China Plant-protein Drinks Market 2024 | Focus: Consumer
Currently, improvement focusing on taste and naturalness is a top priority. Different plant-protein drinks need to demonstrate unique nutritional advantages to stand out from the competition. Novel ingredients and cross-category…

China Plant-protein Drinks Market 2024 | Focus: Consumer

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Report Summary

Mintel’s Focus Reports extract and analyze key information and data to provide a condensed and insightful report on the topics that matter to you and your business. This report covers the China plant-protein drinks consumer, if you are interested in learning more about the China plant-protein market, use the navigation at the top of this page to browse other Focus Reports on the subject.

China Plant-protein Drinks Market: Consumer

What’s behind the rising demand for plant-protein drinks China? Take a look at Mintel’s report to find out. The report features insights on key industry trends, consumer behavior and growth opportunities in the market.

What’s New in the Plant-protein Drinks Market?

  • Oats Are In: Oats stand out for their nourishing attributes and benefits for heart health.
  • New Ingredients Making a Splash: Black beans and pistachios are the most sought-after new players in the market.
  • Taste Matters: Improving taste, especially texture, is a crucial strategy to regain customer interest.

For more insights like these, alongside expert analysis from Mintel’s industry specialist, purchase the full report today.

Meet The Expert

This report is written by Rika Huang, Senior Analyst at Mintel. Rika Joined Mintel in 2021 as a research analyst, specializing in food and drink industries. Before Mintel, she is a business intelligence analyst at a martech company, providing service for beauty and auto brands.

Currently, improvement focusing on taste and naturalness is a top priority. Different plant-protein drinks need to demonstrate unique nutritional advantages to stand out from the competition. Novel ingredients and cross-category variations can help boost the innovation momentum in the future.

Rika Huang
Senior Analyst, China Insights

Market Definitions

This report discusses a variety of plant-based drinks, including soy-, rice-, nut- (eg peanut and almond), grain- (eg oats, quinoa, and corn), seed- (eg flaxseed and chia seeds) and coconut-based drinks. Packaged in bottles, cans, tubs, cartons, flexible packaging and stand-up pouches, these beverages are available in family packs, individual portions and multipacks.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive summary

    • Where we are now
    • What’s next
    • Mintel’s perspective
  2. Consumer analysis

    • Consumption habits
    • The penetration growth of oat-based drinks slows down, while walnut-based drinks see a significant decline
    • Graph 1: consumption penetration* by segments, 2021, 2023 and 2024
    • Frequent users of oat-based and coconut-based drinks further grow, while apricot kernel drinks continue to decline
    • Graph 2: share of frequent users*, 2021, 2023 and 2024
    • The purchase of plant-protein drinks tend to settle into consistent regularity, driven by specific purposes
    • Graph 3: purchase channels, by plant-protein drinks and non-alcoholic drinks, 2023 and 2024
    • Frequent users of almond-based drinks particularly favour gourmet stores and short video platforms’ online stores…
    • Graph 4: ranking of purchase channels, by frequent users* of almond-based milk/drinks, 2024
    • …but brands should differentiate their product offerings and communication strategies when using these channels
    • Graph 5: consumption purpose – frequent users* of almond-based milk/drinks, by selected channels, 2024
    • Opportunities in specific demographics
    • Female consumers consume rice-based drinks more frequently and demonstrate a stronger willingness to try new products
    • Graph 6: interest in new ingredients – rice, 2024
    • Graph 7: consumption frequency – rice/brown rice drinks, 2024
    • Highlight the health benefits of rice/brown rice drinks to further appeal to female consumers
    • Graph 8: perception towards rice/brown rice drinks, by gender, 2024
    • Respondents with high household incomes expect a higher level of active product innovation
    • Graph 9: innovative variations – repertoire analysis, by monthly household income level, 2024
    • Graph 10: consumption barrier – limited innovative products, by household income level, 2024
    • Consumption purpose
    • Supplement nutrition, flavour indulgence and food pairing remain the most important consumption purposes
    • Graph 11: consumption purpose, 2024
    • The positioning of soya-based drinks as a source of essential nutrients still requires strengthening
    • Graph 12: consumption purpose – milk/flavoured milk vs soya-based drinks, 2024
    • Meanwhile, the unique nutritional value of soy-based drinks requires both scientific research and market promotion
    • Graph 13: perception towards different protein sources – milk and soymilk, 2024
    • Nuts’ unique nutritional benefits gain more attention, but the specific health advantages of apricot kernels and almonds are not yet clearly recognised
    • Graph 14: consumption purpose – selected segments, 2024
    • Graph 15: perception towards different protein sources – selected items, 2024
    • Coconut-based drinks can better satisfy the demand for indulgence and thirst relief
    • Graph 16: perception towards different protein sources – coconut-based drinks , 2024
    • Graph 17: consumption purposes – coconut-based drinks, 2024
    • Dietary fibre can be positioned as the most prominent nutritional advantage of grain-based drinks
    • Graph 18: consumption purposes – selected segments, 2024
    • Expand functional claims related to dietary fibre in oat-based drinks
    • Graph 19: perception towards different protein sources – selected items, 2024
    • Highlight the nourishing properties of oats and emphasise their tangible benefits for cardiovascular health
    • Black beans and pistachios are the most popular new ingredients
    • Graph 20: interest in new ingredients (net), 2021 and 2024
    • Graph 21: interest in new ingredients, 2021 and 2024
    • The appeal of healthy Western ingredients has increased
    • Graph 22: new launches in plant-based dairy alternative, by selected ingredients, 2021-2024
    • Graph 23: new launches in plant-based dairy alternative, by selected ingredients, 2021-2024
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Improving the tastiness, particularly texture, should be a priority
    • Graph 24: consumption barrier, 2024
    • Consumer wariness of artificial additives impacts the consumption of plant-protein drinks
    • Graph 25: free-from claims – drinks (a), 2023
    • Improvements regarding low sugar content need to be intensified
    • Walnut-based milk/drink brands should pay attention to initiatives like clean labels and adjusting the sweetness of their products
    • Graph 26: consumption barriers – walnut-based milk/drinks, 2024
    • Rice/brown rice drinks need to improve their taste
    • Graph 27: consumption barriers – bland in taste, by respondents who have not drunk selected packaged plant-protein drinks in the last six months, 2024
    • Almond-based milk should emphasise promoting its ingredient content
    • Graph 28: consumption barriers – unsubstantial materials, 2024
    • Focus on plant-based innovations such as yogurt and milk tea
    • Graph 29: innovative variations, 2024
    • Case study on plant-based yogurt: target segmented demographics and enhance product’s healthy image
  3. Appendix – Definition and Methodology

    • Definition
    • Methodology
    • Plant-protein Drinks – China – 2024

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