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Grocery shopping in China - statistics & facts

Of the many outcomes of the economic revolution in China over the years, one that has affected the public positively was the steady increase in the disposable income across the nation. This included both urban and rural households. While a large disparity still exists between the annual per capita income of rural and urban households, one cannot help but acknowledge the rate at which household net income has increased since 1990. Eastern China is one of the most affluent regions with the annual disposable income of urban household members amounting to a little over 46 thousand yuan.

In 2018, members of private urban households in Shanghai were found to have the largest per capita expenditure on products such as food, tobacco and liquor totaling eleven thousand yuan. Meanwhile, alongside an increase in disposable incomes and their expenditure across the region, the sales value of fast moving consumer goods in the country grew by nearly 41 percent between 2012 and 2018. With supermarkets and hypermarkets holding the largest share of the retail sales value of FMCG products, Lianhua, Hongqi, and Zhongbai supermarkets had the highest number of stores in China.

The most consumed major foods and food products in China in 2018 were unprocessed grains such as cereals and beans followed by vegetables, and fruits and nuts. By 2019, food and beverage brands such as Kweichow Moutai and Yili were leading the popularity charts across the country. Furthermore, consumers in China have become more conscious of the nutritional value of the products they buy and prefer consuming more organic food too. A survey in April 2019 showed that most consumers opt for the organic variety of vegetables and fruits followed by milk and dairy products. Besides health and nutritional factors, they cite being environment-friendly and contributing to fair trade as reasons for the consumption of organic food products.

Over the years between 2014 and 2018, e-commerce has become a growing trend with online retail holding more than a 16 percent share in the FMCG retail market in 2018. Fresh food was one of the quickest developing sectors within online retail. The month of December in 2019 recorded approximately 50 million consumers purchasing fresh food from the most popular e-commerce companies. Online shoppers claimed to find grocery shopping most convenient on e-commerce platforms and were usually quite satisfied with product delivery services as well as food safety aspects.

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Grocery shopping in China

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FMCG retail market in China

FMCG online retail market in China

Chinese consumer behavior

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