Foreign food enterprises expand business at Chinese market
Updated 14:38, 09-Nov-2021
By Zhu Zhu

Foreign food companies are not only expanding their presence at the ongoing China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, but also designing and launching products exclusively for Chinese consumers. 

Most of them feel that the country's huge consumption potential offers an ideal opportunity to scale up their business after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The food exhibition is spread over an area of over 3,000 square meters. More than 20 well-known foreign enterprises from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, France and the U.S. are exhibiting their products.

There are also some well-known names such as Nestle, who are looking to make further inroads in China. "The multinational company is looking to constantly improve the standard of the products it exports to China with an eye on the new spending trends of Chinese consumers," said David Fang, vice president of Nestle's Corporate Affairs and Sustainability in China.

Nestle announced structural adjustments earlier in October, including the decision to establish Nestle Greater China zone, promoting the Chinese market as an independent region for the first time. It shows Nestle's confidence in the Chinese market.

The company started growing coffee in China's Yunnan Province in the 1980s, and has been working with local farmers for several years.

Experiencing COVID-19, Chinese consumers have been demanding products that are more healthy, greener, more organic and more sustainable. "We believe the CIIE is a great platform," said Fang. 

Different categories and brands displayed in the exhibition all share something in common, NHW, short for nutrition, health and wellness.

Meat products maker Tyson Foods, one of the largest meat suppliers in the world, is also bullish on opportunities in China and is planning to launch several new products in the retail market. "We found that with the improvement of Chinese consumers' living standards and dietary structure, the products have huge market potential in China," said Zhou Quan, public relations head of Tyson Foods China.

Many foreign food companies have also moved their production line to China, to not only better provide localized products to cater to their Chinese customers, but also help boosting the local planting and farming industries.

Australian vegan meat leader v2food has launched three new partnerships with local food companies in China to expand its reach in the country. Chinese consumers can have steamed buns, noodles and ready meals featuring v2food's plant-based meat alternatives.

Industry experts agree that there is no platform more ideal than the CIIE to gather consumer feedback, especially from professional buyers for their newly developed products. The Expo has also broadened their understanding about the Chinese market in a very efficient way.

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