Daxue consulting-Chinese Millennials food habits

Chinese Millennials, the Driving Force Behind the Online Delivery Trend

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If you walk down the streets of Chinese cities, you will probably notice the flow of deliverers dressed in blue, red, and yellow, on scooters equipped with boxes bearing the logo of Ele.me (in Chinese 饿了么), Baidu Waimai (百度外卖) or Meituan Waimai (美团外卖). They are living proof that the online delivery is booming in China, at a larger scale than in the US or in Europe. This tremendous growth relies on Chinese Millennials Food Habits, whose food consumption pattern is presented in this report.

Key features of Chinese Millennials Food Habits

Chinese millennials, called “post-80s” (八零后) for those born after the 80s and “post-90s” (九零后) for those born after the 90s, account for around 30% of the Chinese population and are becoming the most important consumer group for the global economy.

Millennials stand out from the Chinese of older generations as digital natives who are better educated and more globally aware. They are also wealthier than their parents so they can afford higher quality products and services, and enjoy a more diversified lifestyle. In comparison with the past generations, it seems that there is only one “less”: Chinese Millennials tend to cook less than their parents, eating out and ordering instead.

Why are Chinese Millennials not cooking?

Cooking requires time and Millennials run out of it: they work harder and longer, spend more time going and getting back from work since they live in less centrally located areas. At the end of a working day, ordering food takes them less energy and time than cooking, particularly as it is increasingly convenient to order online. Not only they can have food delivered within an hour at their door, but they also don’t have to deal with notes and coins thanks to online payment solutions like Alipay or WeChat wallet.

Chinese Millennials are more international-minded than their parents, and this reflects in their food consumption: they are more likely to try different cuisines and go to Western restaurants for example. Talking about restaurants, Millennials tend to dine out more often than the previous generations. For the young Chinese, going to the restaurant is a social activity, as well as taking photos (of food and eating environment) or selfies to share them with friends.

Takeaways to keep in mind

Targeting Chinese Millennials is crucial as they become the biggest consumer group in the food industry. Their food consumption is driven by three desires: convenience, experience, and a better quality of life.

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