Contrary to popular belief, the Chinese market is increasingly fond of dairy products. There is regular discussion of cheese consumption, but still very little about yoghurt consumption, although this product is very popular there.
Yoghurt consumption in China
New Chinese generations are increasingly influenced by Western lifestyles, and this can also be seen in the agrifood sector as dairy consumption evolves. But there is another point to consider when explaining this trend: today, for Chinese people, dairy products are considered health foods. Lactose intolerances are widespread in the country and therefore until a few years ago dairy products were not necessarily widely consumed there. In fact, the tendency was to find mainly products based on soy milk or coconut. However, given calcium deficits in the population, some brands have decided to enter the market.
Yoghurt was adopted fairly quickly by Chinese consumers because it has the advantage of being fermented, making it more digestible even for people with lactose intolerance. However, we note that the habits of Chinese consumers differ from those of Western consumers since they tend to prefer liquid yoghurt formats that are consumed with a straw. Moreover, if we take a closer look at this sudden desire for yoghurt, we notice that mainly products enriched with probiotics are consumed. Chinese consumers are looking for products that benefit their health and wellness.
The chinese yoghurt market is oriented towards functional products
Yoghurt is increasingly popular in China, especially among consumers. According to a study by Mintel, 46% of consumers of drinking yoghurt in China are women and 37% of consumers of spoon yoghurt are female consumers.
Chinese consumers are very fond of edible “beauty products”, meaning food products with functional ingredients that could benefit their health and appearance. Several ranges of products enriched with collagen have also been popular on launch. Over the past five years, there has been an increase in the launch of collagen-enriched food and beverage products on the Chinese market.
The concept of edible beauty products is very deeply rooted in Chinese culture as it echoes the ancestral concept of “shi bu”, which literally means nutritious foods that contribute to improving health. This could be in terms of skin beauty or weight management. Yoghurt is seen by Chinese consumers as a diet or even slimming product.
In another world, on the Chinese market there are many yoghurts specially designed for pregnant women. For Chinese consumers dairy products are considered good sources of nutrients such as protein, calcium and vitamin D, which are essential during pregnancy. Yoghurt is also an excellent alternative to milk in its classic form, which is not widely consumed as such.
In conclusion, the yoghurt segment is booming within the Chinese market and is experiencing the fastest growth in the market, specifically because it is perceived as a healthy product. Manufacturers are looking to increase its health benefits by adding more functional ingredients with nutritional benefits. They also want to meet the growing demands of Chinese consumers who are looking for food and drinks that help them take care of their appearance.
This article was written using a study carried out by the Mintel agency
Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. Founded in 1972, Mintel defines and refines its market intelligence expertise to determine prospective trends in consumers, markets and the analysis of new product launches. Combined with the recommendations of its international experts, this data allows you to make strategic decisions for your growth.
If you wish to discover the services of our partner Mintel, we invite you to contact them on their website: https://en.mintel.com/contact