China: massive opportunities for food makers and ingredients firms

CHINA - Underlining the massive potential that exists for food makers and ingredients players in China, new data reveals only about 30 per cent of food in China is processed, compared to 80 per cent in western nations, reports Lindsey Partos.

China, with its 1.3 billion population, is one of the world’s largest consumers of food, chomping through 51 per cent of the world’s pork, 33 per cent of rice and 19 per cent of ice cream.

And while most consumers still prefer to purchase fresh foods, there is a clear shift towards processed foods, throwing up untold opportunities for western food firms faced with saturated sales in home markets.

Official statistics report that the Chinese food processing industry grew a considerable 16 per cent between 2001-2002 and 23 per cent for 2002-2003.

“These numbers are staggering but many industry insiders feel that it is safer to assume double-digit growth in excess of 10 per cent,” reports the US department of agriculture.

The president of the China Food Industry Association was recently quoted as expecting 10 to 12 per cent annual growth for the food processing sector.

calendar icon 30 June 2005
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