Traditional Chinese Snacks - China - March 2013
“Given the growing diversity of consumers’ snacking habits, in terms of locations and occasions, there are opportunities for manufacturers to create new snacking environments, for example by encouraging more daytime snacking in the office, or when on the go.”
– Eileen Ngieng – Senior Research Analyst
In this report we answer the key questions:
- What is the current state of the traditional Chinese snacks market, and how is the market expected to develop in the near future? What are the key market drivers and challenges the market faces?
- What are consumers’ attitudes towards traditional Chinese snacks, and the key factors affecting their product choice?
- What qualities are important for snacks to succeed in the traditional Chinese snacks market? In light of consumer attitudes, what areas offer future potential for product development?
Traditionally, the Chinese diet promotes an ‘eat little and often’ approach, making snacking an integral part of the traditional Chinese food culture.
Usage of traditional Chinese snacks is almost universal among Chinese consumers, reflecting the traditional Chinese diet. As such, the snacks market in China houses a wide range of products and brands, with many manufacturers operating in this category. Although consumption of traditional Chinese snack products has typically centred around festivals and celebrations, particularly traditional Chinese festivals such as Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), they are now becoming more ingrained into consumers’ daily routines, as China’s economy has grown and consumer lifestyles have changed.
Reflecting the overarching health trend, demand for healthy options in the snacks market – and in all food and beverages categories – is rising, creating opportunities for manufacturers. However, consumers do not want the taste of snacks to be compromised. Thus, there is scope for the development of healthier products by adapting processing techniques and by including more healthy ingredients to benefit the market. However, emotional aspects such as enjoyment are increasingly recognised as having health benefits and are equally important to users of traditional Chinese snacks. Snacks associated with positive sentiments should appeal to consumers buying snacks for emotional rather than rational needs.
Although there are many different ways manufacturers can help to give food products a premium positioning, arguably the most obvious signifiers are the quality of both the packaging and the ingredients. An interesting way for brands to stand out from their competitors is to communicate their traditional aspects and leverage their heritage. Snack brands could also add value to products by using premium ingredients or by removing additives/preservatives. Smaller pack sizes offering greater convenience can also justify higher prices per unit volume. Brand communication is also important.
Given the growing diversity of consumers’ snacking habits, in terms of locations and occasions, there are opportunities for manufacturers to create new snacking environments, for example by encouraging more daytime snacking in the office, or when on the go.”
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