China, as everyone knows, is a rising economy. The food market is also experiencing a growth phase like other sectors. In coming years, the food processing industry of China is anticipated to pay attention on the development of wheat, corn and dairy products, seasonings and food additives. As the market for fruit flavorings and baking ingredients is growing, the demand for imported cereals, tree nuts, soybean, poultry and fish is also expected to grow.
The multiplication of restaurants, advertising, supermarkets and new & attractively packaged goods in China is a measure of its consumers’ influential role in their country’s economy. Increase in spending ability and change in eating habits of China’s people is transforming its food sector, both in domestic and foreign trade.
The role of foreign firms in developing China’s food retail market can’t be ignored. The shelves of China’s supermarkets are packed with foreign products. Agricultural and food-related businesses that can match the pace of change will be prepared to allow further foreign entry in the Chinese market.
Disparity in incomes in urban and rural areas clearly highlights the regional discrimination in China. Greater regional pelf, an easy access to seaport and imported technology has lead to the establishment of most food processing units along the industrialized eastern coast in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Official statistics differentiate food production in three sections: food processing, food manufacturing and beverage manufacturing. Primary processing of food that includes milling, refining, slaughtering and processing of aquatic food products witness the highest rate of growth followed by beverage industry. Food manufacturing is a small section consisting of packaged foods, pastries and confectionaries, canned food, fermented products, dairy products and condiments.
The increasing base of China’s affluent customers is demanding food products in variety, i.e. more of processed and convenience food. They are cutting down on traditional staples (wheat, rice, pork and vegetables) and including more poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and refined vegetables oils in their diet. Consequently, the food sector is changing with a boom. Food manufacturing companies are launching new products, investing in state of the art equipment and addressing food quality and safety issues to grow.
Food retailing is transforming from conventional farmers market and corner kiosks to contemporary hypermarkets, fast food restaurants and convenience stores.
For further information, read the report “Food Processing Market in China (2005)” by RNCOS at: http://www.rncos.com/Report/FB14.htm
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