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China Plant-based Diet Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Plant-based Diet 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

  • Prevention rather than cure might crack open the market
  • The appeal of ‘lightness’ spikes but taste is non-negotiable
  • Scientifically proven perks of plant-based diet could be alluring to males in their 40s

Covered in this report

This report covers consumers’ attitudes towards plant-based diets and consumption behaviours. ‘Plant-based diet’ here includes food and drink that have been derived from a plant or vegetable source, such as beans, chia, hemp, canola, potato, pumpkin, rice, soy, and wheat, as well as others.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Wenxin Xu, a leading analyst in the Lifestyles sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Consumers with growing health concerns are embracing the power of plants, and while they hold positive perceptions towards plant-based food and drink, they will lean towards diets that are curated to Chinese palates. The demand for more diverse offerings in premiumised plant-based food and drink provides a healthy market outlook for this category, driving businesses to upgrade processing techniques, and introduce novel ingredients and re-imagined crossover products to the market Wenxin Xu
Senior Lifestyles Analyst

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • The consumer
              • Plant-based food and drink gains growth momentum
                • Figure 1: Consumption trends, November 2018
              • Growing health concerns motivate change in consumer behaviour
                • Figure 2: Reasons for having less animal-based food and drink, November 2018
              • Health benefits of plant-based diets are well-received by the majority
                • Figure 3: Perception of health benefits, November 2018
              • Willingness to purchase plant-based food and drink varies based on dietary habits
                • Figure 4: Interest in plant-based alternatives, November 2018
              • Specialised venues and Chinese-style restaurants intrigue local taste buds
                • Figure 5: Venue selection, November 2018
              • Attitudes towards plant-based or animal meat and dairy reveal confusion
                • Figure 6: Attitudes towards plant-based diets, November 2018
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Prevention rather than cure might crack open the market
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Scientifically proven perks of plant-based diet could be alluring to males in their 40s
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • The appeal of ‘lightness’ spikes but taste is non-negotiable
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • Growing health awareness drives plant-based food and drink market growth
                                    • Flavours tailored to Chinese palates is the first step to adaption
                                      • Government calls for less consumption of animal products to fight environmental catastrophe and diseases
                                      • Market Drivers

                                        • Pursuit of healthy lifestyle drives consumers to alternative products
                                          • Demand for premiumised food and drink would boost market growth
                                            • Health and fitness have been highlighted for further development
                                            • Competitive Strategies

                                              • Incorporate advanced manufacturing technology through joint ventures
                                                • Figure 7: Silk soymilk products, 2018
                                              • Strategic M&A rejuvenates Cu Liang Wang’s product lines
                                                • Figure 8: Silk soymilk products, 2018
                                              • Oatly’s partnership with cafes accelerates oat milk market acceptance
                                                • Figure 9: Oatly partnership with bluebottle, US, 2018
                                                • Figure 10: Oatly partnership with pacific coffee, China, 2018
                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                              • US: non-dairy milk made with less additives and fortified nutrients
                                                • Figure 11: Non-dairy drinks, US, 2018
                                              • Global: non-dairy yogurt alternatives
                                                • Figure 12: Non-dairy yogurt alternative, 2018
                                              • Sweden: non-dairy ice cream portrayed with same level of indulgence as dairy ice cream
                                                • Figure 13: Non-dairy oat-based ice cream, 2018
                                              • Japan: beloved trendy ingredients rejuvenate traditional plant-based products
                                                • Figure 14: Ready-to-eat tofu snacks with flavour varieties, 2018
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Dietary habits shift towards plant-based offerings
                                                • Health concerns trigger behavioural changes
                                                  • Divergent beliefs suggest enhancement rather than replacement marketing strategy
                                                  • Consumption Trends

                                                    • Dietary habits shift to plant-based food and drink
                                                      • Figure 15: Consumption trends, November 2018
                                                    • Health-related concerns top other reasons in attracting older males
                                                      • Figure 16: Consumption trends, by gender and age, November 2018
                                                    • Twenty-something females consume plant-based foods and dairy
                                                      • Figure 17: Consumption trends, by gender and age, November 2018
                                                  • Reasons for Having Less Animal-based Foods

                                                    • Health concerns top all reasons for cutting down on animal meat and dairy
                                                      • Figure 18: Reasons for having less animal-based foods, November 2018
                                                    • Consumers from different city tiers share similar reasoning
                                                      • Figure 19: Reasons for having less animal-based foods, by city tiers, November 2018
                                                    • Females cut back on animal meat consumption for weight management; young males trying not to break the bank
                                                      • Figure 20: Reasons for having less animal-based foods, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                  • Perception of Health Benefits

                                                    • Plant power most recognised for rich fibre
                                                      • Figure 21: Perception of health benefits, November 2018
                                                    • Plant-based food and drink needs to convince uncertain groups
                                                      • Figure 22: Perception of health benefits, by age and gender, November 2018
                                                    • More young females are firm believers in plants
                                                      • Figure 23: Perception of health benefits, November 2018
                                                  • Interests in Plant-based Alternatives

                                                    • Familiarity with product form might be the key to tap into plant-based sector
                                                      • Figure 24: Interest in plant-based alternatives, November 2018
                                                    • Regional preferences reflect dietary habits
                                                      • Figure 25: Interest in plant-based alternatives, by city tier, November 2018
                                                      • Figure 26: Interests in plant-based alternatives, by region, November 2018
                                                  • Venue Selection

                                                    • Plant-based diet is largely associated with ‘lightness’
                                                      • Figure 27: Venue selection, November 2018
                                                    • Older males favour Chinese restaurants while females of all ages lean towards light meal restaurants
                                                      • Figure 28: Venue selection, by gender and age, November 2018
                                                  • Attitudes towards Plant-based Diets

                                                    • Confusion exists towards both plant-based foods and animal meats
                                                      • Figure 29: Attitudes towards plant-based diets, November 2018
                                                    • Lower tier cities show stronger belief and interest in plant-based diets
                                                      • Figure 30: Attitudes towards plant-based diets, % of any agree, by city tiers, November 2018
                                                    • Perceived nutritional value and cost vary among different city tiers
                                                      • Figure 31: Attitudes towards plant-based diets, % of any agree and neutral, by city tiers, November 2018
                                                  • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                    • Mintropolitans enjoy more plant-based and animal meats
                                                      • Figure 32: Consumption trends, plant-based food and drink, by consumer classification, November 2018
                                                      • Figure 33: Consumption trends, animal meat and dairy, by consumer classification, November 2018
                                                    • Intrigued Mintropolitans crave more trendy plant-based foods
                                                      • Figure 34: Attitudes towards plant-based diets, % of any agree and neutral, by consumer classification, November 2018
                                                  • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                    • Methodology