Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

China Coffee Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Coffee 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?

Covered in this report

This report covers all instant coffee, fresh coffee and RTD (Ready-to-Drink) coffee. Market size is based on the retail sales of the below mentioned three types of coffee only. Freshly-made coffee sold and served via on-trade channels (such as hotels, restaurants, and cafés) is excluded from the market size.

There are three sub-categories of coffee included in this report:

Fresh coffee – this includes ground/roasted coffee and beans, coffee capsules, and coffee pods. It is made into coffee by using equipment such as regular coffee machines, pod coffee machines, bean grinders, and coffee pots. In this Report, coffee made from fresh coffee products (eg ground coffee, beans, and coffee capsules) is also referred to as self-made coffee.

Instant coffee – this includes granules, pulverised, and powders, and products which require only the addition of water to be made into coffee that are either plain (pure with nothing added) or flavoured (with added ingredients such as milk power, sugar, sweeteners; for example, latte, cappuccino, 2-in-1s, 3-in-1s).

RTD coffee – this includes ready-to-drink coffee drinks, such as Starbucks Frappuccino and Illy Iced Coffee, sold at retail channels such as supermarkets. It is prepared to be consumed directly and does not require the addition of water or flavourings before consumption.

What you need to know

The total retail sales value of coffee in the Chinese market is still growing at a double digit rate, even though the proportion of instant coffee is becoming less and less significant. The consumption frequency of any types of coffee is increasing without too much difference. When it comes to consumption occasion, the usage of coffee becomes quite diverse, and there is clear preference among the same age and gender group, or consumers from the same region.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Loris Li, 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 blurring boundary between packaged coffee manufacturers and freshly-brew coffee retailers brings more uncertainties to the category, let along the ambitious ‘new retail’ players. Growing consumption frequency signifies that there is still space that coffee can stretch into in China. To drive premiumisation, clean label claims can be appealing. Loris Li
Associate Director - Food & Drink

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
        • Definitions
          • Monthly household income
            • Figure 1: Mintel’s definition of different income groups, China
          • Consumption frequency
            • Figure 2: Mintel’s definition of heavy/medium/light user of each coffee type, China
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Fresh coffee and RTD coffee will be main driving forces
                • Key players
                  • Nestlé becomes a much stronger leader
                    • JDE acquired Super coffee and has gained market share
                      • Uni-President and Suntory lose shares in RTD area
                        • The consumer
                          • Coffee drinkers tend to try different types
                            • Figure 3: Penetration of different types of coffee, China, July 2018
                          • Higher consumption frequency and no difference between tiers
                            • Figure 4: Coffee consumption frequency, China, July 2018
                          • Instant for working days; freshly-made for weekends
                            • Figure 5: Coffee drinking occasion, China, July 2018
                          • “Minus” claims are more likely to be counted as premium features
                            • Figure 6: Opportunities for RTD coffee premiumisation, China, July 2018
                          • Drip bag coffee manufacturers need to update the bag itself
                            • Figure 7: Barriers of drinking drip bag coffee, China, July 2018
                          • Coffee is becoming more important, and consumers want to learn more
                            • Figure 8: Attitudes towards coffee, China, July 2018
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • More innovation and upgrade on the “bag” itself
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Figure 9: Seesaw’s drip bag coffee offerings in its Tmall official store, China, 2018
                                  • Figure 10: Tasogare’s sakura box, China, 2018
                                  • Figure 11: Douban drip bag coffee’s paper bag, China, 2018
                                • Capsule coffee targeting the young with guidance on choice
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Figure 12: Caferica claims that its capsules work on Nespresso’s machine, 2018
                                      • Figure 13: Tasogare’s drip coffee with detailed taste analysis on product’s Tmall page, China, 2018
                                    • Position coffee as a social catalyst of the “Pantry Culture”
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Figure 14: Nescafé’s one-stop solution for office, China, 2018
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Fresh coffee and RTD coffee have better chance to grow
                                          • Threat from on-trade channels
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • The market value has good potential to grow further
                                              • Figure 15: Best- and worst-case forecast for coffee, by value, 2013-23
                                            • The sales volume of non-liquid retail market grows much slower
                                              • Figure 16: Best- and worst-case forecast for non-liquid coffee, by volume, 2013-23
                                            • Healthy growing trend in RTD coffee market
                                              • Figure 17: Best- and worst-case forecast for RTD coffee, by volume, 2013-23
                                          • Market Factors

                                            • Higher usage frequency driving growth
                                              • Convenient delivery service of freshly-brewed as challenge
                                                • Figure 18: Sketch design of Starbucks cup lid for delivery, China, 2018
                                                • Figure 19: Luckin pushes AD in Wechat moment about the opening of a new store in the area, China, 2018
                                              • On-trade channels expanding influence by selling drip bags
                                                • Figure 20: Family Mart’s drip bag coffee, China, 2018
                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                              • The leader gets stronger, the followers get weaker
                                                • Diverse offerings to encourage more consumption
                                                  • Innovation around improving the comprehensive coffee experience
                                                  • Market Share

                                                    • Not much change in the market of non-liquid coffee
                                                      • Figure 21: Company share of non-liquid coffee market in china, 2016 and 2017
                                                    • Nestlé is expanding its share in RTD area
                                                      • Uni-President is losing market share and needs product upgrade
                                                        • Starbucks still dominates the premium end of RTD coffee
                                                          • Figure 22: Company share of RTD coffee market, 2016 and 2017
                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                        • Enrich product portfolio with inspiration from imported products
                                                          • Figure 23: Percentage of imported packaged coffee, China, 2015-18
                                                          • Figure 24: Imported instant coffee introducing new technology, China, 2017
                                                          • Figure 25: Comment under Nescafé’s white coffee product page, China, 2018
                                                        • RTD lines targeting different occasions
                                                          • Figure 26: Starbucks Double Shot and Chilled Cup, China, 2018
                                                        • Diverse coffee types for automatic machine
                                                          • Figure 27: Nespresso’s detailed instruction on how to make Salentina ice coffee, China, 2018
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Rich flavours on trend
                                                          • Figure 28: Flavour trend of instant and RTD coffee, China, 2014-18
                                                        • Cold brew instant coffee innovation
                                                          • Figure 29: Saturn Bird provides images explaining usage instruction, China, 2018
                                                          • Figure 30: S.Engine’s cold brew instant coffee in liquid format, China, 2018
                                                        • Temperature-control container to enhance the experience
                                                          • Figure 31: Coffee new launch storage type, China, 2013-18
                                                          • Figure 32: RTD coffee new launch storage type, China, 2013-18
                                                          • Figure 33: Coffee new launch storage type, China, 2013-18
                                                        • Probiotics in coffee with straightforward benefits communication
                                                          • Figure 34: Jus By Julie’s coffee with probiotics, US, 2018
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Rising coffee consumption frequency
                                                          • Clean label as the most embraced trading up features
                                                            • Coffee has become part of the daily life ritual for some
                                                            • Penetration of Coffee

                                                              • RTD coffee has gained momentum
                                                                • Figure 35: Penetration of different types of coffee, China, July 2018
                                                                • Figure 36: Ranking of the penetration of different types of coffee, China, 2016-18
                                                              • Instant, RTD, and freshly-made coffee sharing the same group of fans
                                                                • Figure 37: Penetration of different types of coffee, China, 2016-18
                                                              • Young females in their early twenties value coffee experience as a whole
                                                                • Figure 38: Penetration of different types of coffee, by gender and age, China, July 2018
                                                              • DINK families are more into coffee
                                                                • Figure 39: Penetration of different types of coffee, by family structure, China, July 2018
                                                              • White collars rely on coffee for its functional benefits
                                                                • Figure 40: Penetration of different types of coffee, by job, China, July 2018
                                                                • Figure 41: Nescafé’s TVC in office setting with a man grinding coffee beans implying freshness, Korea, 2018
                                                            • Consumption Frequency

                                                              • Instant coffee and coffee machine are more for daily consumption
                                                                • Figure 42: Coffee consumption frequency, China, July 2018
                                                              • Increasing consumption frequency across all coffee types
                                                                • Figure 43: Coffee consumption frequency, China, 2017-18
                                                            • Drinking Occasion

                                                              • Freshly-made coffee plays a more important role during weekend
                                                                • Figure 44: Coffee drinking occasion, China, July 2018
                                                                • Figure 45: RTD coffee with energy boosting claim, Indonesia, 2018
                                                              • Different regions have their own occasions
                                                                • Figure 46: Instant coffee drinking occasion, by region, China, July 2018
                                                                • Figure 47: Maxim Kanu Coffee’s TVC incorporating the setting of brunch, Korea, 2017
                                                              • More females aged 30-49 are into drip bag coffee on weekend morning
                                                                • Figure 48: Drip bag coffee drinking occasion, by gender and age, China, July 2018
                                                            • Opportunities for Premiumisation

                                                              • Clean label features are most likely to drive premiumisation
                                                                • Figure 49: Opportunities for RTD coffee premiumisation, China, July 2018
                                                                • Figure 50: Latte stressing on its 80% of milk content on packaging, South Korea, 2018
                                                                • Figure 51: Premiumisation factors for RTD coffee - TURF Analysis, July 2018
                                                              • Young females care about their figures
                                                                • Figure 52: Opportunities for RTD coffee premiumisation, by gender and age, China, July 2018
                                                                • Figure 53: Slimming instant coffee, Czech, 2018
                                                              • Consumers in Beijing are serious about limiting sugar intake
                                                                • Figure 54: Ranking of RTD coffee’s premiumisation attributes among tier one cities, by city, China, July 2018
                                                                • Figure 55: Latte with low sugar claim or a guidance on sugar content scale, China and Japan, 2018
                                                            • Barriers of Drinking Drip Bag Coffee

                                                              • One fifth of drip bag coffee non-users have never heard of it
                                                                • Figure 56: Barriers of drinking drip bag coffee, China, July 2018
                                                              • Sophisticated coffee drinkers have concerns on the paper bag
                                                                • Figure 57: Barriers of drinking drip bag coffee, by company type and coffee consumption, China, July 2018
                                                            • Attitudes Towards Coffee

                                                              • Almost half of surveyed consumers find coffee indispensable
                                                                • Coffee as an essential to automatic coffee machine users
                                                                  • Figure 58: Attitudes towards coffee, China, July 2018
                                                                • RTD coffee heavy users are proactive in learning about coffee
                                                                  • Figure 59: RTD coffee with explanation of cold brew on package, China, 2017
                                                                • For the middle-aged, males rely more on coffee to refill energy
                                                                  • Figure 60: Attitudes towards coffee, China, July 2018
                                                                  • Figure 61: Attitudes towards coffee, China, July 2018
                                                                • Consumers in Guangzhou and from foreign companies are sophisticated
                                                                  • Figure 62: Attitudes towards coffee, China, July 2018
                                                              • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                • Mintropolitans consume more freshly-made coffee during weekdays
                                                                  • Figure 63: Occasion of freshly-made coffee consumption, by consumer classification, China, July 2018
                                                                • Mintropolitans are more interested in cold brew RTD coffee
                                                                  • Figure 64: Opportunities of RTD coffee premiumisation, by consumer classification, China, July 2018
                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                  • Figure 65: Value sales of total retail market of instant coffee, China, 2018-23
                                                                  • Figure 66: Value sales of total retail market of fresh coffee, China, 2018-23
                                                                  • Figure 67: Value sales of total retail market of RTD coffee, China, 2018-23
                                                                  • Figure 68: Volume sales of total retail market of instant coffee, China, 2018-23
                                                                  • Figure 69: Volume sales of total retail market of fresh coffee, China, 2018-23
                                                                  • Figure 70: Volume sales of total retail market of RTD coffee, China, 2018-23
                                                              • Appendix – Methodology, Definitions, and Abbreviations

                                                                • Methodology
                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                    • Abbreviations