China’s rapid growth and lifestyle changes mean that Chinese consumers are the world’s most health conscious – 73% are willing to trade up and pay a premium for products deemed healthier. Beyond aspiring to physical health and wellness, they also have emotional aspirations and want to be happy, look good, and have enough energy for an active lifestyle.
For our gallery this month, The Silk Initiative brings you our take on the new and noteworthy trends and products from both local and international food and beverage brands playing in the healthy snacking space in China.
Nuts go premium
Local Chinese brand Three Squirrels emerged a few years ago and has successfully turned nuts into a higher value product and captured the younger consumer market by focusing primarily on e-commerce and youthful, fun marketing strategies. The company has since become the largest snack brand in all Chinese e-commerce channels combined. It still sells its Daily Nuts individual snack packs in convenience stores.
Health and ‘fun’ begin to merge as China appears to be shifting ‘health’ into a fun and exciting ‘emotional’ territory.
Left: Fruit-flavoured probiotics; Right: The role of kids
Water Music, from Taiwan, offer the benefits of probiotics in fruity flavours and fun packaging. There’s also been an increase in the need for healthier children’s snacking. Danish brand Arla and others in the dairy industry in particular have taken an established ‘commodity’ category, and transformed this into a more fun and engaging space.
Imported coconut water product offerings on shelf
Did you know Chinese females will spend three times more on snack food with ingredients that deliver health and beauty benefits? Coconut water is considered a good choice of beverage for those who want to maintain clear and beautiful skin.
Convenience stores are now stocking healthier and raw ready-to-eat snacks and light meals.
Ready to eat healthy breakfast and lunches and packaged raw fruit and vegetable snacks are becoming more common place in many convenience stores these days.
Snacking and raw ingredients merge
‘Real, toasted’ coconut chips from Thailand
Raw fresh fruit juices are also growing in popularity.
Detox on the rise
Functional juice brands like Vcleanse, FSJuice and others are increasingly popular in top-tier cities and attract young people with an active and proactive life attitude.
More local brands are building brand stories around ingredient origins.
Left: Taiwanese brand of lemon juice beverages. Right: Daily Nuts’ communications shows their ingredients come from all over the world
China’s ‘milk’ category is complex
Milk is seen as a nutritious necessity, and the category of ‘dairy alternative’ is not yet firmly established. Animal milks, flavoured milk beverages, coconut milk, other plant-based milks and plant-based protein drinks all compete together, even competing with fruit juices. With this in mind, new brands will need robust research to ascertain which positioning and benefits will be their winning differentiator.
Left: Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid plant-based protein drinks are new to market this month. Right: Local coconut milk “impostor” – a combination of cow’s milk, sugar and coconut juice powder
Healthier alternatives to potato chips
Local chain convenience store now has its own brand of freeze-dried vegetable chips
Health snacks to suit the local palate
Popular ingredients in Chinese cuisine, wheat gluten (kaofu) and lotus root are becoming part of the potato chip snack alternatives.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017