He-Economy Takes Off

The consumer needs of the he-economy are just starting to emerge – making this an incredibly exciting China market to watch. The pressure for fashionable, social presentation will continue, meaning that gaming and luxury brands (especially in beauty, sports and footwear) are expected to profit.

Eco-Friendly Awareness Reaches New Heights

When buying things for their home – furniture or electric appliances – Chinese consumers are now thinking more about the eco-friendly ones free from harmful chemicals or emissions which can be harmful to one’s health.

What’s Behind the Rise of Chinese Domestic Brands?

The rise of Chinese domestic brands is the talk of the town.

Chinese domestic brands leveraged “home court advantage” to identify consumer needs and create demand across social media and e-commerce. This has resulted in increased market share across a variety of product categories.

It’s our observation that Chinese domestic brands’ success is poorly understood. It’s often been simplified to patriotic consumer preference. We created a workshop exercise, called the “Domestic Brand Rorsarch Test” to break the idea local brand success can be simplified to one cause. Here’s an extract from the exercise (which you can download here) to show you the multitude of factors at play.

Indeed, if you read previous introductions to local brands like Saturnbird and BUFFX, you’ll know that domestic brand success is down to great choices on where to play and how to win.

If you want unfiltered, nuanced advice about what’s required to compete in China, get in touch with our experts.

Silver Consumption Patterns

The biggest consumption trend for seniors is in the industry of smart digital products. Last year, the number of people between 45 to 55 who purchased smart equipment had doubled, and that for people above 56 had also grown by 250%. Other than catching up with the society’s technology trend, they are buying other ingeniously designed items for emergencies, such as wireless emergency buttons, and portable oxygen machines.

China’s Extraordinary Pet Industry

China’s pet industry is booming. The number of dogs and cats kept by urban residents reached 100.84 million in 2020, according to the 2020 Chinese Pet Industry White Paper jointly published by Chinese social networks for pet owners Goumin and Pet Fair Asia.

Prospects for Oat Milk in China

Have you heard of Oatly? If so, chances are you know a little about the market for milk alternatives. But what are the prospects for milk alternatives in China?

Read on to find out what China’s market for milk alternatives looks like today, with a focus on oat milk.

Growth Tailwinds for Oat Milk In China

Before getting into some of the tailwinds, it’s worth noting that Chinese cuisine already has a number of alternative milks, like soy milk, almond milk and peanut milk. Indeed, these kinds of milk are alreadt enjoyed at breakfast tables across China. We think this means the barriers for consumers to accept alternative milks are lower in China than other countries. Further, when you consider some 90% of Chinese adults may have some level of lactose intolerance, you get a sense of alternative milks’ potential in China.

So, what does the size of China’s alternative milk market look like?

In 2020, China’s alternative milk market was worth RMB55 billion (USD$8.5 billion). This includes a wide-range of beverages, principally soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, walnut milk, peanut milk and coconut milk. You could say 2020 was a watershed moment for plant-based milks in China. Tmall’s Plant-based Protein Beverage Innovation Trend Report showed an 800% increase in plant-based protein beverages sold through the platform.

We expect this market to grow between CAGR 2% and 4% to 2025. Outside of lactose intolerance, the other factors driving growth in alternative milks are:

  • Perceived nutritional benefits
  • Low fat and low cholesterol properties
  • Purchase convenience, availability and affordability
Are you looking to find out whether your food or snack brand has a taste profile that works for Chinese consumers? Contact us to see how research solutions like focus groups and product trials might be able to help!

Early Movers for Oat Milk In China

Oatly has had much success in China. Indeed, some commentators have gone as far as to say that Oatly’s future fortunes are tied closely to success in China. However, Oatly isn’t running this race alone. In May this year, it was observed that there are over 50 oat milk brands on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall, an increase of 152% year on year. Of these, the brands who have raised VC funding and have a compelling go-to-market proposition include:

  • Oakidoki
  • Yili
  • Oatoat
  • Cereal Planet
The oat milk market in China: From cafés to nation-wide e-commerce
An Advertisiement for Yili’s Oat Milk Beverage

Ongoing Themes for Oat Milk In China

Whether optimizing their own nutrition, pursuing new beverage trends or experimenting with healthier lifestyles, Chinese consumers will likely have plenty of alternative milks to choose from.

What’s particularly interesting about alternative milks in China is that it marks the intersection of a number of themes in China’s food and beverage market:  weight concerns, changing lifestyles and new preferences.

We’ve seen similar themes in functional dairy and sports nutrition. If you’ve got an interesting food or beverage proposition, talk to us.