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Festive Foods - China - January 2015

“As a country rich in food culture, traditional Chinese festive food plays a very important role in festivals, especially in this era when other ritual activities associated with celebrating festivals are fading out.

Besides traditional festive food such as mooncake, zongzi, yuanxiao, etc., Chinese consumers show interest in new categories of festive food products, such as chocolate, nuts, fruits, etc., which provides opportunities for non-traditional food makers to get a share of the festive market.

There is high demand for both self-consumption and gifting. Since gifting is critical to relationship bonding in Chinese culture, businesses need to be attentive to people’s various considerations when deciding which food to choose, in terms of the festive occasion, recipient, features of the gifting food itself, etc.”

-Linda Li, Senior Research Analyst

This report covers the following areas:

  • Provide more value to consumers through packaging 
  • There are opportunities in imported fruit as festive gifts
  • Create more intensive means of delivering personal messages while gifting
  • Value for money products will prevail in the festive food market in the future

Value for money products will prevail in the festive food market in the future. However, this does not mean that products should be simple and dull with a cheap image.

Manufacturers have various ways to provide more value for consumers, such as using the packaging to highlight the festive theme, making the product more interactive to engage consumers and applying more creative means in the gift packs to help consumers convey personal messages to the recipients.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Methodology
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The consumer
                • The way consumers spend festivals depends greatly on the length of holiday
                  • Figure 1: Ways of spending holidays and festivals, October 2014
                • Consumers are more likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day than before
                  • Figure 2: Festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                • Consumers have very different preferred foods for different recipients
                  • Figure 3: Most popular festive gifts by recipients, October 2014
                • Healthiness and suitability are the most important in choosing food as festive gifts
                  • Figure 4: Criteria for choosing food as festive gifts, October 2014
                • People still prefer to send gifts in person
                  • Figure 5: Process of purchasing and giving festive food, October 2014
                • Attitudes towards festive food
                  • Figure 6: Attitudes towards festive food, October 2014
                • Key issues
                  • Provide more value to consumers through packaging
                    • There are opportunities in selling imported fruit as festive gifts online
                      • Create more intensive means of delivering personal messages while gifting
                        • Value for money products will prevail in the festive food market in the future
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Provide more value to consumers through packaging
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Figure 7: Examples of food products in festival-themed packaging, Hong Kong (Q4 2014) and France (Q4 2014)
                                    • Figure 8: Examples of gift packs that engage recipients more, France (Q4 2014) and Hong Kong (Q4 2014)
                                  • There are opportunities in imported fruit as festive gifts
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Create more intensive means of delivering personal messages while gifting
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Figure 9: Conversation heart candy kit from Wilton (USA), Q1 2014
                                              • Figure 10: Real sound talker candy from Sweethearts in Canada, Q1 2013
                                            • Value for money products will prevail in the festive food market in the future
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • Trend Application

                                                  • Make it Mine
                                                    • Experience is All
                                                      • Figure 11: The production process of candies from Candy Master, Shanghai, 2014
                                                      • Figure 12: Chocolate Great Wall in M&M’s World, Shanghai and Orlando
                                                    • Let's Make a Deal
                                                    • Background – Festivals and the Gifting Culture in China

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Festivals celebrated in China
                                                          • Spring Festival
                                                            • Lantern Festival
                                                              • Qingming Festival
                                                                • Dragon Boat (Duanwu) Festival
                                                                  • Mid-Autumn Festival
                                                                    • Double Ninth (Chongyang) Festival
                                                                      • Winter Solstice Festival
                                                                        • Non-Chinese traditional festivals
                                                                          • Public holidays in China
                                                                            • The gifting tradition
                                                                            • The Consumer – Ways of Spending Holidays and Festivals

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Length of the holiday impacts what people do during festivals
                                                                                  • Figure 13: Ways of spending holidays and festivals, October 2014
                                                                                • Dining out is the most common indulgence across all festive occasions
                                                                                  • Figure 14: Ways of spending holidays and festivals, ranked by popularity, October 2014
                                                                                  • Figure 15: Valentine menu of Pizza Hut, China, 2014
                                                                                • Men and families with children play more sports during festivals
                                                                                  • Figure 16: Ways of spending holidays and festivals, “Do sports/exercise”, October 2014
                                                                                • Consumers from tier two/three cities are more likely to visit friends on festive occasions
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Ways of spending holidays and festivals, “Visit friends/relatives”, by city tier, October 2014
                                                                              • The Consumer – Festivals on Which Consumers Buy Food as Gifts for Others

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • People buy more gifts on Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                  • Valentine’s Day is the number one celebrated western festival
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Share of chocolate products in Valentine’s Day packaging launched in the chocolate market, by country, 2012-14
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Examples of chocolate for Valentine’s Day from Mars (USA) and Cacau Show (Brazil), 2014
                                                                                    • Younger consumers are more likely to celebrate western festivals
                                                                                      • Figure 21: Western festivals when consumers buy foods as gifts for others, by age, October 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 22: Packaging example of assorted snacks, China
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Western festivals when consumers buy food as gifts for others, by gender and age, October 2014
                                                                                    • Consumers from tier two/three cities buy more festive gifts
                                                                                      • Figure 24: Festivals when consumers most likely to give out food gifts, by city tier and city, October 2014
                                                                                  • The Consumer – Most Popular Festive Gifts by Recipients

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Children and elderly are still the most common recipients
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Recipients of festive food as gifts, October 2014
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Top five festive foods bought for business partners, by gender and age, October 2014
                                                                                      • Healthy lifestyle is impacting the choice of festive food
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Most popular food for festive gift, October 2014
                                                                                      • Choice of festive food is influenced by the type of recipient
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Most popular festive gifts by recipients, October 2014
                                                                                      • Satisfy the lover but buy healthy foods for the elderly
                                                                                        • Alcohol and tobacco are most often sent to business partners
                                                                                          • For gifts to kids, tasty is the most important feature
                                                                                            • Male consumers are more likely to buy tobacco and alcohol as festive gifts
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Percentage of people buying tobacco and alcohol for main recipients, by gender, October 2014
                                                                                          • The Consumer - Criteria for Choosing Festive Foods as Gifts

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Good for one’s health is the number one feature people look for
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Criteria for choosing food as festive gifts, October 2014
                                                                                                • Figure 31: Examples of no-sugar mooncakes from Bibica (Vietnam, Q3 2014) and Koon Brothers (Malaysia, Q3 2014)
                                                                                                • Figure 32: Example of Quaker Selected Instant Oatmeal Gift Box, PepsiCo, China, Q2 2014
                                                                                              • Younger consumers emphasise suitability and good wishes conveyed
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Selected criteria for choosing food as festive gifts, by age, October 2014
                                                                                              • Local specialties to target China’s migrant population
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Examples of local specialties, China, Q3 2014
                                                                                                • City difference
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Criteria for choosing food as festive gifts, by city, October 2014
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Criteria for choosing food as festive gifts, by city tier, October 2014
                                                                                                • One quarter think it needs to be gift wrapped
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Example of premium packaging from Hershey’s Kisses, China, 2014
                                                                                                • The Consumer – Habits of Purchasing Festive Food as Gifts

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Half of people still like to give gifts in person
                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Process of purchasing and giving festive gifts, October 2014
                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Examples of easy-carrying packages from Starbucks (USA), Q4 2014
                                                                                                    • Offer gift packing service at point of purchase
                                                                                                      • Male and 20-year-olds are more likely to search for ideas online
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Process of purchasing and giving festive gifts, “Prior to purchase, I search online to find out which food is suitable for gifting for the festival”, by gender and age, October 2014
                                                                                                      • Younger consumers prefer to send a card with the gift
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Selected purchase process of festive gifts, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Packaging example of Milka from Mondelez, France, Q4 2014
                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Packaging example of Cacau Show, Brazil, Q3 2013
                                                                                                      • Still opportunities for on-site promotions
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Festive Foods

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • About half of people still prefer to stick to tradition
                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Selected attitudes towards festive foods, October 2014
                                                                                                          • Opportunities for assorted packs
                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Example of assorted pack from Key Coffee (Japan), 2014
                                                                                                            • Value-for-money is also important
                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Selected attitudes towards festive foods, October 2014
                                                                                                            • More opportunities for customisation on non-Chinese traditional festivals
                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Attitudes towards festive foods, “I would like to see more customisable festive food gifts”, by festivals when people send gifts, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Launch festive foods on regular occasions
                                                                                                              • Appendix - Ways of Spending Holidays and Festivals

                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Ways of spending holidays and festivals, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – 7 days’ bank holiday, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Next most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – 7 days’ bank holiday, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – 3 days’ bank holiday, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Next most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – 3 days’ bank holiday, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – Traditional Chinese festivals but not a bank holiday, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Next most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – Traditional Chinese festivals but not a bank holiday, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – Western festivals, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Next most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – Western festivals, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – Anniversaries, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Next most popular ways of spending holidays and festivals – Anniversaries, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Festivals on Which Consumers Buy Foods as Gifts for Others

                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Most popular festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Next most popular festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Other festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                • Repertoire analysis
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Repertoire of festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Repertoire of festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Most Popular Festive Gifts by Recipients

                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Most popular festive gifts by recipients, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Health supplements, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Traditional Chinese festive food, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Fruits, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Dairy products, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Tabaco and/or alcohol, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Coffee and/or tea leaves, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Olive oil, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Nuts, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Baked goods, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Sugar confectionery, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Other salty snacks, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Most popular festive gifts by recipients – Chocolate, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Criteria for Choosing Food as Festive Gifts

                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Criteria for choosing food as festive gifts, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Most popular criteria for festive gifts, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Next most popular criteria for festive gifts, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Habits of Purchasing Festive Food as Gifts

                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Purchase process, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Most popular purchase process, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Next most popular purchase process, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Purchasing process, by most popular festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Purchasing process, by next most popular festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Purchasing process, by other festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Purchasing process, by most popular criteria for choosing good as festive gifts, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Purchasing process, by most popular criteria for choosing good as festive gifts, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Purchasing process, by next most popular criteria for choosing good as festive gifts, October 2014
                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitude Towards Festive Foods

                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Attitudes towards festive foods, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: Most popular attitudes towards festive foods, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Next most popular attitudes towards festive foods, by demographics, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Attitudes towards festive foods, by most popular festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Attitudes towards festive foods, by next most popular festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: Attitudes towards festive foods, by other festivals on which consumers buy foods as gifts for others, October 2014

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                                                                                                              Festive Foods - China - January 2015

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