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China Nut and Seeds Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Nut and Seeds 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

  • Raise nuts and seeds’ attractiveness among seniors
  • Potential for BFY nuts and seeds
  • Is brand differentiation workable?

Covered in this report

The nuts category is the most popular category in the snack market of China at present, thanks to its healthy image and positioning as a tasty snack. Seeds, as a traditional Chinese snack category, enjoy a lower but stable growth. The nuts and seeds market is likely driven by consumers’ growing awareness of healthy snacking and the increase of the middle-class as its main consumer group.

ChaCheer leads the market thanks to its dominating position in the seeds segment. Top players in the snacking category, including Three Squirrels, Be & Cheery and Bestore also perform

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Crystal A, 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 slowing down of the nuts and seeds market should not be interpreted as saturation; instead, the opportunities for further stimulating growth lie in making nuts and seeds more compatible with other food and drink categories as ingredients and even bases. BFY nuts and seeds is another opportunity as they can meet the unmet needs of sophisticated consumers. BFY can be reflected in both ‘minus’ (eg low fat and salt) and ‘plus’ claims (eg high protein and fibre) Crystal A
Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Though growth slows down, it is still a promising market
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst- case forecast for nuts and seeds, by value, China, 2014-24
            • Nuts segment enjoys higher growth rate than that of seeds
              • Figure 2: Best- and worst- case forecast for nuts, by value, China, 2014-24
              • Figure 3: Best- and worst- case forecast for seeds, by value, China, 2014-24
            • Companies and brands
              • ChaCheer leads the market by virtue of advantages in both segments
                • Figure 4: Leading companies’ share of nuts and seeds market, China, 2018
              • Top players’ competitive strategies start to diverge
                • Opportunity for ‘natural’ nuts
                  • The consumer
                    • Fresh vegetables or fruits are welcomed across all ages; nuts and seeds need to arouse interest from the younger generation
                      • Figure 5: Consumption trends, China, May 2019
                    • China’s traditional nuts are more popular
                      • Figure 6: Usage of subcategories, China, May 2019
                    • Consumers do not stick to one brand even for similar products
                      • Figure 7: Brand penetration, China, May 2019
                    • Nutritional value of nuts and seeds are widely acknowledged
                      • Figure 8: Perceptions towards positive/negative effects, China, May 2019
                    • Familiar products get more interest
                      • Figure 9: Innovation opportunities, China, May 2019
                    • Mixed nuts and seeds products have become the mainstream
                      • Figure 10: Attitudes towards nuts and seeds, China, May 2019
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • Raise nuts and seeds’ attractiveness among seniors
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Figure 11: Product examples of nuts product highlight good for cardiovascular and digestion, USA and Australia, 2019
                          • Potential for BFY nuts and seeds
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Figure 12: Product example of nuts product highlights the process technology of storing nutrients, USA, 2019
                                • Figure 13: Product examples of nuts product with “plus” claims, China and India, 2019
                              • Is brand differentiation workable?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • A promising market
                                      • High-quality consumer groups accelerate the trend of premiumisation
                                        • Nuts segment still enjoys significant growth
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Though growth slows down, it is still a promising market
                                            • Figure 14: Retail value and growth rate of the nuts and seeds market, China, 2015-19
                                          • The total market value of nuts and seeds is estimated to reach RMB280.3 billion in 2024
                                            • Figure 15: Best- and worst- case forecast for nuts and seeds, by value, China, 2014-24
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Healthy snacking proves prevalent
                                            • High-quality consumer groups have accelerated the trend of premiumisation
                                              • The Sino-US trade dispute may bring price increases, but also changes in products structure
                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                • Nuts segment still enjoys significant growth
                                                  • Figure 16: Best- and worst- case forecast for nuts, by value, China, 2014-24
                                                • ChaCheer dominates the seeds segment
                                                  • Figure 17: Best- and worst- case forecast for seeds, by value, China, 2014-24
                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                • ChaCheer leads the market by virtue of advantages in both segments
                                                  • Top players’ competitive strategies start to diverge
                                                    • Opportunity for “natural” nuts
                                                    • Market Share

                                                      • ChaCheer leads the market by virtue of advantages in both segments
                                                        • Figure 18: Leading companies’ share of nuts and seeds market, China, 2018
                                                      • Though dominates the nut market, Three Squirrels is cutting down the share of nuts in its revenue stream
                                                        • Figure 19: Nuts products’ share of Three Squirrels’ total revenue, China, 2016-18
                                                      • Wolong occupies more shares with hero product
                                                        • Figure 20: Wolong daily nuts’ content marketing in hot TV series “doutinghao”, China, 2019
                                                    • Competitive Strategies

                                                      • Adopt omni-channel strategy to reach more consumers
                                                        • Figure 21: Be & Cheery’s first offline store in Hangzhou, China, 2019
                                                      • Strengthen capability in the supply-chain to create unique items
                                                        • Figure 22: Bestore’s sunflower seeds highlights on supply-chain management, China, 2019
                                                      • Going to public may bring benign competition
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Global innovation highlights
                                                          • Potential for going nuts as sweet snacks
                                                            • Figure 23: Top 10 flavour groups of new launches in the nut category, global, 2016-19 (to August)
                                                            • Figure 24: Product examples of dessert-inspired sweet nuts, South Korea and USA, 2018
                                                          • Promote nuts and seeds’ inherent plant protein content
                                                            • Figure 25: Graze Veggie Protein Power highlights protein on its packaging, UK, 2019
                                                          • China (incl. Taiwan) innovation highlights
                                                            • Opportunity for “natural” nuts
                                                              • Figure 26: Natural claim as % of new launches in the nut category, China vs global, 2016-19 (to August)
                                                              • Figure 27: Viridis Vivus Pistachio is said to be healthy, natural, and contains no bleaching agents or preservatives, Taiwan, 2018
                                                            • Spring up of nuts- and seeds-based food and drink
                                                              • Figure 28: Products examples of nuts-based drinks, China, 2018-19
                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                            • More nuts, also means more seeds and more dried fruits
                                                              • China’s traditional nuts are more popular
                                                                • Consumers do not stick to one brand for similar products
                                                                • Consumption Trends

                                                                  • Fresh vegetables or fruits are welcomed across ages; nuts and seeds need to arouse interests from younger generation
                                                                    • Figure 29: Consumption trends, China, May 2019
                                                                    • Figure 30: Consumption trends, selected foods – Eating more, by age, China, May 2019
                                                                  • More nuts, also means more seeds and more dried fruits
                                                                    • Figure 31: Consumption trends, selected foods – Eating more, by gender, China, May 2019
                                                                • Usage of Subcategories

                                                                  • China’s traditional nuts are more popular
                                                                    • Figure 32: Usage of subcategories, China, May 2019
                                                                    • Figure 33: Usage of subcategories – Selected subcategories, by city tier, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Females are more into trendy nuts
                                                                    • Figure 34: Usage of subcategories – Selected subcategories, by gender, China, May 2019
                                                                  • The youngest and the oldest are the main consume groups
                                                                    • Figure 35: Usage of subcategories – Selected subcategories, by age, China, May 2019
                                                                • Brand Penetration

                                                                  • E-commerce brands enjoy higher penetration rates
                                                                    • Figure 36: Brand penetration, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Consumers do not stick to one brand for similar products
                                                                    • Figure 37: Brand penetration – Selected brands, by brand users, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Wolong for nuts while ChaCheer for seeds
                                                                    • Figure 38: Usage of subcategories – Selected subcategories, by brand, China, May 2019
                                                                    • Figure 39: Usage of subcategories – Selected subcategories, by brand, China, May 2019
                                                                • Perceptions towards Positive/Negative Effects

                                                                  • Nutrition value of nuts and seeds are widely acknowledged
                                                                    • Figure 40: Perceptions towards positive/negative effects, China, May 2019
                                                                  • The opportunity for better-for-you nuts and seeds offerings
                                                                    • Figure 41: Perceptions towards positive/negative effects – Selected effects, by gender, China, May 2019
                                                                • Innovation Opportunities

                                                                  • Familiar products get more interest
                                                                    • Figure 42: Innovation opportunities, China, May 2019
                                                                    • Figure 43: Innovation opportunities – Selected products, by age, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Western-style nuts and seeds products hold potential among high earners
                                                                    • Figure 44: Innovation opportunities – Selected products, by monthly personal income, China, May 2019
                                                                • Attitudes towards Nuts and Seeds

                                                                  • Mixed nuts and seeds products have become the mainstream
                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitudes towards nuts and seeds, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Position nuts and seeds as gifting foods
                                                                    • Figure 46: Attitudes towards nuts and seeds, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Is there any opportunity for targeting lower earners?
                                                                    • Figure 47: Attitudes towards nuts and seeds, China, May 2019
                                                                • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                  • Mintropolitans are increasing their consumption in this market
                                                                    • Figure 48: Consumption trends, by consumer classification, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Mintropolitans are purchasing from more brands
                                                                    • Consuming nuts and seeds has become a lifestyle choice for Mintropolitans
                                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes towards nuts and seeds, by consumer classification, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                      • Figure 50: Total market value of nuts and seeds, China, 2014-24
                                                                  • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                      • Figure 51: Total market value of nuts, China, 2014-24
                                                                      • Figure 52: Total market value of seeds, China, 2014-24
                                                                  • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                        • Abbreviations