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China Attitudes Towards Light Meals Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Attitudes Towards Light Meals market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Running light meal businesses in potential tier two cities
  • Need for filling and tasty sides brings opportunity for bakery houses
  • Functional soft drinks encourage consumers to buy light meal sets

Covered in this report

This report covers consumers’ attitudes towards light meals and consumption behaviours. “Light meals” here refers to meals that are low in fat and calories, with light flavour, nutritionally balanced, and not overcooked.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Belle Wang, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The rise of light meals is the result of consumers’ growing awareness of the importance of having a healthy diet. To attract more consumers, a light meal should contain nuts and seeds, fruit and coarse grains at the same time, and be paired with nutritious and functional soft drinks, such as yogurt, fresh juice and probiotic drinks. Belle Wang
Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • Figure 1: Definition of heavy/light/non-users of light meals
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Growing consciousness of healthy diets
              • Restrictions on sugar and salt intake
                • Companies and brands
                  • Help consumers make quick and wise decisions
                    • Satisfy consumers’ desire for eating green and healthily
                      • The consumer
                        • Increasing consumption frequency of Western light meals
                          • Figure 2: Light meals and consumption frequency, China, November 2018
                        • Not filling enough and lack of taste stumbling blocks to some consumers’ consumption
                          • Figure 3: Purchase barriers, China, November 2018
                        • Develop workday lunch and non-workday dinner occasions in foodservice
                          • Figure 4: Consumption occasions and purchasing channels, China, November 2018
                        • In lower tier cities consumers spend more on light meals
                          • Figure 5: Price preference, by city tier, China, November 2018
                        • Containing at least three ingredients to reach most consumers
                          • Figure 6: Purchase triggers – ingredients, China, November 2018
                        • Healthy soft drinks are appealing in meal sets
                          • Figure 7: Interest in light meal sets, China, November 2018
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Running light meal businesses in potential tier two cities
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Need for filling and tasty sides brings opportunity for bakery houses
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Figure 8: Light meals from Zeroll bakery, China
                                    • Functional soft drinks encourage consumers to buy light meal sets
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Figure 9: Light meal combos with drinks, China
                                          • Figure 10: Drinkable salad juice, by Drink Bottle, China, 2018
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Increasing health consciousness stimulates light meal market growth
                                          • Regulations bring possibilities to the light meal market
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • Raising health consciousness
                                              • Worldwide salt reduction strategy
                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                • Highlighting meal functions to save decision time
                                                  • Helping consumers make a wise choice
                                                    • Fast casual brands start doing green meals
                                                    • Competitive Strategies

                                                      • Clear descriptions on menus
                                                        • Figure 11: Detailed meal introductions on menu, China
                                                      • Provide subscription services
                                                        • Figure 12: Subscription service – one week light meal plan, by VeGGet, China
                                                      • Connecting healthy food with healthy lifestyle
                                                        • Figure 13: Wagas Run, China, 2018
                                                      • Help consumers manage nutrition intake
                                                        • Figure 14: Showing food calories and decoding food nutrition
                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                      • Traditional fast casual chain restaurants step into light meal market
                                                        • Figure 15: In-store ambience and light meals, K PRO, China
                                                        • Figure 16: In-store ambience and light meals, Take a Green Break, China
                                                      • Educate consumers by making food interesting
                                                        • Figure 17: Connection between food colour and nutrition, by Sexy Salad
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Sandwiches and salads can be promoted better using strategies
                                                        • Focus on workday lunch and non-workday dinner
                                                          • Diverse ingredients in one meal can attract more consumers
                                                          • Consumption Frequency

                                                            • “Low-key” congee has become an explosion
                                                              • Figure 18: Light meals and consumption frequency, China, November 2018
                                                            • Sandwich businesses target big families
                                                              • Figure 19: consumption frequency of sandwich, by family structure, China, November 2018
                                                            • Develop boiled dishes in the South but salad in the North and East
                                                              • Figure 20: Heavy users’ consumption of salad and boiled vegetables, by regions, China, November 2018
                                                          • Purchase Barriers

                                                            • Consumers hesitating because light salads not filling enough
                                                              • Figure 21: Purchase barriers, China, November 2018
                                                            • Enrich light meal taste
                                                              • Salad differentiation by borrowing ideas from traditional Chinese meals
                                                                • Figure 22: Different salads from different regions, Russia, Lebanon and Indonesia
                                                            • Consumption Occasions and Purchasing Channels

                                                              • Offer different selections for the C-store breakfast occasion
                                                                • Figure 23: Heavy users’ light meal consumption preference, by selected consumption occasions, China, November 2018
                                                              • Focus on developing workday lunch
                                                                • Figure 24: Consumption occasions and purchasing channels, China, November 2018
                                                              • Non-workday dinner delivery targets 20-24s and big families
                                                              • Spending power

                                                                • Target higher earners and big families for premiumisation
                                                                  • Figure 25: Average spend on one light meal, China, November 2018
                                                                • Target the light meal market in lower tier cities
                                                                  • Figure 26: Spend amount, by city tier, China, November 2018
                                                                • RMB31-50 light meals in food delivery is competitive in certain occasions
                                                                  • Figure 27: Selected consumption occasions of RMB31-50 light meal spenders, by consumption channels, China, November 2018
                                                              • Purchase Triggers

                                                                • Light meals with three different ingredients will attract most consumers
                                                                  • Figure 28: Purchase triggers – ingredients, China, November 2018
                                                                • Consumers from different city tiers have different focuses
                                                                  • Figure 29: Difference in purchase triggers – features between tier one and lower tier cities (as benchmark), China, November 2018
                                                                  • Figure 30: Tier one city consumers who chose nutrition balanced and lower tier city consumers who chose low in calories, by regions, China, November 2018
                                                                • Consumers are getting more rational on promotions
                                                                  • Figure 31: Purchase triggers – promotions, China, November 2018
                                                              • Interest in Light Meal Sets

                                                                • Soft drinks with nutrition supplement are favoured
                                                                  • Figure 32: Interests in light meal sets, China, November 2018
                                                                • Offering hunger filling meal sets to mitigate purchase barriers
                                                                  • Consider consumers’ family structure when introducing light meal sets
                                                                    • Figure 33: Selected interest in light meal sets, by family structure, China, November 2018
                                                                • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                  • Mintropolitans have light meals more often
                                                                    • Figure 34: Light meals and heavy users of Mintropolitan and non-Mintropolitan, China, November 2018
                                                                  • Different purchase triggers for MinTs
                                                                    • Figure 35: Purchase triggers – ingredients of buying a light meal, by consumers classification, China, November 2018
                                                                  • Offer probiotic drinks and low-calorie smoothies for Mintropolitans
                                                                    • Figure 36: Difference of interests in light meal sets between Mintropoilitans and non-Mintropolitans (as benchmark), China, November 2018
                                                                • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                    • Abbreviations