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China Daily Website

Chinese turn to imported food amid safety woes

Updated: 2012-08-21 14:55

More Chinese consumers are turning to imported food brands due to the domestic food safety scandals in recent years, according to a report published on Aug 20 by research company Ipsos.

According to the report, 61 percent of Chinese consumers said that their confidence in domestic food brands has declined during the past year, and 28 percent said they will buy more imported food brands to replace domestic products.

Dairy products are the most popular imported products, followed by grains, cooking oil and children's food.

The report was released at an event held by the China Business News Group and sanitation supply company Ecolab in Shanghai on Aug 20. It aims to recognize companies that have made outstanding contributions to food safety and public health.

The survey found that the changes in consumption habits were caused by the food safety incidents as most consumers said they will now choose more secure purchasing channels, adjust eating habits and look for alternatives.

"The operators of the companies should learn to take social responsibility and establish trusting relationships with consumers. It often takes a long time to establish a company's reputation," said Tim Wang, general manager of Ecolab Greater China.

"A food safety scandal will tarnish a company's reputation, and worse than that, it may lead to the collapse of the brand in an instant," Wang said.