a consumption habit. Health consumption, represented by health food consumption, is growing day by day and has gradually become an important part of the high-quality development of the health industry.

    Health food is a special type of food. At present, there is no widely accepted unified definition in the world. The main terms for this type of food in the United States and European countries include "health food" and "dietary supplements". "National Standard Health Food for Food Safety" of our country defines health food as food that claims to have specific health functions or for the purpose of supplementing vitamins and minerals, that is, food that is suitable for specific people to eat, has the function of regulating the body, does not aim to treat diseases, and does not cause any acute, subacute or chronic harm to the human body. Due to the different cultural background of the East and the West, the understanding of health food in different countries is different, but it is undeniable that, looking at the world, health food has become a hot spot in the market.

    From the perspective of the characteristics of health food itself, this kind of food has specific functions, such as specific health function or supplement vitamins, minerals, etc. According to the Food Safety Law and its implementation regulations, drug administration law and other relevant laws, health function claims to be the only basis for distinguishing common food, health food and drugs using the same raw materials. In terms of consumer groups, although more and more young people began to consume health food, but the elderly is still the dominant consumer group of health food. From the perspective of health food consumption, e-commerce channel is the fastest growing channel of health food sales. Related enterprises have achieved exponential growth in sales through digital transformation and upgrading and online brand promotion, and the compound annual growth rate of health food has exceeded 10% for many years. The penetration rate of health food consumption is fast, and it is easy to quickly trigger consumption motivation.

     More and more consumers are willing to pay for health food with various functions, such as protein, dietary nutrition supplement, gastrointestinal health, and motor function. There are many types of health food, a wide industrial chain layout, and the market size continues to grow rapidly. Tian-yan survey data show that in the past five years, China's health food related enterprises have shown a steady development trend, with an average annual growth rate of about 30%.

    There are also some problems in the development of health food. For example, consumer awareness and trust are generally insufficient. Many consumers are not clear about the positioning of health food, coupled with the exaggerated propaganda of some groups, leading them to believe that health food has the effect of treating diseases, this phenomenon is particularly prominent in the elderly. The lack of top-level design of China's health food standard system leads to the absence of some important standards and insufficient guidance of regulatory policies. In addition, the long review and approval time of health food, repeated research and development and repeated application of products with similar formula and the same function, enterprise shelves can not be updated in time, which restricts the development and international competitiveness of enterprises.

    In order to further play the positive role of health food in promoting the development of health industry, we should guide the orderly development of health food and strengthen the systematic construction of relevant standards and regulations. Encourage product innovation, promote the classification of health food registration, review, approval and other links to implement policies, improve the efficiency of review and approval, cultivate and strengthen business entities. We will strengthen unified online and offline supervision and scientific management of similar unregistered overseas products, strengthen the application of intelligent management methods, and improve the efficiency of supervision. We should standardize the propaganda caliber, increase the popularization of publicity, clarify the ways for consumers to protect their rights, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.