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Menu Insights - China - September 2017

“Consumers want a focused menu from restaurants to show expertise and authenticity. As they are getting more explorative with different types of cuisines, there is opportunity for more specialised restaurants featuring niche regional and exotic cuisines. On the other hand, Chinese light meal is another area worth tapping into given increasing health awareness among consumers.”
– Summer, Research Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • A meal that brings happiness
  • Why meat replacement is not going to be popular in China
  • How do Chinese restaurants embrace light meals?

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Definitions
          • Figure 1: Definition of low/mid/high MHI groups, by city tier
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Demand for new dining and taste drives expenditure on foodservice
              • The rise of specialty restaurants featuring single main dish
                • Going healthy and light
                  • Life gets busier
                    • Competitive strategies and innovation highlights
                      • Separate seasonal menus add a sense of freshness
                        • Expand the menu to embrace new dining occasions
                          • Fun names and eye-catching presentation appealing to young consumers
                            • What’s next?
                              • The consumer
                                • Consumers are getting explorative with cuisine types
                                  • Figure 2: Regional cuisine preferences, May 2017
                                • A diversified palate for favourite dish
                                  • Figure 3: Most preferred dish, May 2017
                                • Half of consumers choose meal set for workday lunches
                                  • Food and drink are both important components for an afternoon tea
                                    • Figure 4: Foods and drinks most likely to order for afternoon tea, May 2017
                                  • Jack of all trades but master of none is not appreciated by consumers
                                    • Figure 5: Selected attitudes towards menu, May 2017
                                    • Figure 6: Selected attitudes towards menu, May 2017
                                  • Organic claim resonates best with consumers
                                    • Figure 7: Interest in healthy dishes, May 2017
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • A meal that brings happiness
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Figure 8: Dish from Gui Man Long
                                        • Why meat replacement is not going to be popular in China
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Figure 9: A snapshot of Sprouted Kitchen, a plant-based eating blog
                                            • How do Chinese restaurants embrace light meals?
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Demand for experiential consumption drives expenditure on foodservice
                                                    • The rise of a simpler menu and healthier meals
                                                      • Main course salads fit in busier lifestyle and see growth
                                                      • Market Factors

                                                        • Demand for new dining and taste experiences
                                                          • Figure 10: Foodservice expenditure in China, 2009-16
                                                        • Preference for specialty restaurants featuring single main dish is rising
                                                          • Going healthy and light
                                                            • Natural and organic
                                                              • Light meals
                                                                • Figure 11: Popular light dishes from Element Fresh, 2017
                                                                • Figure 12: Food items from K Pro, Hangzhou, Jun 2017
                                                              • Life gets busier
                                                                • Main course salads
                                                                  • Figure 13: Examples of main course salads, 2017
                                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Separate seasonal menus add a sense of freshness
                                                                  • Expand the menu to embrace new dining occasions
                                                                    • Fun names and eye-catching presentation rise consumer interest
                                                                    • Competitive Strategies

                                                                      • Separate seasonal menus add a sense of freshness
                                                                        • Figure 14: Seasonal menu of Nan Jing Da Pai Dang, 2016-17
                                                                        • Figure 15: Seasonal menu of flower, Cai Ni, 2017
                                                                      • Expand the menu to embrace new dining occasions
                                                                        • Localisation of Western dishes to suit the Chinese palate
                                                                          • Addiction to social media encourages eye-catching presentation
                                                                            • Figure 16: Fun dim sum from Gudetama cafe
                                                                            • Figure 17: Examples of eye-catching dim sum and dessert
                                                                          • Fun dish names rise consumer interest
                                                                          • Who’s Innovating Globally?

                                                                            • Pancakes get savoury in the US
                                                                              • Pizza Hut (UK) creates ‘mood-boost’ pizza
                                                                                • Quaker Oats (UK) engages consumers in menu innovations
                                                                                  • Ingredients to watch: charcoal & fig
                                                                                    • Charcoal
                                                                                      • Figure 18: Culinary examples of charcoal
                                                                                    • Fig
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Culinary examples of fig
                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                    • Consumers are getting explorative with cuisine types
                                                                                      • Fresh squeezed juice/smoothie is most popular for afternoon tea
                                                                                        • A simple and focused menu is in favour
                                                                                          • Organic claim resonates best with consumers
                                                                                          • Regional Cuisine Preferences

                                                                                            • Consumers are more explorative with cuisine types
                                                                                              • Figure 20: Regional cuisine preferences, 2017 vs 2015
                                                                                            • Potential for Shanghai/Zhejiang cuisine
                                                                                              • Men in their 40s show growing preference for vegetarian
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Regional cuisine preferences, increase in vegetarian food lovers 2017 vs 2015 (as benchmark), by age and gender
                                                                                                • Figure 22: Regional cuisine preferences, increase in vegetarian food lovers 2017 vs 2015 (as benchmark), by monthly household income and city tier
                                                                                              • Sichuanese is a nationwide lover, while others are more regional
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Selected regional cuisine preferences, by region, May 2017
                                                                                            • Most Preferred Dish

                                                                                              • A diversified palate for favourite dish
                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Most preferred dish, May 2017
                                                                                                • Spicy and numb is the most popular flavour
                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Most preferred dish, by flavour, May 2017
                                                                                                • Pork is the favourite ingredient
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Most preferred dish, by food ingredient, May 2017
                                                                                                • Potential to grow beef consumption
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Meat consumption of selected countries, 2015
                                                                                              • Type of Dish by Occasion

                                                                                                • Half of consumers choose meal set for workday lunches
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Occasions of ordering certain types of dishes, May 2017
                                                                                                • Appetiser, dessert and dim sum should go fun and eye-catching
                                                                                                  • Salad is more welcomed among high earners from Beijing and Shanghai
                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Percentage of people who rarely order salad, by age and gender, May 2017
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Percentage of people who rarely order salad, by MHI and city, May 2017
                                                                                                • Afternoon Tea Preference

                                                                                                  • Food and drink are both important components of an afternoon tea
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Foods and drinks most likely to order for afternoon tea, May 2017
                                                                                                  • Western desserts and coffee are more preferred in tier one cities
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Foods and drinks most likely to order for afternoon tea, Western desserts and freshly-brewed coffee, by city tier, May 2017
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Foods and drinks most likely to order for afternoon tea, Western desserts against average, by gender and age, May 2017
                                                                                                  • Freshly-made tea drinks have a broader consumer base than coffee
                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Foods and drinks most likely to order for afternoon tea, freshly-brewed coffee and freshly-made tea-drinks, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Foods and drinks most likely to order for afternoon tea, freshly-brewed coffee and freshly-made tea-drinks, by MHI, May 2017
                                                                                                  • 20s are more indulgence-driven in their choices
                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Foods and drinks most likely to order for afternoon tea, selected attributes, by age, May 2017
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Sherbet in real fruits in Shenzhen, China, 2016
                                                                                                  • Alcoholic drinks need more innovation to bring excitement
                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Menu

                                                                                                    • Jack of all trades but master of none is not appreciated by consumers
                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Selected attitudes towards menu, May 2017
                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Selected attitudes towards menu, May 2017
                                                                                                    • Yet there is a demand for more varieties in a single meal
                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Selected attitudes towards menu, May 2017
                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Selected attitudes towards menu, May 2017
                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Assorted Dim Sum, Yi Long Xiao Que Xing
                                                                                                  • Interest in Healthy Dishes

                                                                                                    • Organic claim resonates best with consumers
                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Interest in healthy dishes, May 2017
                                                                                                    • Salt and MSG are more terrifying than sugar
                                                                                                      • Harvested on the spot highlighting freshness
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Zauo Restaurant, Japan
                                                                                                      • Awareness of superfood is slowing increasing
                                                                                                        • A healthy menu is more important in tier one cities
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Interest in healthy dishes, by city tier, May 2017
                                                                                                      • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                                        • Bigger fans of a specialty restaurants with a simple menu
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Attitudes towards menu, simple menu, by consumer classification, May 2017
                                                                                                        • Much higher preference for coffee at afternoon tea
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Afternoon tea preference, by consumer classification, May 2017
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                                                                          Menu Insights - China - September 2017

                                                                                                          US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)