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Ingredient Trends - China - January 2013

“Due to the vast geographical area of China, food and beverage products have regional differences in raw ingredients, flavours and cooking methods, resulting in noticeably different local food cultures. With local flavours remaining popular among consumers, awareness of and the ability to adapt to local tastes remain important for food and drink manufacturers.”


– Lui Meng Chow – Senior Research Analyst

 

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What role do the traditional concepts of food therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine play in modern Chinese diets?
  • What do the Chinese perceive as key factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and what role does food play?
  • What are the main health concerns that the Chinese have across the different age groups and between the two genders? And how can functional food and drink products target different segments of Chinese?
  • What can the operators in the market and governments do to support uptake by helping Chinese consumers to believe and understand the functional ingredient benefits to their health?
  • What role do natural claims play in the food and drink market, and how can the market leverage the lasting popularity of fruit and vegetables as a healthy ingredient?
  • Flavour also plays an important role in Chinese diet. What are the common flavours in Chinese food?
  • Seasoning is famous in China, what is the potential in seasoning innovation in China?

 

Report Introduction:

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) relies mainly on the consumption of natural foods to heal the body and this theory has been passed down for thousands of years, with food widely perceived not just as providing nutrition, but as playing a central role also in healthy lifestyles. This tradition of food as functional creates a strong platform for the growth of modern functional food, but also poses strong competition to it.

Hectic lifestyles due to the rapid modernisation after China’s economic reform, unbalanced diets and lack of exercise amongst the Chinese, as well as pollution, have caused the majority of Chinese to experiencing sub-health problems, with issues like indigestion and minor illnesses now common.

TCM has traditionally been seen as effective in treating sub-health problems; the current health trends are fuelling demand for products to address these issues. In response, numerous health foods and better-for-you products have been launched containing TCM ingredients that claim that they will help ease certain health conditions. Chinese consumers still have quite low awareness of various functional ingredients, especially the modern ones, partly reflecting the complex regulatory environment and the lack of enforcement over unsubstantiated claims. Helping consumers better understand and verify the claims made by various modern functional ingredients will be much needed to cultivate demand.

Due to the vast geographical area of China, food and beverage products have regional differences in raw ingredients, flavours and cooking methods, resulting in noticeably different local food cultures. With local flavours remaining popular among consumers, awareness of and the ability to adapt to local tastes remain important for food and drink manufacturers.

 

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Consumer research
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • Key issues
                • Consumer attitudes towards food and ingredients
                  • The Chinese market holds opportunities for products targeting the health issues of specific demographic groups
                    • Figure 1: Most important factors contributing to healthy living, November 2012
                  • Consumer awareness of functional ingredients and claims
                    • Figure 2: Selected important factors seen to contribute towards healthy living, December 2012
                  • Demand for natural functional ingredients
                    • Figure 3: Top ten claims categories in new product launches in the food and beverage markets in China, 2008-12
                  • Local flavour innovation in seasoning to drive demand
                    • Figure 4: Types of cuisine eaten at a Chinese full service restaurant in the past 12 months, August 2012
                • The Consumer

                  • Key points
                    • Vegetable & fruit, five cereals and nuts or beans make up the top three health-related foods bought
                        • Figure 5: Types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                      • Eyesight, hair health and digestion are the most common health concerns
                          • Figure 6: Types of health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                        • Exercise as well as natural and fortified food seen as contributing most to healthy living
                            • Figure 7: Factors important to a healthy lifestyle, December 2012
                          • Organic and natural products are the most popular
                              • Figure 8: Types of food and drink bought, by functional/positioning claim, December 2012
                            • TCM ingredients enjoy an ingrained health image
                                • Figure 9: Health benefits associated with selected food products and ingredients, December 2012
                              • Local flavours are preferred by the Chinese
                                  • Figure 10: Flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, December 2012
                                • Half of adults are buying more health foods
                                  • Figure 11: Selected attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, December 2012
                              • Consumer Attitudes towards Food and Ingredients

                                • Key points
                                  • Food in Chinese culture
                                    • Chinese cuisine and cooking
                                      • Composition of the recipe to achieve balance
                                        • Classification of food in Traditional Chinese Medicine
                                          • The five flavours
                                            • Figure 12: The effects of different flavours under TCM
                                          • TCM continues to impact eating habits
                                            • Foods according to body constitution
                                              • Eating with the seasons
                                                • Development of health and wellness food in China
                                                    • Figure 13: China health food and ingredients import and export ($ million), 2011
                                                  • What it means
                                                  • The Chinese Market Holds Opportunities for Products Targeting the Health Issues of Specific Demographic Groups

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Diet seen to play a key role in healthy lifestyles
                                                        • Figure 14: Most important factors contributing to healthy living, November 2012
                                                      • Diets change as the country is getting wealthier
                                                        • Figure 15: Average daily intake of various foods in China, per person, 1982-2002
                                                      • Insomnia affects more than half of adults
                                                        • Majority of China’s population suffer from sub-health problems
                                                          • Twenty- and thirtysomethings
                                                            • Over-40s
                                                              • Gender: Male and female
                                                                • TCM functional ingredients gain popularity in treating sub-health symptoms
                                                                  • TCM ingredients in BFY products target specific demographics
                                                                    • Figure 16: Share of new product launches in the Chinese food and drink market featuring demographic claims, 2008-12
                                                                    • Figure 17: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by age, December 2012
                                                                  • The female market offers growing potential
                                                                    • Figure 18: New food and drink product launches in China targeting women, by product category, 2008-12
                                                                  • Various products target middle-aged and older consumers
                                                                    • What it means
                                                                    • Consumer Awareness of Functional Ingredients and Claims

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Interest in functional food is higher than purchases
                                                                            • Figure 19: Selected claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, December 2012
                                                                            • Figure 20: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, December 2012
                                                                          • Functional claims gained share in food and drink launches up to 2011
                                                                            • Figure 21: Top ten claims categories in new product launches in the food and beverage markets in China, 2008-12
                                                                            • Figure 22: Top product categories in new product launches with functional claims in the food and beverage markets in China, 2012
                                                                          • Lack of comprehensive definitions and difficulty in enforcing regulations poses a challenge to the market…
                                                                              • Figure 23: Original and intended health food claims allowed by SFDA, 2012
                                                                            • …and to the operators in it
                                                                              • Education required to drive more consumer awareness
                                                                                • Figure 24: Agreement with the statement “I read nutrition labels on the packaging when I buy food and drink products”, December 2012
                                                                              • Companies’ communication programme to raise consumer awareness
                                                                                • What it means
                                                                                • Demand for Natural Functional Ingredients

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Natural products are a popular choice
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Agreement with the statement “I don’t mind paying more for food and drink products that contain natural ingredients”, December, 2012
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Top ten claims categories in new product launches in the food and beverage markets in China, 2008-12
                                                                                      • Figure 27: Top ten claims in new product launches in the food and beverage markets in China, 2008-12
                                                                                    • Drinks tap into demand for natural products with “pure” claim and added TCM ingredients
                                                                                      • Figure 28: New beverage* product launches featuring natural claims, by sub-category, 2008-12
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Health benefits associated with selected food products and ingredients, December 2012
                                                                                    • Instant noodles – the commodity junk food is getting additive-free
                                                                                      • Natural sweeteners and low/reduced/no sugar added
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Health benefits associated with natural sweeteners, December 2012
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Types of sugar/sweeteners used in new food and drink product launches with low/no/reduced sugar claims, 2008-12
                                                                                      • Vegetable and fruits – commonly known for various benefits
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Health benefits associated by consumers with fruit and vegetables, December 2012
                                                                                      • Fruit Mix with Fig Smoothie
                                                                                        • Wild blueberry drink in beauty-enhancing purpose
                                                                                          • Vegetable milk to ease digestive function
                                                                                            • Probiotics – gaps in functional benefits communication on packaging
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Health benefits associated with friendly bacteria, December 2012
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Share of products with digestive claims in new product launches in probiotic food and drink products in China, 2008-12
                                                                                            • Packaging communicates that prebiotic helps in intestinal health
                                                                                              • TCM ingredients in BFY product innovation
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Health benefits associated with Chinese cooling herbs and Chinese tonic herbs, December 2012
                                                                                              • What it means
                                                                                              • Local Flavour Innovation in Seasoning to Drive Demand

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • The diverse Chinese flavours stem from the vast geographical area
                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, December 2012
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Types of cuisine eaten at a Chinese full service restaurant in the past 12 months, August 2012
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Most popular types of cuisine eaten at a full service Chinese restaurant in the past 12 months, by region, August 2012.
                                                                                                  • Chinese consumers’ flavour preference depends on food type
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: The top ten flavour component groups in new food and drink products launches in China, 2008-12
                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Plain/unflavoured new food and drink product launches, by sub-category, 2008-12
                                                                                                  • Meeting the demand for flavours in table sauces and seasoning
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Table sauces retail market volume and per capita consumption in China, Japan and South Korea, 2009-12
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Agreement with the statement “I like to try food and drink product in new exotic flavours”, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                  • Spicy flavours are popular across sauces and seasonings
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Top ten flavours in new product launches in sauces and seasoning (excluding oil) markets in China, by product category, 2008-12
                                                                                                  • Spicy mushroom sauce
                                                                                                    • Cooking paste for Chinese dish
                                                                                                      • What it means
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Types of Health-related Ingredients Bought

                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Most popular health-related ingredients bought, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Next most popular health-related ingredients bought, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Types of health-related ingredients bought, by most common health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Types of health-related ingredients bought, by next most common health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Types of health-related ingredients bought, by other types of health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Types of health-related ingredients bought, by top ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Types of health-related ingredients bought, by next top ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Health Benefits Associated with Selected Food Products and Ingredients

                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Health benefits associated with selected food products and ingredients, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Health benefits associated with green tea, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Health benefits associated with red dates/jujube, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Health benefits associated with friendly bacteria, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Health benefits associated with five cereals, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Health benefits associated with Chinese cooling herbs, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Health benefits associated with vegetable & fruits, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Health benefits associated with nuts or beans, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Health benefits associated with spices, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Health benefits associated with seafood and sea plants, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Health benefits associated with natural sweeteners, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Health benefits associated with Chinese tonic herbs, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of green tea, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of red dates/jujube, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of friendly bacteria, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of five cereals, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of Chinese cooling herbs, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of vegetable and fruits, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of nuts or beans, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of spices, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of seafood and sea plants, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of natural sweeteners, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Types of health complaints suffered from, by perceived health benefits of Chinese tonic herbs, December 2012
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Types of Health Complaints Suffered From

                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Types of health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Most common types of health complaints suffered from, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Next most common types of health complaints suffered from, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Other types of health complaints suffered from, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Types of health complaints suffered from, by most popular types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Types of health complaints suffered from, by next most popular types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Types of health complaints suffered from, by top ranked factors that contribute towards healthy living, December 2012
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Factors Important to a Healthy Lifestyle

                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Factors important to a healthy lifestyle, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Top ranked factors important to a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Second ranked factors important to a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Third ranked factors important to a healthy lifestyle, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Food and Drink Purchased by Positioning Claim

                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Most popular top ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Next most popular top ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Most popular second ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 90: Next most popular second ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Most popular third ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Next most popular third ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drinks, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 93: Top ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drink, by most popular types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 94: Top ranked claims considered when purchasing food and drink, by next most popular types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Attitudes towards Food and Drink Ingredients

                                                                                                          • Figure 95: Most popular attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 96: Next most popular attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 97: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 98: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by most common types of health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 99: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by next most common types of health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 100: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by other types of health complaints suffered from, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 101: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by top ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 102: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by next top ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 103: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by second ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 104: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by next second ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 105: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by third ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 106: Attitudes towards food and drink ingredients, by next third ranked popular claims considered in food and drink purchase, December 2012
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Flavours of Prepacked Food Typically Purchased

                                                                                                          • Figure 107: Flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 108: Top ranked flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 109: Second ranked flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 110: Third ranked flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 111: Flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, by most popular types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 112: Flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, by next most popular types of health-related ingredients bought, December 2012
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Custom Group

                                                                                                          • Figure 113: Married with children, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 114: Married with children, by demographics, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 115: Types of health-related ingredients bought, by married with children in household, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 116: Claims considered during food and drink purchase, by married with children in household, December 2012
                                                                                                          • Figure 117: Flavours of prepacked food typically purchased, by married with children in household, December 2012

                                                                                                      Companies Covered

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                                                                                                      Ingredient Trends - China - January 2013

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