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Chinese Style Cooking Habits Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Chinese Style Cooking Habits 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 explores consumers’ changing habits towards doing Chinese style cooking as well as their behaviour and attitudes towards selecting and using cooking sauces. The report also discusses people’s dietary habits. Cooking habits in this report include who is more likely to cook at home, cooking methods of different types of foods in different regions and recipe sources of cooking. And some cooking-related issues such as habits of using oil and salt are also covered.

Note the cooking habits of exotic cuisines are excluded from this report

Key points included

  • Attitudes towards salt reduction correlate with cooking style by region
  • Motivate young and solidary consumers to cook for health
  • Alter claim, product and communication ways to reach affluent families

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.

In fact, cooking and eating at home nowadays is more like a family activity or something of a lifestyle choice, it is not just for filling the belly but something that can strengthen the bonds between couples, between kids and parents. When selecting food such as soy sauce, consumers try to avoid some ‘bad’ elements such as GMO ingredients, salt and MSG. However, for more sophisticated, especially affluent consumers, it is not enough to just eliminate those unhealthy elements; manufacturers and brands can tailor ways to meet their demand for nutrition facts, consumption experience and effective information channels. Crystal A
Food & Drink Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Excluded
          • Definition
            • Figure 1: Definition of low/mid/high MHI groups, by monthly household income and city tier
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Changes in cooking and dietary habits accelerate in-home cooking market
                • New food purchase channels create more cooking possibilities
                  • Avoiding “bad” elements poses challenges to sauce and seasoning
                    • Availability of foodservice reduces cooking frequency of young and busy groups
                      • The consumer
                        • Though females dominate, cooking nowadays is more about family cohesion
                          • Figure 2: Who does the cooking, by living situation, China, August 2018
                        • Cooking habits stick to regional customs
                          • Figure 3: Ways of cooking vegetables, by region, August 2018
                          • Figure 4: Usage of cooking oil, by region, China, August 2018
                        • Light dietary: clean label becomes a must
                          • Figure 5: Top three purchase considerations for soy sauce – Dark soy sauce, by family structure, China, August 2018
                          • Figure 6: Salt intake reduction, by age, China, August 2018
                        • Premium dietary: affluent families are willing to pay for better-for-you offerings
                          • Figure 7: Gap in usage rate of oils between high- and low-income consumers, China, August 2018
                        • Cooking apps have become the first source of recipe while traditional ways still work
                          • Figure 8: Recipe source, China, August 2018
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Attitudes towards salt reduction correlate with cooking style by region
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Figure 9: Li Kum Kee’s campaign on healthy soy sauce with highlight on “less salt, but not less freshness”, China
                                • Figure 10: Product example of sauces and seasonings emphasising no additives/preservatives, China 2017-18
                              • Motivate young and solidary consumers to cook for health
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Figure 11: Product examples of single meal sets on online stores, China
                                    • Figure 12: Cup Noodle nice’s TVC highlighting zero guilty feelings, Japan, 2017
                                  • Alter claim, product and communication ways to reach affluent families
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Figure 13: Gu Long’s dark soy sauce highlighting traditional brewing techniques, China
                                        • Figure 14: Product and campaign examples proving products’ claims in drink and personal care categories, China, Hong Kong and Japan, 2017-18
                                        • Figure 15: Consumers interacting with chefs in DayDayCook, China
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • In-home food expenditures are driven by better-for-you offerings
                                        • New food purchase channels stimulate more in-home cooking
                                          • Health concerns pose challenges to sauce and seasoning
                                            • Foodservice provides solutions for young and busy groups to get away from kitchen
                                            • Market Opportunities and Challenges

                                              • In-home food expenditures are driven by better-for-you offerings
                                                • Figure 16: Total consumer spending on in-home food and foodservice, China, 2013-22
                                              • New purchase channels stimulate more in-home cooking
                                                • Figure 17: Cooking and dietary habits – main channel for purchasing food, April 2018
                                                • Figure 18: Consumers in Hema Supermarket waiting for foods they purchased, China
                                                • Figure 19: Food kit of a recommended dish in 321 Cooking, China, 2018
                                              • Cooking now is becoming a way to enjoy life
                                                • Figure 20: Viewing screen and cooking app of Haier range hood, China
                                                • Figure 21: Reasons for Western style cooking/baking, China, August 2018
                                              • Health concerns pose challenges but maybe also opportunities
                                                • Rising singleton and fast-paced life accelerate quick meal solutions
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Females still dominate household cooking
                                                    • Cooking and dietary habits vary by region
                                                      • Health concerns drive the clean label trend
                                                        • Cooking apps are key for recipe sources
                                                        • Who Does the Cooking?

                                                          • Females still dominate the responsibility of household cooking
                                                            • Figure 22: Who does the cooking, by gender, China, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 23: Who does the cooking – women, by age, China, August 2018
                                                          • Young and solitary consumers do less cooking at home
                                                            • Figure 24: Who does the cooking, by living situation, China, August 2018
                                                          • Cooking is more about an activity of family cohesion
                                                            • Figure 25: Who does the cooking, by age, China, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 26: Who does the cooking, by family structure, China, August 2018
                                                        • Usage of Cooking Oil

                                                          • Chinese families are using multiple types of oil to cook
                                                            • Figure 27: Usage of cooking oil, China, August 2018
                                                          • Popular types of cooking oil vary regionally
                                                            • Figure 28: Usage of cooking oil, by region, China, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 29: Opening ceremony of Lu Hua exploration hall in Wuhan, China, 2017
                                                          • Olive oil appeals to high-income households
                                                            • Figure 30: Gap in usage rate of oils between high- and low-income consumers, China, August 2018
                                                          • Butter and coconut oil share similar groups but at different ages
                                                            • Figure 31: Usage of butter and coconut oil, by age, China, August 2018
                                                        • Different Ways of Cooking Different Types of Foods

                                                          • Different cooking ways for different types of foods
                                                            • Figure 32: Different ways of cooking, by types of foods, August 2018
                                                          • Opportunities for manufacturers to launch products for stewing
                                                            • Figure 33: Different ways of cooking, by types of foods – Stewing, by gender, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 34: Product example of sauces and seasonings designed for stewing, China, 2018
                                                          • Cooking ways are diversified by region and city tier
                                                            • Figure 35: Ways of cooking vegetables, by region, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 36: Ways of cooking poultry, by region, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 37: Ways of cooking vegetables, by city tier, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 38: Ways of cooking red meats, by city tier, August 2018
                                                        • Salt Intake Reduction

                                                          • Cooking matters most in salt intake reduction
                                                            • Figure 39: Salt intake reduction, China, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 40: Product example of sauces and seasonings with claims of low salt/sodium and no MSG, China, 2017-18
                                                          • Younger consumers are more attentive to processed and delivered food
                                                            • Figure 41: Salt intake reduction, by age, China, August 2018
                                                        • Top Purchase Considerations for Soy Sauce

                                                          • Brand’s popularity is the first consideration across all types of soy sauce
                                                            • Figure 42: Purchase considerations for soy sauce, China, August 2018
                                                          • Embrace the clean label trend to attract consumers with kids
                                                            • Figure 43: Top three purchase considerations for soy sauce – Dark soy sauce, by family structure, China, August 2018
                                                          • Amino nitrogen content matters but needs more market education
                                                            • Figure 44: Top three purchase considerations for soy sauce – Content of amino nitrogen, by monthly household income, China, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 45: Product examples of soy sauce emphasising amino nitrogen, China
                                                        • Recipe Source

                                                          • Consumers are curious about nouvelle dishes
                                                            • Figure 46: Recipe source, China, August 2018
                                                          • Cooking apps are key for young cooks
                                                            • Figure 47: Recipe source – cooking apps and food bloggers, by age, China, August 2018
                                                          • Older females are conservative but can be targeted through cooking TV show
                                                            • Figure 48: Recipe source, “I haven’t referred to any recipes for Chinese style cooking in the last 6 months”, by gender and age, China, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 49: Recipe source, by age, China, August 2018
                                                        • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                          • Mintropolitans are more into exotic cooking oils
                                                            • Figure 50: Usage of olive oil, butter and coconut oil, by consumer classification, China, August 2018
                                                          • More knowledge thus higher awareness regarding food products
                                                            • Figure 51: Salt intake reduction, by consumer classification, China, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 52: Salt intake reduction, by consumer classification, China, August 2018
                                                          • For Mintropolitans, interaction during cooking is quite important
                                                            • Figure 53: Recipe source – cooking apps, food bloggers and cooking workshops, by consumer classification, China, August 2018
                                                        • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                          • Methodology
                                                            • Abbreviations