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Attitudes towards Comfort Foods - China - July 2018

“There is a good opportunity for comfort food in China as Mintel research shows using foods to adjust the mood is a widely recognised practice by Chinese consumers and there is a wide acknowledge of the impact of food on people’s mood. Businesses, especially snack brands, can communicate on the mental benefits to impress consumers and build high brand awareness.”
– Loris Li, Associate Director, Food & Drink

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Gender – Differentiated strategy can work well for brands
  • Foodservice can try to attract “spontaneous consumers”
  • Advertising with online contents can help reach the target consumers

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • The consumer
              • More opportunities among females and lower tier cities
                • Figure 1: Consumers who have used comfort foods, by age and gender, April 2018
                • Figure 2: Consumers who have used comfort foods, by city tier, April 2018
              • Majority go for snacks, with chocolate being the most popular comfort food choice
                • Figure 3: Usage of foods as comfort foods, April 2018
              • Comfort foods are used most when people are depressed, annoyed and lonely
                • A third of consumers, skewed to 40-49s, also eat comfort foods when they are happy
                  • Figure 4: Consumption occasions of comfort foods, April 2018
                • Gender and age drive differences in flavour preference
                  • Figure 5: Preference towards flavour as comfort foods, by gender, April 2018
                  • Figure 6: Preference towards flavour as comfort foods, by age, April 2018
                • Smooth, crunchy and chewy textures are the most popular
                  • Figure 7: Preference towards texture as comfort foods, April 2018
                • Online contents win the attention when consumers are having comfort foods
                  • Figure 8: Things to do while having comfort foods, April 2018
                • More planned than spontaneous purchase
                  • Figure 9: General attitudes towards comfort foods – storage, April 2018
                • Opportunities for premiumising comfort food sold in retail channels
                  • Figure 10: General attitudes towards comfort foods – price and channel, April 2018
                  • Figure 11: Flavour preference of premium buyers, April 2018,
                  • Figure 12: Texture preference of premium buyers, April 2018
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Gender – Differentiated strategy can work well for brands
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Figure 13: Yogurt made for men and women by Bakoma, Poland
                      • Foodservice can try to attract “spontaneous consumers”
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Advertising with online contents can help reach the target consumers
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • Market and Innovation – What You Need to Know

                                  • Origins of comfort foods in the West
                                    • There is a gender preference towards comfort foods
                                      • Comfort foods have value for brand building
                                        • Going back to the past is a good theme for marketing campaigns
                                          • Foodservice can comfort consumers through food or service
                                          • Comfort Foods in the West

                                              • Figure 14: Prepared meals and pastry dishes as comfort foods in the West
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • People need a break under growing living pressure
                                              • The number of singles is increasing across the country
                                                • A marketing opportunity for strengthening brand loyalty
                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                  • Bring consumers back to childhood
                                                    • Appeal to nostalgia mood
                                                      • Figure 15: Moqi peach juice, a post behind with the slogan, China, 2017
                                                    • Foodservice can comfort consumers with food or service
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Using foods to adjust mood is a popular practice
                                                        • Gender brings much difference
                                                          • Consumption behaviour connects with occasion
                                                          • Usage of Comfort Foods

                                                            • Most consumers have experience of having comfort food
                                                              • Figure 16: Usage of comfort food, April 2018
                                                            • Chocolate is the most popular comfort food
                                                              • Figure 17: Usage of foods as comfort foods, April 2018
                                                              • Figure 18: Usage of foods as comfort foods, by gender, April 2018
                                                          • Consumption Occasion

                                                            • Comfort food is helpful in negative emotional status
                                                              • Figure 19: Consumption occasions of comfort foods, April 2018
                                                            • Consumers aged 40-49 have different occasions from the others
                                                              • Figure 20: Consumption occasions of comfort foods – 40-49s, by gender, April 2018
                                                          • Preference towards Flavour

                                                            • Men prefer fruit/vegetable flavour while women prefer sweet flavour
                                                              • Figure 21: Preference towards flavour as comfort foods, April 2018
                                                              • Figure 22: Preference towards flavour as comfort foods, by gender, April 2018
                                                            • Consumers aged 20-24 prefer spicy flavour while those aged 30-49 prefer milk and coffee flavours
                                                              • Figure 23: Preference towards flavour as comfort foods, by age, April 2018
                                                          • Preference towards Texture

                                                            • Smooth, crunchy and chewy textures are the most popular
                                                              • Figure 24: Preference towards texture as comfort foods, April 2018
                                                            • Consumers in big families like chewy, crunchy and chunky textures
                                                              • Figure 25: Preference towards texture as comfort foods, by presence of children, April 2018
                                                            • Chewy and thick textures have more attraction to males
                                                              • Fluffy and melt textures have more attraction to females
                                                                • Figure 26: Preference towards texture as comfort foods, by gender, April 2018
                                                            • Consumption Behaviour

                                                              • Online contents have the most attraction
                                                                • Figure 27: Consumption behaviour of having comfort foods, April 2018
                                                              • Gender always brings a difference
                                                                • Figure 28: Consumption behaviour of having comfort foods, by gender, April 2018
                                                              • Behaviour, in fact, connects with consumption occasions
                                                              • General Attitudes towards Comfort Foods

                                                                  • Consumers prefer healthy comfort foods in small sizes
                                                                      • Figure 29: General attitudes towards comfort foods – size and health, April 2018
                                                                    • Half of consumers buy comfort foods at home in advance
                                                                      • Figure 30: General attitudes towards comfort foods – storage, April 2018
                                                                    • Buying from retailers but premiumisation still has a chance to go
                                                                      • Figure 31: General attitudes towards comfort foods – price and channel, April 2018
                                                                  • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                    • Only 2% of Mintropolitans have not used foods to adjust the mood
                                                                      • Figure 32: Usage of comfort foods, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                    • The occasion “when I miss someone” attract more Mintropolitans
                                                                      • Figure 33: Consumption occasions of comfort foods, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                    • Mintropolitans have more interests in floral, milk and vanilla flavours
                                                                      • Figure 34: Preference towards flavour as comfort foods, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                    • Sandy texture is more popular with Mintropolitans
                                                                      • Figure 35: Preference towards texture as comfort foods, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                    • More Mintropolitans are “the planners”
                                                                      • Figure 36: General attitudes towards comfort foods – storage, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                    • Over a third of Mintropolitans buy from foodservice channel
                                                                      • Figure 37: General attitudes towards comfort foods – channel, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                  • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                                      Attitudes towards Comfort Foods - China - July 2018

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