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Festive Foods - China - July 2013

“Thanks to the strong connection between traditional festive food and Chinese festivals, traditional festive food remains popular. Western-style festive food, however, is gaining the momentum in this market, with chocolate as the most popular festive food, showing strong potential for international brands to capture the festive food market.”

– David Zhang, Research Analyst


In this report, we answer the key questions:

  • What are consumers’ behaviour and attitudes towards buying festive food as a gift?
  • How can imported festive brands tap into both premium and mass market in China?
  • What strategies can festive brands take to better fulfil consumers’ growing demand for festive food with health benefits?
  • How can operators in the festive food market better utilise the fast-growing online channels to reach their prospective and existing consumers more effectively?


Report Introduction:

Thanks to the strong connection between traditional festive food and Chinese festivals, traditional festive food remains popular with more than seven in ten Chinese consumers having purchased it during the past 12 months. Western-style festive food, however, is gaining the momentum in this market, with chocolate as the most popular festive food, showing strong potential for international brands to capture the festive food market.

Despite the anti-extravagance campaign, premium festive food products still show strong potential, partially fuelled by the social role of gifting in showing respect and building social networks. This echoed with the finding that quality is the most important factor when buying festive food as a gift.

Chinese consumers also show strong interest in innovative festive food products, posing as a potential threat to the traditional festive food brands, which could benefit from developing new festive food products with health benefits.


 

 

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Report structure
          • Methodology
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • The consumer
                  • Chocolates and traditional festive foods are the most popular food gifts
                    • Figure 1: Festive food bought as gifts, June 2013
                  • Parents are the most typical gift recipients
                    • Figure 2: Recipients of festive foods as gifts, June 2013
                  • Festive occasions when festive foods are bought
                    • Figure 3: Festive occasions when festive foods are bought, June 2013
                  • Retail channels used for buying festive food
                    • Figure 4: Channels for buying festive food in the past 12 months, June 2013
                  • Important factors when buying festive food as a gift
                    • Figure 5: Important factors when buying festive food as a gift, June 2013
                  • Attitudes towards buying festive food
                    • Figure 6: Attitudes towards buying festive food, June 2013
                  • Key trends
                    • The bright future of imported festive food
                      • Ingredients with health benefits can be appealing to Chinese festive food buyers
                        • Online retail channel shows great potential in festive food gift market
                          • What we think
                          • Background – Gifting Culture and Festivals in China

                            • Key points
                              • Gifting culture in China
                                • The Guanxi philosophy
                                  • Consumption to maintain ‘face’ in gifting market
                                    • When gifting becomes a burden
                                      • Chinese festivals
                                        • Spring festival
                                          • Mid-autumn festival
                                            • Duanwu (Dragon boat) festival
                                              • Yuanxiao (Lantern) festival
                                                • Dongzhi (Winter solstice festival)
                                                  • Double Ninth/Chongyang festival
                                                    • Anti-extravagance campaign
                                                      • The festive food market
                                                        • More official public holidays means more gift-giving opportunities
                                                        • The Consumer – Purchase of Festive Food as Gifts

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Chocolates and traditional festive foods are the most popular food gifts
                                                              • Figure 7: Festive food bought as gifts, June 2013
                                                            • Younger people are less likely to buy ‘everyday snacks’ as a gift
                                                              • Figure 8: Selected festive food bought as gift, by age, June 2013
                                                              • Figure 9: Purchase of festive food as a gift to social circle, by age, June 2013
                                                            • Higher incomes drive gifting
                                                              • Figure 10: Festive food bought as gift, percentage point difference in purchase levels by income, June 2013
                                                            • Parents are more likely to buy food and drink as gifts
                                                              • Figure 11: Demographic profile of parents from tier one to tier three cities in China, June 2013
                                                            • Food and drink gifts are more common in tier one cities
                                                              • Figure 12: Festive food bought as gift, by city tier, June 2013
                                                              • Figure 13: Processed meat bought as gift, by city, June 2013
                                                          • The Consumer – To Whom Festive Foods Are Given As Gifts

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Parents are the most typical gift recipients
                                                                • Figure 14: Recipients of festive foods as gifts, June 2013
                                                                • Figure 15: Recipients of festive foods as gifts, by social relationship, June 2013
                                                              • Women are more likely than men to give gifts to family and relatives
                                                                • Figure 16: Selected recipients of festive foods as gifts, by gender of giver, June 2013
                                                              • Young adults are more likely to give gifts to their social circle
                                                                • Figure 17: The recipients of festive foods as gifts, by age of giver, June 2013
                                                                • Figure 18: Spouses as the recipients of festive foods as a gift, by gender and age of giver, June 2013
                                                              • Parents buy festive food as gift for their children irrespective of incomes
                                                                • Figure 19: Recipients of festive foods as gifts, by personal income of giver, June 2013
                                                              • Festive foods as gifts for one’s social circle
                                                                • Figure 20: Buyers of festive foods as gifts for their social circle, by demographics, June 2013
                                                            • The Consumer – Purchase Occasions and Channels

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Festive occasions when festive foods are bought
                                                                  • Figure 21: Festive occasions when festive foods are bought, June 2013
                                                                • Chinese festivals
                                                                  • Western festivals
                                                                    • Men buy more festive foods for Valentine’s Day
                                                                      • Figure 22: Selected occasions for buying festive food, by gender, June 2013
                                                                    • Older consumers are most likely to buy festive foods for traditional Chinese festivals
                                                                      • Figure 23: Occasions when festive food is bought, by age, June 2013
                                                                  • The Consumer – Purchase Occasions and Channels

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Retail channels used for buying festive food
                                                                        • Figure 24: Channels for buying festive food in the past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                      • Age plays a key role in choice of retail channels
                                                                        • Figure 25: Selected channels for buying festive food in the past 12 months, by age, June 2013
                                                                      • Local supermarkets are more important to low earners and those in smaller cities
                                                                        • Figure 26: Consumers buying festive food from local supermarket, by income and city tier, June 2013
                                                                      • High-end supermarkets tend to be more attractive to married couples
                                                                        • Figure 27: Consumers buying festive food from high-end supermarket, by marital status, June 2013
                                                                      • Buying health food from high-end supermarkets is popular
                                                                        • Figure 28: Use of high-end supermarkets to buy festive food, by type of festive food purchased in the last 12 months, June 2013
                                                                      • Online platforms tend to be a popular choice for Christmas festive food buyers
                                                                        • Figure 29: Usage of high-end supermarkets to buy festive foods, by types of festive foods bought in the last 12 months, June 2013
                                                                    • The Consumer – Important Factors When Buying Festive Food as a Gift

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Important factors when buying festive food as a gift
                                                                          • Figure 30: Important factors when buying festive food as a gift, June 2013
                                                                        • Brands spark only limited interest
                                                                          • Well-known brands tend to be more important to male consumers in their thirties and forties and those with higher incomes
                                                                            • Figure 31: Agreement with well-known brands being an important factor when buying festive food as a gift, by gender, age and income, June 2013
                                                                          • Females and those with low to mid level of income tend to show greater concern over clear labelling
                                                                            • Figure 32: Agreement with clear labelling being an important factor when buying festive food as a gift, by gender, income and education level, June 2013
                                                                          • Ingredients in festive foods tend to be most important to respondents in their forties
                                                                            • Figure 33: Agreement with food ingredients being an important factor when buying festive food, by age, June 2013
                                                                            • Figure 34: Selected attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by age, December 2012
                                                                            • Figure 35: Selected health ingredients bought in the past 12 months, by age, December 2012
                                                                          • Packaging is most important to young consumers and high earners
                                                                            • Figure 36: Agreement with package design being an important factor when buying festive food as a gift, by age and income, June 2013
                                                                          • Quality of festive food is a major consideration among low earners in China
                                                                            • Figure 37: Agreement with quality of food being an important factor when buying festive food as a gift, by income, June 2013
                                                                          • Parents pay more attention to brands and care less about prices
                                                                            • Attitudes towards buying festive food
                                                                              • Figure 38: Attitudes towards buying festive food, June 2013
                                                                          • Key Issue – The Bright Future Of Imported Festive Food

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Imported festive foods enjoy a high growth rate
                                                                                • Local supermarkets becoming an important retail channel for imported festive foods
                                                                                  • High demand for imported festive food products at local supermarkets
                                                                                    • Figure 39: Buying festive food from local supermarket, by income and city tier, June 2013
                                                                                    • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement “I would buy more imported festive foods if they were stocked at my local store”, by income and city tier, June 2013
                                                                                  • A presence in international supermarket chains can support premium positioning
                                                                                    • Figure 41: Consumer perception of how foreign and domestic retailers compare on selected service attributes, April, 2012
                                                                                  • Imported festive food appeals to high-end consumers and as luxury gifts
                                                                                    • Figure 42: Agreement with selected statements regarding imported festive foods, by personal income, June 2013
                                                                                    • Figure 43: Agreement with the statement “I am willing to pay more for imported festive foods”, by education level and city tier, June 2013
                                                                                  • Highlighting the fashionable and exotic nature can help operators to target young adults
                                                                                    • Figure 44: Selected festive food products brought as a gift, by age, June 2013
                                                                                  • What it means
                                                                                  • Key Issue – Ingredients with Health Benefits Can Be Appealing to Chinese Festive Food Buyers

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Chinese consumers are increasingly concerned about their wellbeing
                                                                                        • Festive foods with health claims are a popular choice as a gift
                                                                                          • Figure 45: Important factors when buying festive food as a gift, June 2013
                                                                                        • Redesigning festive food health claims can make them more attractive to gift buyers
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Overall health benefits associated with selected food products and ingredients, December 2012
                                                                                        • Festive food with health claims appeals most to consumers in their forties
                                                                                          • Consumers in their forties pay more attention to maintaining their health and the health benefits associated with functional ingredients
                                                                                            • Figure 47: Agreement that food ingredients are an important factor when buying festive food, by age, June 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 48: Selected attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by age, December 2012
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Selected health ingredients bought in the past 12 months, by age, December 2012
                                                                                          • Opportunities for premium festive food with health claims to target consumers in their forties
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Agreement with the statement “I stick to a budget when buying festive foods”, by age, June 2013
                                                                                          • What it means
                                                                                          • Key Issue – Online Retail Channel Shows Great Potential In Festive Food Gift Market

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Online shopping enjoys high penetration in China
                                                                                                • Developments in logistics, secure payments and return policies have fuelled growth of e-tail
                                                                                                  • The festive food market lags behind wider online shopping
                                                                                                    • The online channel is popular among festive food buyers
                                                                                                      • More than half of festive food shoppers have bought it online
                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Channels used to buy festive food in the past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                      • B2C platforms offer an easy route for brands to move online
                                                                                                        • Limited availability is a key barrier for imported festive foods’ usage
                                                                                                          • Utilising the popularity of the social networking sites
                                                                                                            • High-end festive food gifts have potential online
                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Important factors when buying festive food as a gift, June 2013
                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Purchase of festive food from online shopping websites, by income, June 2013
                                                                                                            • What it means
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Festive Food Bought as a Gift in Past 12 Months

                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Next most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Other festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, by most popular festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, by next most popular festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, June 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – To Whom The Festive Food is Given as a Gift in Past 12 Months

                                                                                                                • Figure 60: To whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Most popular to whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Next most popular to whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Other to whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 64: To whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, by most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 65: To whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, by next most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 66: To whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, other festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Festivals When Food is Purchased as a Gift For Others

                                                                                                                • Figure 67: The festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Most popular festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Next most popular festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 70: The festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, by most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 71: The festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, by next most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 72: The festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, by other festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 73: The festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, by most popular to whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 74: The festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, by next most popular to whom the festive food is given as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Most Important Factors For Buying Festive Food as a Gift

                                                                                                                • Figure 75: The most important factors for buying festive food as a gift, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 76: The most important factors for buying festive food as a gift, by most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 77: The most important factors for buying festive food as a gift, by next most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 78: The most important factors for buying festive food as a gift, by other festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – The Channel For Buying Festive Food in Past 12 Months

                                                                                                                • Figure 79: The channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Most popular channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Next most popular channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Other channels for buying festive food in past 12 months, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 83: The channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, by most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 84: The channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, by next most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 85: The channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, by other festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 86: The channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, by most popular festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 87: The channel for buying festive food in past 12 months, by next most popular festivals when food is purchased as a gift for others, June 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Buying Festive Food

                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Attitudes towards buying festive food, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Most popular attitudes towards buying festive food, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Next most popular attitudes towards buying festive food, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Attitudes towards buying festive food, by most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Attitudes towards buying festive food, by next most popular festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Attitudes towards buying festive food, by other festive food bought as a gift in past 12 months, June 2013

                                                                                                            Companies Covered

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                                                                                                            Festive Foods - China - July 2013

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