December 19, 2019

Imported food products and Chineses consumers

China has a huge market potential within the food category. The middle class has developed an interest in foreign food products such as chocolate, oatmeal and honey. This interest and attention have been initiated by the various food scandals over the years in China e.g. the milk power scandale in 2008.

The imported food e-com industry has developed rapidlyin China. In 2017, the proportion of imported food rose to 6.8%.

Snacks are the most popular category. There are so many brands and different types of imported food products in the Chinese market. 

In 2017, China imported 1,429 million food items, 53,481 million tons, and 58,28 billion US dollars of food from 187 countries (regions), a year-on-year increase of 7.9%, 36.5%, and 25.0%. Among them, the top three traded imports of imported food products are from the European Union, the United States, and New Zealand.

Those who purchase imported food products through e-commerce platforms account for 74.2% of all consumers, and 53.5% of consumers say that quality is the main factor they consider when purchasing imported food. The e-commerce platforms will become the main channel for buying imported food.

As a leading cross-border e-commerce platform in China, relies on Alibaba’s strong customer base and industrial chain and has a significant advantage in the imported food industry.

It is obvious to see that Chinese consumer care more about imported quality food products. More and more comsumersare willing to pay an extra price for high-quality imported food products than local produced food products in China.

Data by iResearch China shows that imported snacks were the most popular segment among Chinese consumers. This hardly comes as a surprise as overtime is increasingly common and most city dwellers face lengthy commutes, making snacks an attractive “on-the-go” product choice.

Dairy is also a major import category for Chinese consumers as thirst for milk, yogurts and cheese has taken a big jump in recent years. Figures from the China Customs show that in 2018, the import volume of dairy products reached 2,74 million tons, up by 7.8% year-on-year.

There is a small segment of Chinese consumers that only choose niche products. Those companies may find unique ways to target and attract these consumers.