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Asia Pacific: China’s growing urban population, hectic lifestyles pose opportunities for on-the-go, single-serve snacks

The Chinese bakery and cereals market – already the largest in volume – is set to become the second most valuable by 2018, as more urban dwellers consume pick-me-up snacks on-the-go, according to a Canadean report entitled Consumer Trends Analysis: Understanding Consumer Trends and Drivers of Behavior in China’s Bakery & Cereals Market.

The report states that the Chinese bakery and cereals market is not only the largest in volume, but is also set to become the second most valuable, expected to reach US$47 billion by 2018.

It adds that with only the US market worth more, China will be one of the most attractive bakery and cereals markets worldwide.

With 1.35 billion people in China, the per capita consumption remains low and this indicates room for further growth.

The market research company says the average Chinese has 92 bakery and cereals occasions per year, which is far lower than in Europe.

The average German, for example, has 731 bakery and cereals occasions a year.

It found that the Chinese prefer cakes, pastries and sweet pies, instead of bread and bread rolls that are popular in Europe.

Cakes, pastries and sweet pies currently account for 43.9% of China’s market share.

Smaller on-the-go packaging will be in demand

As young migrants are moving from rural to urban areas for better opportunities, rapid urbanisation will expose more Chinese to packaged goods.

“Growing urbanisation will promote the growth of the Chinese middle class, which, in turn, will lead to a demand for a wider range of products,” says analyst Veronika Zhupanova.

The report found that the busy lifestyles of these new urban dwellers will push them to search for convenient and tasty products on-the-go.

“Manufacturers should take advantage of this trend and produce bakery and cereals items that serve as an energy boost for busy Chinese who skipped breakfast or need a snack break at work,” syas Zhupanova.

“Single-serve packed items, such as Tao Li’s red bean paste Dorayaki, will sell particularly well during office hours, whereas multipacks of ambient and individually packed items will be suitable for tired consumers who are looking for a treat after a long day of work.”