Here are this week’s news and highlights for China:
Chinese Consumer Sentiment Ticks Up: Chinese consumer sentiment improved 2.4% last month to 114.7 according to the Westpac MNI Index. This is the highest rate since July 2014, positively responding to recent interest rate cuts.
Why White Wine, Clothes Dryers and Car Seats all Flopped in China: Although white wine consumption is growing in China, some Chinese still believe it isn’t healthy to drink chilled drinks, it isn’t perceived as auspicious as a red wine, and a few traditionalists associate white with the colour of death. Similarly, clothes driers haven’t been popular like washing machines, as they take up space in apartments and are missing the sun’s ultraviolet rays to kill bacteria. For car seats, surveys have found as many as 80% would rather clutch their children in their arms when riding in a car than putting them in car seats.
Consumers in HK and China View Innovation in Brands Differently: 54% of Chinese consumers consider the visibility and innovativeness of a CEO as an important factor in determining how innovative a brand is, compared to just 27% of HKers. 89% of Chinese are prepared to pay more for an innovative brand, versus 80% in HK.
Chinese Consumers Lose Taste for Instant Noodles: Chinese consumers may munch through 40 billion packets of instant noodles a year, but the future isn’t looking so great. Sales of instant noodles declined 9.1% year-on-year in Q3 2014 as consumers, even low income ones, become willing to pay a premium for more natural food without artificial flavouring or genetic modifications.
Chinese Milk Market to Fall Back into Deficit: The oversupply of milk in China behind the recent halving of world dairy prices is expected to eventually return to a shortage due to ever-rising consumption says China’s top milk producer. Premium milk will continue to grow strongly, likely to see a battle between NZ and Australia over milk exports.
Organic Exports to China – Breaking Down Barriers: China’s organic food market has grown 12-fold in the past six years. This bodes well for a recent agreement between Australia’s National Association for Sustainable Agriculture (NASAA) and Chinese certification body CHC, expected to add up to A$100 million in organic and biodynamic exports from Australia to China.
As U.S. Grown Cranberries Gain Recognition in China, Seeing “Red” is a Good Thing: 11% of Chinese consumers in Tier 1-3 cities are aware of cranberries, double the rate in 2013 according to Nielsen. 37.7% of awareness was driven by products in store and 24.7% online, although online was the most common method for tier 1 consumers.
Oregon Beer Makers Could Convert Bored Chinese Drinkers Ready for New Flavours, USDA says: A U.S. Department of Agriculture report believes that consumption of craft brew in China could grow as much as 50% annually, providing opportunities for exports in the category. Germany currently accounts for 59% of beer imports into China.
How to Build a Social Brand: 26 minute vid: Coach has found that the top-3 sources of awareness for their brand are digital. A recent 1-week campaign around NY Fashion Week led by model Angelababy drew 35 million views, 34K discussions, 15K votes and 18K likes on Weibo. KFC combined the power of a Korean celeb with targeted Weibo advertisements to Korean soap fans, achieving a 20% engagement rate. WIS, a 3-year old Chinese skincare brand now earns ¥300 million ($48.3 million) annual revenue, with social media driving most of their growth.
JD’s New Delivery App to Boost Online-to-Offline Business: JD’s new Paidaojia service, allows consumers to purchase from convenience stores and restaurants within 3km, and have them delivered in 2 hours. In other JD news, the platform is tapping into China’s Korea-love by launching an online store selling Korean products, with some purchases delivered in a matter of hours.
Tencent Dangles ‘Fresh Meat’ in Bid to Sell Music: Tencent held an exclusive concert in Shenzhen for registered QQ Music users, headlined by the chart-topping boy band TFBoys, in a bid to get more Chinese into the habit of paying for music.
The Cruise Industry’s Grand Plan to Win Chinese Travelers: Fewer than 700,000 of China’s 109 million leisure travellers took a cruise last year, although it still grew by 79% from 2012. Introducing a largely unknown mode of travel to Chinese consumers gives cruise companies a chance to define the industry, without the negative perceptions and stereotypes in more mature Western markets. 40% of Chinese cruises are under 40, a decade younger than the international average.
China Sets Goal of Hosting World Cup With Master Plan for Football: China’s football-loving president has endorsed a plan to bring football to the masses and raise the standard at top-level in a bid to host the World Cup.
Foxconn Technology Partners With Tencent To Make Smart Electric Vehicles: Foxconn is teaming up with Tencent in a bid to make electric cars priced under $15,000 for Chinese consumers. There are also rumours that Apple and Virgin Group could enter the market. The more the better!
De Beers to See Solid Growth of Chinese Diamond Jewellery: China’s diamond jewellery sales grew 6% in China last year, with double digit growth in Tier-3 cities, as diamonds remain the most desired luxury product according to De Beers. China accounts for 16% of global polished diamond demand just over a third of the 42% in the U.S.