China Food

New decade, new ten lines, new life | look at the new preferences of Chinese consumers

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starting from the change of macro environment, solve the core consumption theme of Chinese consumers in the future.
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Chinese consumers have an increasingly strong demand for spiritual and cultural consumption, which has a far-reaching impact on all aspects of the consumption field. We have observed that consumers’ demand side continues to change in 14 sub areas in five aspects: image management, health care, home travel, entertainment experience and self-improvement. Enterprises should continue to capture consumer demand insight and adjust quickly Only by allocating resources can we remain invincible.
the level of consumer demand rises, and the five themes rise with the trend
Despite the special period, China’s economy maintained steady growth. GDP and per capita disposable income rebounded rapidly in the second quarter of 2020 and entered the normal growth track. Driven by this, consumer spending gradually recovered and returned to the first position of growth contribution in the first quarter of 2021. In February this year, China announced an overall victory in poverty alleviation. All these policy changes It is a reminder that China’s economy is entering a new historical stage, and the consumer market is facing further upgrading and shifting.
A natural question is, what are the demands of Chinese consumers for a better life? Our research shows that the four directions that people pay most attention to are family happiness, national prosperity and strength, better social environment and national quality, and better economic conditions. It can be seen that spiritual needs have gradually penetrated into all levels of residents’ life and people’s desire for a better life In other words, people’s main demands for a better life are extending from the material level represented by clothing, food and housing to the spiritual level.
Over the past few years, changes in 14 segments of China’s consumer market have significantly affected consumers’ lives, and people are willing to buy better products in these areas in the future. The discussion heat of social networks in these 14 areas is much higher than that of the overall social network, reflecting people’s willingness to have an in-depth understanding of these areas.
Overall, we identify and summarize five core consumption themes:
1. Healthy C position 2. Refuse to lie flat
3. Please yourself and your heart
4. Lazy Technology
5. Sharing and mutual Entertainment
It should be pointed out that these consumption themes are not limited to certain products and industries, but a cross domain consumption experience. In other words, brands can think about whether their products and services can meet consumers’ pursuit of a better life.
From the perspective of segmented population, we note that the new generation of Chinese consumers (aged 18-25) show different emphasis on the five themes. They pay more attention to knowledge expansion and image improvement, and pay less attention to health and family life.
1. Healthy C position
In 2021, people’s awareness of health management has increased significantly. The attention of health enhancement related content on social platforms has increased significantly. Our analysis predicts that several major tracks under the theme of health enhancement will maintain steady growth in the next five years, maintain a compound annual growth rate of about 6%, and show three market trends: popularization, youth and daily.
Popularization. In 2020, the topic of health will reach unprecedented popularity, “health concept” The number of high-frequency topics such as high-end medical treatment, family cleaning and health care has soared. The content of high-end medical treatment, family cleaning and health care has rapidly become popular with the public. In the first half of 2021, the topics related to special events have dropped significantly, but the topics related to health concept are still much higher than those in 2019, reflecting the far-reaching impact of special events. The low market penetration has been strengthened Health awareness will quickly promote the theme of health strengthening to the public.
Younger. The data show that young and middle-aged people aged 30-50 shoulder the heavy responsibility of the family, are the group with the highest health awareness and become the main consumer group for health enhancement. Their rich living conditions also make their demand for health care products more based on the use scenarios, such as epidemic prevention regulation, health conditioning, sleep improvement, hair loss protection, etc. How to meet the needs of 30 + people The demand of “effortless and healthy” is the focus that the brand should think about.
Daily. Social media data show that the demands of health care have penetrated into the level of daily diet, “low calorie and low fat”, “substitute meal” and “plant protein” The viewing volume of relevant content will increase by more than 200% annually in 2020. From the perspective of the industry, healthy light food is becoming a trend. The upgrading of demand and health awareness make consumers willing to pay a premium for health, while the market expansion and technology maturity make the cost lower and lower, forming a virtuous circle. In addition, the dissemination of platform content has also accelerated the popularization of healthy light food.
  With the deep popularization of health awareness, low calorie food will have the opportunity to become the daily life of Chinese consumers. Food technology and preservation technology continue to evolve and mature, and the “staple food revolution” belonging to some consumers is coming.
2. Refuse to lie flat
In recent years, “inner roll” and “lying flat” The popularity of such words reflects the huge competitive pressure faced by people after the society rapidly enters a new stage of development. Consumers are eager to improve themselves at the level of knowledge and spirit, and are more interested in financial management in order to pursue a higher quality of life. Looking at the changes in the field of knowledge payment and financial management, we summarize the following laws:
The online level has been improved. With the continuous maturity of technology platform and content ecology, more and more people begin to choose online to enrich their knowledge. From the perspective of social data, the number of views of financial and education related content has increased steadily, and people are enthusiastic about self-improvement online. Among them, the areas with rapid growth are programming, public examination and judicial examination. In addition, the combination of traditional finance and social platforms gave birth to a new content ecology. Financial knowledge popularization, trust and financial management have increased rapidly in the past year.
Focus on user needs. Thanks to the development of technology, financial management and vocational training products can be fully linked, user-oriented and more accurately meet the needs of consumers. On the Internet, people can choose the right products at the right time and charge themselves in the right way.
Younger and suitable for aging. From the perspective of age, new employees aged 18-25 and middle-aged and elderly people aged 51-60 have the strongest demand for knowledge expansion. Young people entering the workplace urgently need to improve their experience and skills. “Workplace knowledge” and “research talent” are their most concerned topics. Retirees have crossed the digital divide and used social platforms to supplement their knowledge. They who have more leisure time pay most attention to “piano, chess, calligraphy and painting” and “practical financial management”.
The maturity of
online knowledge products will continue to improve and develop towards diversification, standardization and ease of use. For example, vocational training products will be more abundant, and professionals will have more diversified choices for self-improvement. In the financial field, the financial threshold has been continuously reduced and the personalization has been continuously improved, but the degree of standardization is higher, which helps consumers choose products more rationally.
3. Please yourself and your heart
With the upgrading of consumption, people’s basic needs have been met. The pursuit of image improvement is no longer superficial, but the pursuit of experience, showing cultural confidence, sharing and recommending their own lifestyle.
From the social media interaction data, the amount of comments and forwarding obtained by the content in each subdivided field is growing steadily, reflecting the trend of consumers infiltrating image improvement into their lives and forming social habits. We believe that three major trends are emerging in the theme of image improvement.
Personalized aesthetic needs. The new generation of consumers are tired of being stereotyped and unwilling to be labeled. There is an increasing trend of diversification in brand selection, and they rarely fall in love with one company. According to the white paper on social retail released by BCG last year, 62% of consumers said in the survey that they would consider multiple brands before buying. In addition, the consumption of the younger generation in image promotion is less to please others, but more to pursue the expression of their own personality and break social stereotypes and prejudices, especially in the choice of clothing.
Social networking has become standard. In the era of social retail, consumers’ purchase links are more complex, the functional boundaries between contacts are becoming increasingly blurred, and the purchase decision is in front. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in the image improvement. The data show that for beauty products, more than 80% of consumers have collected and compared all kinds of information online (especially social networks) to make decisions before buying; In addition, more than 70% of consumers actively split and share their purchase experience after purchase, and these shared contents have become one of the important factors affecting consumption decision-making. How to plant grass in all links of the consumer decision-making link and encourage consumers to socialize has become a compulsory course for major brands.
Cultural self-confidence is more prominent. With the rise of China’s economy and the continuous improvement of international political status, the cultural self-confidence of Chinese consumers is becoming increasingly prominent. The popularity of national style and national tide topics remains high on social platforms. In the field of beauty and clothing, a number of new domestic goods rise with the trend and compete with imported brands.
products facing the mass market are more and more difficult to meet people’s personalized and diversified needs. In the demand spectrum of increasing consumer granularity, it is more and more difficult to meet their high requirements only by new categories. The degree of product customization will be improved. In addition, a more efficient supply chain can realize the rapid landing of consumer demand; More perfect industry standards to reduce selection costs; The application of new technologies and concepts brings a new use experience. These will be new topics for enterprises to think about in the future.
4. Lazy Technology
With the development of technology, great changes have taken place in the field of home and travel in the past few years around “liberating people’s hands”. More than 50% of consumers are looking forward to changes in cars, as well as changes in housing and home products. Overall, the following trends in home travel deserve special attention.
Intelligent home products. With the rapid development of Internet and sensor technology, smart home devices (such as smart speakers, smart temperature controllers, etc.) have ushered in an explosion in recent years. They meet the pursuit of a new generation of consumers for convenient and comfortable life experience. In order to find new growth points, many brands have laid out their own IOT ecology. With the further popularization of 5g technology and the Internet of things, the cross scene home control center will become a reality in the future.
The rise of autopilot. With the increasing popularity of new energy vehicles, automatic driving, which can further liberate manpower, is also coming into people’s vision. On the one hand, automatic driving technology is becoming more and more mature, and many brands no longer stop to wait and see. On the other hand, the young generation of Chinese consumers’ pursuit of freshness and sense of technology makes automatic driving in a state of urgent outbreak on the demand side.
with the development of new intelligent technology, the concept of “home” will be extended. The rapid development of intelligent Internet of things and other technologies will gradually integrate home and travel, further liberate hands, and fully reflect comfort and relaxation in different scenes of life.
5. Sharing and mutual Entertainment
Although outdoor experience products and services suffered the greatest impact in the special period, they also ushered in a wave of “retaliatory” rebound. Overall, Chinese consumers still pay more attention to travel and vacation than entertainment services. However, the content interaction behavior of the latter is growing rapidly, reflecting a strong expansion trend in the future. At the same time, we can see that people’s increasingly strong social needs are integrating traditional scenic spot tourism with experiential deep entertainment.
Domestic tourism has developed rapidly. Affected by the change of consumption consciousness, the tourism industry has experienced structural changes in recent years. First of all, consumers’ attitudes towards travel are increasingly changing from visiting famous scenic spots to enjoying leisure vacation, from homogeneous functional needs to diversified emotional satisfaction. Secondly, the return of tourism demand in special periods, the internal capacity and interaction of domestic tourism are significantly higher than that of outbound tourism. According to the data of the State Administration of culture and tourism, the domestic tourism market recovered strongly during the May Day holiday in 2021, with 230 million trips, equivalent to 103% before the special period; The total profit of the tourism market reached 113.2 billion yuan, returning to the level of 80% before the special period.
“Suburban pressure relief” is favored. “Suburban excursions” are increasingly sought after by urban young people who want to release pressure but are difficult to spend the whole time, and bloom everywhere around suburban destinations in super first tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Compared with the past scenic spot sightseeing, people hope to enjoy the natural environment leisurely and obtain physical and psychological adjustment (such as riding, hiking and meditation).
“Net red punch in” is booming. With the deepening of people’s social needs and the continuous development of social networks, the “online Red punch in” point that can take good-looking photos has become a short-distance tourism type loved by the new generation of consumers. The recent network explosion of Shanghai Wukang road bow and Changsha local super IP Wenhe friends are the best examples.
Intelligent interconnected devices have become the focus. With the increase of consumers’ time at home, the demand for various indoor entertainment scenes has increased significantly, and the activities linked with intelligent devices have received higher attention.
Experiential entertainment is the core of outdoor entertainment. In terms of outdoor entertainment, the attention of experiential consumption is growing rapidly, but simple sensory stimulation has been difficult to please a new generation of consumers. Experiential live entertainment, which meets the dual needs of consumers’ culture and senses and can be launched by the whole family, is expected to become the main force of the market.

In terms of entertainment services, the degree of product customization will continue to improve, and people’s spiritual consumption demand for entertainment experience will also continue to improve. Brands must do more homework in improving ideological depth and cultural connotation. In addition, live entertainment that integrates interactive experience with actual scenes will usher in more development opportunities.
warning to enterprises

After understanding the above five possible future consumption themes, enterprises need to build their own ability in order to seize the opportunity. Enterprises can consider the following three aspects:
1. Establish segmentation strategy
The new generation of Chinese consumers is obviously different from the traditional generation. According to their own business characteristics, enterprises should examine the market strategy for each subdivided consumer group, adjust the strategic positioning in time, and meet the needs of different consumer groups with differentiated product portfolio.
2. Provide one-stop solution
We see that in today’s market, the cross-border competition for consumers’ wallet share and time share is becoming more and more intense, and the boundary of traditional industries is becoming more and more blurred. In the future, enterprises that can provide consumers with one-stop convenience services will have an advantage.
3. Carefully polish the product
Big data analysis makes enterprises more and more capable of “doing what they like”, and new and exciting products “dazzle” consumers. In the face of Chinese consumers who are gradually “reading thousands of sails”, only products that can truly meet the core experience needs can seize the minds of consumers for a long time in the future.
Under the multiple effects of economic environment and technological progress, China’s consumer market is undergoing undercurrent changes. The future changes under these themes are closely related to every Chinese consumer and run through every stage of life. In the future, if enterprises can help consumers pursue a better life and improve their life in an all-round way, they will get great development opportunities.
source: BCG Boston Consulting (ID: bcg_greater_china), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
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