While the awareness and penetration of macadamia in Hong-Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea are impressive, in China the awareness is still low. However, increasing commercial interest in the Chinese macadamia market implies promising opportunities, though growing local production intensifies competition for foreign brands.
Daxue Consulting’s client, an association comprised of macadamia nut growers, processors, and marketers, aimed to target the promising Chinese macadamia market as their primary future market. Before starting to promote their products in China aggressively, the client approached Daxue’s research team to help them get a better understanding of the Chinese market. In particular, about its distribution environment, requirements, and regulations, as well as about Chinese consumers, their perception toward local and imported products and the decision making in choosing which macadamia product to purchase.
Clement Mougenot, Head of Research at Daxue Consulting, explains: “When analyzing the potential for a F&B product in China, the “cultural” feature plays an important role in understanding consumers’ current perceptions and consumption habits. During the research project, we quickly realized that nuts were an important part of Chinese’ diet because of the products’ widely known health benefits – a knowledge originally coming from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Similarly, nuts (including Macadamia nuts), because of the associated positive image they carry, the fact that they can be shared and consumed by all during the celebration, are typical gifts exchanged during Chinese New Year. Each F&B product carries its own cultural background in China, and it is therefore very important to carry out an in-depth consumer research to understand and leverage consumers’ habits and ultimately adapt and design a successful China product.”
As a first step, Daxue Consulting’s research team executed an extensive desk research. It included a comprehensive market analysis comprising the history of the Chinese macadamia market, future demand drivers, current trends, and regulations, as well as a consumer analysis by utilizing e-commerce analytics which helped Daxue’s experts to get an understanding of consumer purchasing behavior and their preferences towards macadamia nuts.
As to support and extend the gained research data, Daxue’s consultants organized and carried out smart calls and in-depth interviews with local industry professionals in the Chinese macadamia market, such as producers, processors,distributors, and industry insiders in the Chinese food service industry. It helped the team to identify, for instance, processing processes, distribution channels, the most popular nut types’ suppliers, as well as marketing strategies and market shares.
Additionally, Daxue Consulting supported the consumer analysis with a series of mini focus groups. This part of the research aimed to gain essential information about advertising and opinions about market campaigns, as well as it targeted the identification of the key product attributes and its perception and where, when and how Chinese consumers prefer to consume macadamia nuts.
As the last step, Daxue’s research team carried out a competitor’s benchmark online, as well as offline through store-checks. The team focused on different nut types, compared local products with imported nuts, the price structure, and marketing strategies and aimed to identify the client’s future sales performance.
Finally, Daxue Consulting systematically filtered and cross-analyzed the data from the various research steps and presented the key findings together with suggestions in a comprehensive route-to-market plan including:
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