With a population of over 1.3 billion, China has emerged as the world’s largest consumer market for the food and beverage industry and an increasingly important one for Australian producers.
The Chinese consumer market is in the midst of an incredible transformation that offers exceptional new opportunities. With the rise of the upper-middle-class and affluent households driving consumption growth, a new generation of switched-on, free-spending consumers are accessing Western brands, using the power of the internet to spend on wide variety of sectors, including food and beverages.
However, this significant lifestyle change may have some disadvantages. As we know from previous experience, a move away from indigenous diets often means a poor health outcome. When such diets are replaced with fast-foods as we know them, the result is a population that increasingly develops obesity and ill-health.
Today in China, there is a high demand for better nutrition, improved quality and variety as well as convenience. The Chinese are well-educated, early adopters who want quality products and they want them now. Chinese consumers are increasingly turning to Australian products, and the promise of quality that the green-and-gold triangle kangaroo symbol holds. The widely recognized Australian Made, Australian Grown logo has been helping businesses identify their products as ‘Aussie’ for nearly three decades, and its strict compliance program has earned it credibility both in Australia and overseas.
“Australia’s reputation for producing products and produce to high quality and safety standards, in a clean and green environment, is driving sales overseas and the AMAG logo readily connects those qualities to genuine Aussie goods.” said Ian Harrison, Chief Executive of the Australian Made Campaign.
“The logo has been helping sell Aussie products in export markets for nearly three decades, particularly Asian markets. Furthermore, it is a registered certification trade mark in China, and this gives vital protection, under Chinese law, for goods authorised to carry the symbol.”
Aside from the well-publicized demand for baby formula and supplements, here are other Aussie food sectors worth taking note of, that will continue to drive demand in the Chinese markets.
In 2015, more than half of the total amount of beef imported to China was from our Australian paddocks. The demand for premium beef is resilient and increasing as the Chinese consumer demands quality cuts from Australian grass-fed cattle.
Fresh fruit and vegetables
China’s new customs procedures means that perishable food such as Australian grown carrots, cherries, mangoes, citrus and grapes can be approved quickly and reach their destination within 72 hours. The Chinese regard Australian-farmed fruit and veggies as better in quality, taste and nutrition. As a result, the produce is considered more prestigious and boxes of cherries can fetch up to $100 a punnet for occasions like Chinese New Year.
Convenience pre-made meals
The traditional Chinese diet of vegetables, rice and small portions of seafood and meat, often hailed as one of the world’s healthiest, is on the decline. With more women entering the work force and the growth of the middle class, the Chinese are now eating more meat and more pre-packaged, on-the-go food and looking to the clean fields of Australia for these. Meeting the demand of these meals is Caveman Food, based in Melbourne who supply pre-made, shelf stable meals that are easily transported and use all Australian ingredients.
“We see China as a huge emerging market as the demand for our quality meats and vegetables is growing. Australia is seen as such fresh, safe and quality produce. We have worked out an efficient way to pack and ship these ingredients into meals without refrigeration” says Caveman Food founder, Tracey Armstead.
The remarkable pace of China’s growth, and its appetite for Australian products and services, from beef to cherries, is expected to continue to grow. With last year’s trade up 10 per cent on the previous year and multiple websites now focusing specifically on the delivery of Australian made products to the Chinese market such as Australia Posts impressive presence on the giant TMall ecommerce site, part of the Alibaba group, it looks like the love affair with all things Australian won’t be fading any time soon.
Article written by *Urszula Mos of Caveman Food – world’s first long life premium paleo meals: http://www.cavemanfood.com.au)