Did you know that the breakfast market in China today is worth over 2 trillion Chinese yuan? Even with the slight market dip in 2020 caused by Covid-19, the breakfast market in China regained its value quickly. It is indeed predicted to have a compound growth rate of 8% from 2020 to 2025. By 2025, China’s breakfast market is projected to reach two and a half trillion RMB.
In this blog post, we will take a look at the market insights and trends in the breakfast market in china and see the possibilities for foreign brands in this market sector.
Traditional Chinese breakfast habits are changing
China, home to a massive population and various regions, is frequently going through changes. Just like the breakfast habits of Chinese people. These habits were once a stalwart tradition. However, now they differ based on individual preferences, regional differences, and changing lifestyles.
The reason why the Chinese breakfast landscape has shifted can be explained by:
- The western influence on the food industry
- Families getting smaller
- The need for convenience in fast pace life
- Rising incomes
One thing is for sure. While the demand for the breakfast market is on the rise, the current breakfast market in China does not meet the needs of consumers. Chinese consumers today want quick & convenient options or western style different choices.
Street food stalls replaced by chains in first-tier cities
Especially in first-tier cities up until recently, there used to be traditional street-food breakfast places. But with the government regulations, those had to turn into standard chains and started to offer their breakfast options. Western chain restaurants also joined in the trend. They added or tailored their breakfast menus according to their Chinese consumer’s likes.
Now almost every convenience store like Family mart or C-store or even luxury supermarkets like Ole has large sections dedicated to breakfast. Chinese people once only ate rice or steamed buns, but now they are discovering cereals, yogurts, protein bars, breakfast bowls, and sandwiches.
Western breakfast foods are becoming more popular in China
Chinese traditional breakfast is still the most popular type of breakfast in China. But more and more city-based consumers are opening up to innovation and trying out Western breakfasts. This type of breakfast is loved for its convenience and variety, and it indicates great potential for growth in the future. Recent studies of 2021 show that the demand for western breakfasts increased significantly compared to past 2020.
International cereal and dairy companies are eyeing the market potential
Major food corporations from different continents have been eying the Chinese market. it offers a large, potential consumer base that is increasingly concerned with leading healthier lifestyles. They are willing to spend more on premium food items.
For instance, the industry giant Quaker is offering Chinese consumers special products that are tailored to meet their nutrition expectations. Quacker has also teamed up with China Nutrition Institute for leveling up its products and promoting itself to a wider audience. Nestle, on the other hand, creates an online presence by partnering up with Kols and influencers on social media platforms.
Another industry giant, Japanese Calbee, is often making promotions online to increase its reach. western famous brand Kellog is planning to introduce new products to the Chinese market targeting weight-concerned consumers.
The ready-to-eat cereal market is growing rapidly in China, with eCommerce platforms accounting for the majority of sales
The younger generations of China, especially the students and workforce are looking for convenient options. More than any demographic group, this generation cares about their looks. they are highly health concerned, and they are extremely busy!
Since they are highly educated and tech-savvy, younger Chinese consumers know more about nutrition facts than the generations before. They aim for quick, handy but also more nutritious options. like nuts muesli, granola with yogurts, or nutty protein bars that are low in sugar and higher in protein.
Sales of ready-to-eat cereals together with dairy products are growing quickly across all channels in China, outpacing other products. The most popular selling channels are of course the e-commerce markets. While almost all parts of society in China are into online shopping, Genz especially utilizes social media and e-commerce platforms very frequently.
Generally speaking, Chinese people’s incomes are much higher than they were in the past. And they love spending money on food. This includes every part of society. Eating matters – it is a daily ritual for some, a celebration for others, and a break from work or a gathering with friends for another. It is about fun, health, and well-being.
That said, while traditional Chinese breakfast is still the most popular choice for Chinese consumers in general, things have started to change in first-tier cities. This creates a potential for foreign brands. The new generations’ health and nutrition concerns have created a demand for western breakfast products.
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