The Marketing, Research & Digital Agency for China

Chinese Consumers' Appetite for Healthy Food Relevant to New Demographics

Chinese Instant Noodles

It's nothing new that Chinese consumers are opting for food and beverages that are better for them.  In 2013, after a decade and a half of mouth-watering growth from its Oreo cookies, Mondelez discovered that wealthy urban consumers were turning to healthier alternatives.  Likewise, earlier this year Nestle announced it was revamping its food and beverage business in China due to the shift towards nutritious items.

Whilst China's affluent urban consumers have been the most prepared to pay premiums for healthy food, even lower-income Chinese preferences are changing. 

Opportunities in China's Smaller Cities

Starbucks China smaller cities

It wasn't long ago when any Chinese city with a Starbucks was considered Tier 1 or 2.  How things have changed.  Starbucks will have more than 1,500 outlets in almost 90 cities by the end of this year, with many of the new openings in Tier 3 or lower areas.

Although average disposable incomes in China's Tier 3 and 4 cities are two thirds of Tier 2 and just over half of Tier 1 cities, a lower cost of living and soaring growth is seeing many 'small town' folk get out and spend.  65% of FMCG sales come from Tier 3 or lower cities according to Euromonitor. 

Consumers in lower-tier cities aren't just buying everyday household groceries.  Of China's top-10 cities by per capita GDP, seven are Tier 3 or lower.  Four of China's top-10 cities for disposable income don Tier-4 status and are mostly underserved by premium brands.

The Future of Cross Border Commerce in China

Cross Border Commerce China

Success in China can depend on how the Government feels about your industry or brand.  At the opening of China's annual parliamentary meeting in Beijing this month, Premier Li Keqiang outlined the Government's "Internet Plus" strategy, increasing support for China's ecommerce industry and its international expansion - if it wasn't growing fast enough already.

Under The Dome: Chai Jing & Making Her Blue Sky Dream a Reality

Chai Jing Under The Dome

Chai Jing and team, take a bow. Under The Dome was a bold, brave, well researched and magnificently delivered documentary that pulled out all the artillery in the war against China's deadly pollution.  Whilst it follows a similar mould to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, Chai's 104 minute film is rawer, harder to dispute and much closer to home, and will hopefully make a similar impact on driving awareness and action.

Fully Translated Under The Dome: Investigating China's Smog by Chai Jing - Now Banned in China

Under The Dome Documentary Fully Translated with English Subtitles

A lot of Chinese didn't know there was a smog problem in China until 2012, when the Government finally relented and started publishing pollution data. Since then, sales of products such as air purifiers, medicines that improve respiratory and lung issues, and face masks have soared as much as 130% in a single month.

The Stunning Rise of O2O in China

Shopping in China is not a necessity but a lifestyle. It is a hobby Chinese consumers pursue with a passion, particularly as online shopping becomes increasingly popular. 67% of Chinese purchased goods online in the past three months according to McKinsey. Chinese consumers often look for a product in stores and end up buying it elsewhere. Armed with smartphones, a third of shoppers research goods on their mobile in stores, and just 16% of them end up purchasing the product in the store. Following this trend, the industry is hastening to meet Chinese customers’ expectations, creating a multichannel shopping experience with the well-used catchphrase being “O2O”.

Year of the Sheep - New Traditions in China

Chinese Year of the Sheep Toilets

Happy Year of the Sheep!  For those who had a break for the Spring Festival, we hope it was a good one. 

2015's Lunar New Year celebrations were a snapshot of a changing China.  A growing group of Chinese consumers have a new take on long-held habits, following shifts in preferences, new laws and digital initiatives.

Infograph: WeChat User Demographics, Usage, Official Accounts & Advertising

WeChat Infograph

In a few short years, WeChat has evolved from a messaging service to an all-encompassing social media-communications-commerce-entertainment platform. It's showing no signs of losing its social media leadership in the Year of the Sheep, so we thought we'd share this infograph to help you keep up to speed with WeChat user demographics, their usage, Official Accounts and advertising on WeChat this year.

China's Year of the Sheep - Who Wants the Woolly?

Chinese Year of the Sheep

It's upon us.  No sooner have the Christmas decorations come down, and the red lanterns, woolly sculptures and giant inflatable sheep have popped up in every corner of China with even more gusto.   The excitement is further fuelled by infinite fireworks explosions, gushy television commercials, and the biggest consumer spend-up of the year.

19 February will mark the start of the Year of the Sheep (Yang). Its auspicious placing as the eighth sign in the 12-year cycle counts for little for many superstitious Chinese, who rank the animal lowly versus the luckier Dragon, Tiger, Horse and even next year's Monkey.  Would-be parents often hold back, believing kids born as sheep are destined to be docile followers, rather than leaders.  An old Chinese idiom remarks that only one in ten born in the Year of the Sheep will find happiness. 

Which WeChat Account Is Best For My Business: A Service or Subscription Account?

WeChat Service and Subscription Accounts Explained

WeChat, the main means of communication for most online Chinese, offers a viable way to reach consumers who regularly use this application.  For many, WeChat is the start and end of their phone usage.  In China, 90% of smartphone users now use WeChat, with heavy daily activity.

WeChat is used both as a messaging app and a social media platform as well as evolving to be an important place for brand positioning.  On 30 September 2014, there were 468 million active WeChat users - most of them in China.  Due to the inclination of Chinese to discuss and research brands, products and services on social media, WeChat is an important piece of the puzzle for brands.


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