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Personal consumption market to see rapid growth in next decade

By Wang Zhuoqiong and Ren Xiaojin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-16 09:58
Consumers shop at a mall in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province. [Photo/VCG]

A strong desire to consume high-quality products and try new experiences has bolstered the country's retail and consumption sector and encouraged companies to innovate and boost their marketing efforts.

A report entitled "Keeping Up with Chinese Speed" by Bain & Company, a global consultancy, said China will remain a top consumption market in the next decade.

"In the next 10 years, China will remain one of the most promising consumption markets in the world," the report said. "For those who missed the chance to get into (the) Chinese market, the flexible Chinese market still has a lot (of) opportunities to offer."

In another report by Nielsen, a global data analytics company, Chinese consumer confidence in the first quarter of 2019 topped its record high hit in the past year.

"A number of economic indexes all point to the same conclusion that the country's economy in the first quarter was strong and there was a clear sign for the economy to grow, " said Andy Zhao, president of Nielsen China.

"The industrial optimization has brought more job opportunities to smaller cities, which stimulates the consumption upgrade in those cities."

Mintel Group, a global provider of market research, said spending on snacks has grown to a larger portion of overall consumption and grew significantly compared to other sectors in the food and drinks industry.

Mintel estimates that total revenue of snack foods will accelerate 5.1 percent annually in the next five years and reach 1,050 billion yuan ($152.7 billion) by 2023.

Within the snack category, a stronger rise was seen in healthy foods, represented by nuts and yogurt. Mintel has also seen a recovery in consumption of chips, chocolate and even biscuits.

Mondelez International Inc, a leading snack company, said earlier in the year that China will become one of its biggest engines for growth in the next five to 10 years. It said about 25 percent of global snack growth will come from China.

Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put said the Chinese are spending more on snacks and are very selective in their choices by quality and taste. The company has plans to diversify its current product portfolio by introducing baking and energy bar products and extending formats of its existing brands such as Oreo icecream.

Mintel said the sportswear market is another driving force for expansion, with estimated annual growth of 8 percent from 212 billion yuan in 2018 to 312 billion yuan in 2023.

Adidas China has achieved a 16 percent revenue growth year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, which is the 20th quarter of double-digit growth for the firm.

The company is aiming to open 1,000 new retail outlets by the end of this year to reach more consumers and boost its digital connections.

In the personal care and make-up sector, oral hygiene is expected to rise at a 7.6 percent clip in the next four years to reach 53.1 billion yuan by 2023. Infant and baby care products are forecast to increase 14.5 percent annually to 18.8 billion yuan.

Bain's report noted that the rise of domestic brands in the consumption market poses a real threat to multinational brands because the former has a good read on local consumers, is willing to adapt quickly and can provide tailor-made products in a short period of time.

Multinational companies in China have to become quicker in responding to market trends, said Ding Jie, director of consumption in Bain China.

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