Thibaud André, a Senior Consultant at Daxue Consulting, stresses the importance of the kids’ segment: “The trend in the children market mirrors the overall trend in the F&B sector in China, namely towards healthy and imported food as well as an increase in (cross-border) e-commerce and online retail. However, in the children segment, the trend is even more significant, underlined by the biggest imported category, respectively infant formula.” A primary driver is a focus on health and food safety. But why the increase in snacking among Chinese children? May the reason be the time spent less in cooking? Click here to find out why Chinese hardly prepare meals by themselves anymore. It might create new business opportunities for international brands. However, one needs to be aware of the specificities to China with regards to consumption habits and the type of food.
An in-depth market evaluation in China for a well-established fruit-processing company
Daxue Consulting’s client sought to enter the Chinese market with its thick fruit drinks for children. Therefore, it approached Daxue’s research team to assess the market opportunities and players for snacking among Chinese children and helping them identify a suitable positioning strategy in China.
Daxue Consulting prepared an extensive research project about snacking among Chinese children:
- Competitor Analysis: The research team organized store checks to determine key competitors’ strategies on-site, comprising product range, pricing, positioning, and promotion. Furthermore, the consultants conducted in-depth interviews with retailers and brand managers to gain essential know-how about best practices and preferred distribution channels and products for snacking among Chinese children.
- Consumer Analysis: Daxue Consulting also performed in-depth interviews with professionals in daily contact with a child audience, such as pediatricians, and nutritionists. Furthermore, the research team executed social listening and an online survey. André stresses: “It is crucial to understand the context of consumers’ conception. For example, in China, it might be different to the Western world when or where a particular kind of product is consumed”. Additionally, Daxue’s research team carried out a diary study with families in different regions. The participants had to write down all information about daily behavior, such as what they bought, why and where they purchased it, as well as at which price. Thibaud André explains: “With the diary study we could get concrete examples of what happens in Chinese families, identify different household profiles, and even detect specificities to China and particular regions.”
- The weight of kid in the decision-making process: Daxue Consulting executed focus groups where the team asked parents to come with their children. This step helped the team to determine how much weight the kid carries in decision-making and who is actually buying. André adds, “We also investigated what drives the decision, what is the decision-making criteria. Is it, for instance, the country of origin, the brand, nutrition aspects, or the price?”
- Perspectives on the future of the market: The team conducted a comprehensive desk research considering Asian regions other than mainland China. This step served as an instrument to identify innovations in the industry of snacking among Chinese children, which are already well performing in those areas, but not yet existent in China mainland. The team could infer from the similar cultural background the perspectives and trends in the future market in China.
Valuable insights and adequate strategy recommendations to ensure a competitive advantage
Daxue Consulting prepared an extensive report on the findings of snacking among Chinese children. It comprised the identification of decision-makers, consumer profiles and their conception of the packaging and product, as well as specificities with regards to purchasing behavior in different regions in China. Furthermore, the research team delivered a comprehensive competitor analysis, including best practices in the segment, and determined the most efficient positioning strategy for the client in China. Finally, Daxue’s consultants presented an overview of the future perspectives and trends in the market.
Due to the numerous projects carried out by Daxue Consulting, its expertise is not only limited to children, but it also ranges from infants to elderly and encompasses various other industries besides F&B.
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