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Menu Insights - China - September 2019

Covered in this report

The market has experienced slower growth compared with the year before. One reason for this is a change in spending priority which means more consumers are spending more on holidays and entertaining than spending on eating out. Also, with regard to menus, businesses have found it necessary to adjust their offerings because of an increase in the price of pork and discounted import beef prices. Consumers are caring more about detailed meal information, with short video apps stimulating more attractive menu innovations.

“Consumers are still willing to dine out, while the frequency of ordering food delivery is affected by the fast growing ready meal market and Fresh app usage. Sichuan cuisine still wins the majority, but Cantonese cuisine has taken the premium market. In Western dishes, steak, pizza and burger dominant the market. For low-popularity dishes, businesses need to promote the dishes as star and main products to win more market share.”
– Belle Wang, Research Analyst

This Report will cover the following areas:

  • Cooperate with Fresh apps
  • Western cuisines need to introduce star product to win more attention
  • Trend of developing light flavoured cuisines

Mintel’s research shows that over one third of respondents have dined out more often, and over a quarter of consumers have ordered food delivery less often. The food delivery market has not only been negatively affected by rising delivery fees but has also faced threat from other business, especially Fresh apps and ready meals which are influencing consumers’ behaviours. In terms of Chinese cuisines, Sichuan cuisine still dominates the market. Furthermore, nutritional information on menus is becoming more important than before and consumers are paying more attention to detailed ingredient information, which is mainly because of their rising consciousness of health.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Slower growth of consumer expenditure of dining out
              • More consumers are pursuing a balanced diet
                • DIY makes dining experience more fun
                  • Hotpot has entered more categories and more consumption occasions
                    • The consumer
                      • Changing frequency of dining out and ordering food delivery
                        • Figure 1: Trends of dining out habit, China, May 2019
                      • Consumers are having a healthy diet
                        • Figure 2: Dieting habits, China, May 2019
                      • Sichuan cuisine wins most consumers’ preference, followed by Cantonese
                        • Figure 3: Preference on different Chinese cuisines, China, May 2019
                      • Steak, pizza and burger businesses have room for further upgrading
                        • Figure 4: Preference on Western dishes, China, May 2019
                      • Nutrition information and dish popularity are getting more important
                        • Figure 5: Important information on the menu, China, May 2019
                      • Wide gaps between tier one and lower tier cities in buffet business
                        • Figure 6: Perception of buffet, China, May 2019
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • Cooperate with Fresh apps
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Western cuisines need to introduce star product to win more attention
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Trend of developing light flavoured cuisines
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Red meat production and import volume would affect menu structure
                                            • Short video apps drive more menu innovations
                                              • More businesses are investing in plant-based products
                                              • Market Factors

                                                • Growth of dining out expenditure is slowing down
                                                  • Fluctuation of meat volume affects menu structure
                                                    • Consumers have rising awareness of balanced nutrition
                                                      • Short video apps stimulate business to innovate more attractive menu
                                                      • Market Highlights

                                                        • DIY meals enrich the dining experience
                                                          • Figure 7: DIY meals, China
                                                        • Hotpot is everywhere
                                                          • Figure 8: Diantaixiang x HEYTEA, China, 2019
                                                          • Figure 9: Pizza with hotpot flavour, by LaCésar, China, 2018
                                                        • The hype around plant-based diet
                                                          • Figure 10: Plant-based meat mooncake, by Zhen Vegan Meat, China, 2019
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Food delivery market is affected by ready meals and Fresh apps
                                                          • Develop dairy drinks to pair with meals
                                                            • Increasing attention on nutrition information and dish popularity
                                                            • Trends of Dining out Habit

                                                              • Consumers are willing to dine out
                                                                • Figure 11: Trends of dining out habit, China, May 2019
                                                              • Food delivery service is under threat
                                                                • Figure 12: Feature of “what we eat”, by Miss Fresh, China
                                                              • Different focuses in different city tiers
                                                                • Figure 13: Age structure of consumers who have dined out and ordered food delivery more often, by city tier, China, May 2019
                                                            • Dieting Habit

                                                              • Have an awareness of eating healthy
                                                                • Figure 14: Dieting habits, China, May 2019
                                                              • Vary dairy drinks and desserts for pairing with meals
                                                                • Figure 15: Lactobacillus drink with the original flavour, by Hai Di Lao, China, 2019
                                                              • Tendency of meat consumption varies by gender and age
                                                                • Figure 16: Meat consumption habits – Very often, by gender and age, China, May 2019
                                                            • Preference on Chinese Cuisines

                                                              • Top three cuisines ranked in the same way through the years
                                                                • Figure 17: Preference on different Chinese cuisines, China, May 2019
                                                              • Potential of non-local cuisines
                                                                • Figure 18: Preference on cuisine types, by region, China, May 2019
                                                            • Preference on Western Dishes

                                                              • Steak wins the most consumers
                                                                • Figure 19: Preference on Western dishes, China, May 2019
                                                              • Trend of introducing delicate burgers
                                                                • Improve in-store dining experience to attract more pizza consumers
                                                                  • Develop pizza businesses in tier three cities
                                                                    • Figure 20: Preference on Western dishes, by city tiers, China, May 2019
                                                                • Important Factors on Menu

                                                                  • More consumers order meals looking for nutrition information
                                                                    • Figure 21: Important information on the menu, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Menu expectations have been changing
                                                                    • Figure 22: Ranking changes of important information on the menu, China, May 2018-May 2019
                                                                  • Expectations of different Chinese cuisine menus
                                                                    • Figure 23: Selected important menu information, by respondents who prefer certain Chinese cuisine, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Interests in different Western-style meal menus
                                                                    • Figure 24: Selected important menu information, by respondents who prefer certain Western-style dishes, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Menu designed for families
                                                                    • Figure 25: Selected important menu information, by family structure, China, May 2019
                                                                    • Figure 26: Dieting habits on selected food – Order very often, by family structure, China, May 2019
                                                                • Perception of Buffet

                                                                  • Buffet is struggling in lower tier cities
                                                                    • Figure 27: Perception of buffet, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Satisfaction of different types of buffet
                                                                    • Figure 28: Users’ satisfaction rate on buffet types, China, May 2019
                                                                  • Widen variety of Chinese buffet
                                                                    • Figure 29: Interest of non-users, China, May 2019
                                                                • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                  • Trend of adding premium dairy and fungus on menu
                                                                    • Figure 30: Difference in dieting habits – Order very often - between MinTs and non-MinTs (as the benchmark), China, May 2019
                                                                  • Detailed ingredient information attracts MinTs the most
                                                                    • Figure 31: Difference in expectation on menu information between MinTs and non-MinTs (as the benchmark), China, May 2019
                                                                • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                    • Abbreviations

                                                                    Menu Insights - China - September 2019

                                                                    £3,486.28 (Excl.Tax)