2 November 2020 594 Анна Гурбанова
China’s Food and Beverage market imports continues to grow, opening up new opportunities for foreign investors
China is the world’s largest importer and consumer of food products, for which reason it continues to attract foreign investors despite the impact of COVID-19.
Nevertheless, China’s lock down and movement restrictions imposed by the pandemic have started to shape new trends affecting consumer behavior and China’s F&B industry overall.
According to CFNA statistics, in 2018, the most popular food segments among Chinese consumers were: seafood (16.58%), meat produce (15.08%) and dairy products (14.35%). In contrast to 2016, imports of F&B industry grew tremendously by more than 50%.
By 2021, China will import over US$ 100 billion worth of food products.
Nonetheless, external factors are shaping the leading trends in F&B market in China. Due to self-isolation, the traditional offline retail trade in fresh produce has drastically dropped, whilst e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce proved to have grown rapidly instead. The direct use of live-streaming as a sales tool has also gained popularity, showing to have a strong influence over Chinese consumers: in 2019, live-streaming e-commerce market reached US$ 61.24 billion.
It is worth paying attention to the shift in consumer behavior trends, as with the influence of the pandemic, Chinese consumers’ demand for meat produce has fallen, opening up more opportunities plant-based meat producers.
In addition, it is predicted for COVID-19 to impact growth in demand for dietary supplements, immune-boosting foods and energy drinks.