On Wednesday, May 24, AmCham Shanghai held its 12th Annual Food, Agriculture and Beverage Conference. More than 80 people attended the half-day event. The first presentation was from Derek Deng, Partner at Bain & Company, who discussed consumption trends in the food and beverage industry and his outlook for the year to come based on the findings of a recent survey in China.
Derek shared four key takeaways, focusing on food consumption, lunch consumption occasions, dietary changes and alcohol consumption on food & beverage. He pointed out majority of consumers have homemade food for breakfast (79%), lunch (58%) and dinner (70%), workday lunches change between home and workplaces, consumers want healthier diets and 52% drink at least once per week.
He further introduced lunch is the most consumed meal for Chinese consumers and the trend remains similar across all generations and income levels. Homemade meals are the most common meal type; older generations over-index on having homemade meals for lunch while high-income under-index on the same. When eating foods prepared OOH, Chinese consumers are almost evenly split between where they get these meals, though take-out/delivery is least popular.
When it comes to snack consumption, Derek said snack consumption progressively decreases with generation; mid-income consumers tend to snack less frequently than either low-or high-income consumers. Chinese consumers tend to choose packaged snacks over homemade and tend to snack most on packaged health snacks, packaged salt snacks and store-bought drinks.
When it comes to dietary changes, Derek said Chinese consumers want to increase their consumption of organic, protein, and probiotics while cutting back on fat, sugar and salt, consumption the most; Gen X over-indexes on reducing meat consumption.
When it comes to consumer behavior, Derek said consumers tend to discover new snacks through EC & live streaming platforms; Gen Z over-indexes on finding products via live-streaming and KOL platforms. When researching, Gen Z tends to check reviews while Millennials over-index on examining nutritional content and ingredients. Consumers tend to buy new snacks & packaged foods coupled with making their repeat purchases from EC platforms & offline stores.
When it comes to alcohol consumption, Derek introduces Gen Z, Boomers and low-income consumers are most likely to report never drinking alcohol; high-income consumers are frequent consumers of alcohol. Millennials and high-income consumers are spearheading the ‘alcohol-free substitutes’ trend with 50%+ consumers drinking them on a weekly basis. Over half of consumers solely drink alcohol at home; a greater share of Millennials and high-income consumers solely drink in bars compared to other groups.