China is a country that grows up very fast in every field.  It is not just about the economy but also about people’s mentality. During this last decade, China became an open country, and Chinese consumers travel more than before. So they can see what people do abroad. Therefore, they want to change their eating habits.

Chinese customers want to try new things

China’s health industry released new dietary guidelines recommending the importance to reduce meat consumption. This statement has an impact on the meat market because according to a Business World report we can notice a decline in several products like pork, beef, and poultry.

We can notice a rising awareness among Chinese people to consume healthier food even though we remark a kind of paradigm shift. Many surveys and statistics demonstrate that Chinese people switch to vegetarian food. The paradigm stems from the fact that China is the biggest consumer of beef, pork, and poultry and this highly contributes to feeding the vegan popular sentiment. Actually, a report showed that people consuming non-vegetarian food are more likely to have high blood pressure and have obesity issues. This has encouraged even more competition between vegan eateries.

During the last years the country’s diet has shifted to favor animal proteins. China is now number one amid the country where obesity of children is important. According to the World Health Organization nowadays one in three children has diabetes disease in China.  The country starts to find again an interest in fruit and vegetables. In reality, China has a long tradition of a plant-based diet. Meat tends to be replaced by many vegetables and other plant ingredients that you can find in traditional Chinese cuisines such as tofu and seaweeds.

Vegan Movement in China: big Opportunities

The vegan market is expected to rise according to the statistics of South China Morning post by more than 17 percent between 2015 and 2020. This speed will represent the fastest rate of growth at the international level. This move will follow a huge shift in consumer habits in Asia. In parallel, the vegan movement is supported by young people and especially teens and millennials. This trend is the same in China. It can be explained by the fact that this not just about caring for their health, but this is also about following a trend in general.

A large number of entrepreneurs try to maintain the Vegan Movement in Chinese’s people habits. Businessmen and women show significant interest to be successful with this business because it becomes popular to eat healthy which often means a meatless, organic, and environmentally-friendly diet.

China hosts 17% of the world’s population but only 7% of the world’s arable land. In 2012 the number of vegan restaurants has been multiplied by 49 to more than 100 last year in China’s largest city.

In addition, the growing trend of vegan led to an increase in imports of fruit and vegetable. If the UN trade figures are to be believed imports of avocados rose alone registered a tremendous 13 000 fold increase between 2010 and 2016. The report suggests that the shift results from many dietary guidelines in China advising to eat healthy, environment-friendly vegetarian food.

We can count around 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide which is released into the atmosphere every year by the Chinese meat industry.

As a consequence of this trend, you have Celebrity-powered campaigns such as WildAid’s Shushi and vegetarian media platforms such as Veg Planet are generating social media buzz of plant-based living as a status symbol.

In this way, China provides a good environment for food startups. Indeed, consumers are opened to pay higher prices in order to have more innovative and healthier products. What is more, if you are ready to move quickly and create something new,  we will get consumers very quickly. China represents a fertile ground for global startups and later-stage ventures.

You can also read our Strategic Guide to Export Food Brands in China

How could you enter this market?

Take care of your image and make people want to taste your products

As you main know in China, it is very important to have a good reputation if you want to be successful. Especially if you want to open a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, you need to be trendy. For this field, people will go to your restaurant or buy your product not only because is good for their health but also maybe because friends or family recommended you to them. So it is very important to think about the graphic chart on your website but also about the content.

Try to be viral on Social media

The competition in the health industry starts to be important because many start-ups want to seize this opportunity. Consequently, if you want to be distinctive you should plan a good social media strategy on Wechat and Weibo. We can help you in the process of creating an account and also in the selection of the type of account. Obviously, it implies a good analysis of the market before and an efficient study of your target. You need to know, their age, social category, what they like, etc.

Offer good deals to attract people

An effective promotional strategy can be the result of offering discounts throughout food apps for example even if in general the public you will deal with has a significant budget.

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