China is a major food importer. Although the majority of Imported Food To China are meat, dairy, and seafood, there are also signs of broad consumer interest in imported processed foods and alcoholic beverages, among other specialty items. Indeed, in 2019, there were 2,283 kinds of imported foods from 176 countries and regions registered in China’s market access management system.
Imported food is commonplace in Chinese homes. As early as 2015, more than 96% of Chinese households in large urban areas reported buying imported foods or drinks.
So, what’s next for China Imported Food Market?
We sat down with AgencyChina’s Managing Director, Jay Xie, who relayed what he and AgencyChina’s e-commerce team had found as they operated e-commerce operations for a number of international brands.
Below is an edited transcript. If you like what you hear, you can sign up to arrange a free expert call with Jay, now available till February 31. A unique chance to get some great first-hand China knowledge!
Editor: We’ve just had a massive Singles Day. What are some of the imported food trends you observed?
Jay Xie: We saw a confirmation of a few different trends, such as increased in plant-based, organic and functional foods and beverages. Importantly, we saw consumers continue to be adventurous, ordering more products from niche brands from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. I think this highlights how important cross-border marketplaces are in connecting varied consumer demand with distinctive brands from all over the world.
Editor: What categories of imported food and beverages are you most excited about?
Jay Xie: As an avid fitness enthusiast, I’ve personally witnessed the changes in how China’s consumers approach nutrition. I think there are still many untapped opportunities in food and beverages that support weight loss, muscle gain and sports performance. However, it’s important for incoming brands to note that it might not just be as simple as selling your existing products to Chinese consumers – you will have to localize the product and packaging.
Having talked about fitness, I also really like the prospects for comfort food. China is a high-pace, high-stress society and I do think that creates pressures which result in snacking occasions. For that reason, I think biscuits and chocolate will continue to outperform.
Editor: One thing we haven’t talked about is early-life nutrition, which is a real strength of AgencyChina. What trends do you see in food for infants, toddlers and children?
Jay Xie: We’re lucky that we operate the online store of one of the top five sellers of infant formula on Tmall. Imported brands continue to have key strengths online relative to domestic competitors across infant formula, baby food and toddler snacks. The three areas where I hope we see more innovation from imported brands to keep their lead is: low-calorie snacks for children, a greater range of fortified food, and incorporation of superfoods.
Don’t forget, you can book a free consult with Jay until February 31st, Book your time now to talk with him and get your China adventure started!