Steps of the study
The study followed 6 phases:
Phase 1: Documentary research
Our consultants began with a documentary research (or desk research) in order to have a broad understanding of the market. Our research reveals important information on Chinese mothers’ behaviors (e.g., the products they buy, the products they avoid, the money they spend, the quantities they buy, the websites they visit, the stores they buy from, etc.) and the current competitive landscape (e.g., the different brands currently existing in the market and their respective reputation). The goal was to understand every piece of the puzzle that makes up the baby food market in China.
Phase 2: Qualitative interviews
Our consultants conducted 12 in-depth interviews and 4 casual interviews with baby food professionals as well as the competitors of our client to supplement our documentary research.
Phase 3: Store-checks & mystery shopping
To gather information from the sellers, we performed store-checks and mystery shopping in 8 different locations in Shanghai and Beijing. In order to scan the market efficiently, we chose stores with different target consumers: mass market shops, specialized shops and expatriates oriented shops.
Phase 4: Focus Groups
We organized 6 focus groups (3 in Beijing and 3 in Shanghai) involving 54 mothers raising 0-to-36-month-infants. The objective was to collect qualitative data on mothers’ perceptions of the current and prospective baby food products.
Phase 5: Introduction week in China
This step is particularly suitable for companies who plan to enter the Chinese market. This first introduction allows the company to have a better understanding of the Chinese culture and consumer habits and providing it with the opportunities to meet the professionals in its business field in China.
Phase 6: Analysis and synthesis
Last but not least, we provide a complete and detailed report that not only summarizes our research of the Chinese baby food market, but also offers strategic recommendations to help our client to deal with the potential challlenges in the near future.