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Fast Casual Restaurants - China - January 2018

“Although growing dramatically, China’s fast causal market is still in a stage of infancy. Existing fast casual brands should focus on workday lunch as well as explore other occasions, especially workday dinner and late-night meal. There is also opportunity in the market for more Chinese-style fast casual brands providing inviting store atmosphere, fun dining experience and premium offerings.”

– Summer Chen, Research Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Improving appeal for workday lunches
  • Occasion extension 
  • Opportunity for more fast casual brands offering Chinese-style foods

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
        • Definitions
          • Figure 1: Definition of premium/non-premium diners
          • Figure 2: Definition of low/mid/high MHI groups, by city tier
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Market in stage of infancy with a triple-digit growth
              • Figure 3: Market size of fast casual market, China, 2014-17
            • Demand for quality meals and a fun new dining experience continue to fuel growth
              • Companies and brands
                • Small chains rule
                  • Up-to-date menus and fun dining experiences help to attract more visits
                    • Innovation highlights
                      • The consumer
                        • Workday lunch is the most important dining out occasion
                          • Figure 4: Frequency of eating out, October 2017
                        • 27% spend more than RMB 40 on a typical workday lunch
                          • Figure 5: Spending on workday lunch, October 2017
                        • Premium diners value variety and specialty dishes more
                          • Figure 6: Factors of choosing workday lunch venues, October 2017
                          • Figure 7: Factors of choosing workday lunch venues, by consumer classification, October 2017
                        • Main-dish salad: cooked vegetables preferred
                          • Figure 8: Ideal main-dish salad, dressing taste, October 2017
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Improving appeal for workday lunches
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Occasion extension
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Opportunity for more fast casual brands offering Chinese-style foods
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Figure 9: Nagi Ramen
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Market in stage of infancy with triple-digit growth
                                            • Demand for a quality meal and fun new dining experience fuel growth
                                            • Market Size

                                              • Definition and evolution of fast causal
                                                • Fast casual in China
                                                  • Figure 10: Market size of fast casual market, China, 2014-17
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • Fast, quality meals wanted in a busier, modern life
                                                  • Figure 11: Dining habits and attitudes, fast casual format, October 2017
                                                • Young consumers craving new fun dining experiences
                                                  • A way for restaurant brands to justify higher prices
                                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Small chains rule
                                                      • Up-to-date menus and fun dining experiences help to attract more visits
                                                        • Innovation highlights
                                                        • Leading Players

                                                            • New light meal offerings
                                                              • Figure 12: Market volume of leading players in the fast casual market, new offerings of light meals, China, 2017
                                                            • Wagas
                                                              • Figure 13: Interior design of Wagas
                                                            • Max & Salad
                                                              • Figure 14: Ordering with chips, Max & Salad
                                                            • Other leading brands
                                                              • Fast-served quality traditional offerings
                                                                • Figure 15: Market volume of leading players in the fast casual market, fast-served quality traditional offerings, China, 2017
                                                              • Hefu-Noodle & Taoyuan Village
                                                                • Figure 16: interior design of Hefu-Noodle and Taoyuan Village
                                                              • Other leading brands
                                                              • Competitive Strategies

                                                                • A trendy, localised menu
                                                                  • Adding a bit of fun into the health angle
                                                                    • Eye-catching presentations
                                                                      • Store design
                                                                        • Dish and packaging design
                                                                          • Figure 17: dish and packaging design
                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                        • Hunter Gatherer: restaurant + food market
                                                                          • Figure 18: Interior design and display of hunter gatherer, China
                                                                        • Sweetgreen: unique store design for each chain
                                                                          • Figure 19: Exterior and interior of sweetgreen, US
                                                                        • Pret A Manger (UK): pop-up store to test new menu items
                                                                          • Shake Shack: social media to create buzz
                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Workday lunch is the most important dining out occasion
                                                                              • 27% spend more than RMB 40 on a typical workday lunch
                                                                                • Premium diners value variety and specialty dishes more
                                                                                  • Main-dish salad: cooked vegetables preferred
                                                                                  • Frequency of Eating Out

                                                                                    • Most consumers eat out frequently for workday lunches but not non-working meals
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Frequency of eating out, October 2017
                                                                                    • Targeting solo dwellers for regular workday dinners
                                                                                      • Figure 21: Selected frequency of eating out, 3 times a week or more, by living status, October 2017
                                                                                    • Eating out for non-working meals more popular among premium diners
                                                                                      • Figure 22: Frequency of eating out, workday dinner, by user category, October 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Frequency of eating out, holiday lunch/dinner, by user category, October 2017
                                                                                  • Spending on Workday Lunches

                                                                                    • 27% premium diners
                                                                                      • Figure 24: Spending on workday lunch, October 2017
                                                                                    • Market in tier two cities should not be neglected
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Proportion of premium diners, by city, October 2017
                                                                                  • Factors of Choosing Workday Lunch Venues

                                                                                    • Quality more critical than fast service
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Factors of choosing workday lunch venues, October 2017
                                                                                    • Premium diners value variety and specialty dishes more
                                                                                      • Figure 27: Factors of choosing workday lunch venues, by consumer classification, October 2017
                                                                                    • For ingredients, fresh is more important than premium
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Factors of choosing workday lunch venues, ingredients, by consumer classification, October 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Examples of restaurant communications highlighting freshness, China
                                                                                  • Factors of Holiday Dining Habits

                                                                                    • Health rather than financial reasons is the top driver for in-home cooking
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Factors of holiday dining habits, cooking at home, October 2017
                                                                                    • Consumers dine out for socialising as often as for the food
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Factors of holiday dining habits, dining out, October 2017
                                                                                  • Ideal Main-Dish Salad

                                                                                    • Ingredients: no need for heating, but vegetables should be cooked
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Ideal main-dish salad, temperature when serving, October 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Ideal main-dish salad, preparation of vegetables, October 2017
                                                                                    • Dressing: rich and creamy preferred texture, while taste preference varies
                                                                                      • Figure 34: Ideal main-dish salad, dressing texture, October 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 35: Ideal main-dish salad, dressing taste, October 2017
                                                                                    • Dressing: sweetish and sour tastes pair better with a creamy texture while spicy and savoury go better with a light one
                                                                                      • Figure 36: Ideal main-dish salad, dressing texture and taste, October 2017
                                                                                  • Dining Habits and Attitudes

                                                                                    • The majority have a high standard regarding their diets
                                                                                      • Figure 37: Dining habits and attitudes, diet, October 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Spending on workday lunch, by dining habits and attitudes, diet, October 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 39: Factors of choosing workday lunch venues, by dining habits and attitudes, October 2017
                                                                                    • Western fast food brands are not yet associated with healthy and high-quality meals
                                                                                      • Figure 40: Dining habits and attitudes, health issue of fast food brands, October 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 41: Dining habits and attitudes, quality issue of fast food brands, October 2017
                                                                                  • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                    • Have a higher standard for diet
                                                                                      • Figure 42: Dining habits and attitudes, diet, by consumer classification, October 2017
                                                                                    • And are willing to pay more for it
                                                                                      • Figure 43: Proportion of premium diners, by consumer classification, October 2017
                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size

                                                                                      • Figure 44: Value sales of fast casual market, China, 2014-17
                                                                                  • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                                                      Fast Casual Restaurants - China - January 2018

                                                                                      US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)