Chinese thought on nuts: “Nuts contain high levels of protein, oil, minerals, and vitamins, and have excellent effects on human growth and development, strengthening physical fitness, and preventing diseases. Nuts are comprehensive and rich in nutrition. Eating regularly nuts can prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, and vascular disease.” So, it’s simple to understand why the Chinese love nuts.

According to statistics, nut consumption in China is the biggest in comparison to all the other snacks. The snacks market in China is growing and nuts are a big part of it, accounting for around 80% of total salty snack consumption. In this blog post, we will understand the markets’ potential and see what are the best way to reach out to nut consumers in China.

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Chinese interest in nuts keeps growing

Statistics have shown that the rising rate of nut consumption in China is much faster than other snack items. Sales of nuts in China were about $7.39 billion in 2022. The nuts market in China is expected to grow annually by 10.20% between 2022 and 2027.

nuts market in china

Chinese people love daily nuts and healthy snacks. They know about the health benefits of nuts, as they are present in the Chinese diet for centuries. Today, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese consumers are more health aware and pursue a healthy lifestyle, trying to stay fit and eat healthy foods. Thanks to this fact and the rising incomes of younger consumers in China, we can expect a big rise in the nut industry in the upcoming years.

Fresh walnut kernels have been very popular in northern China in recent years

It seems that fresh Walnuts represent 10 percent of the total nut domestic consumption. Fresh walnut kernels are also a popular cooking ingredient in restaurants and at home. Besides this, newly developed snack foods, such as Chinese dates stuffed with walnut kernels, contribute to increasing this growth.

Nuts are also used in various Chinese dishes

Nuts lead casual snack sub-category in China

According to statistics, the sales of casual snacks on the Alibaba platform are mainly nuts, which account for 21.3%. Followed by biscuits, cakes, and Halogen food.

Why do the Chinese love nuts, walnuts, and pecan?

In 2022, the main considerations for Chinese nut consumers to buy nuts are taste, quality, price, freshness, and nutritional value. More than 50% of consumers will give priority to factors such as taste, quality, price, freshness, and nutritional value.

Now, it seems that eating mixed nuts, dried fruits and seeds has no longer something to do with killing time while chatting with friends, but it is part of the overall pursuit of a healthy and trendy lifestyle.

Nuts - Three squirrels
Three Squirrels – one of the most popular nuts and dried fruits companies in China

To clarify, Chinese consumers have raised their awareness of bad eating habits, such as sugar and fat intake. The consumption growth rates of traditional sweet snacks, like sugar confectionery, ice creams, and biscuits, are relatively slow.

Therefore, more consumers are switching to fresh fruits and vegetables or to the whole family of daily nuts for snacking. This suggests a growing opportunity for food and drinks brands that enjoy a healthy perception: to jump at the chance to develop snack-format products such as mixed nuts packages.


Who consumes nuts in China?

The Chinese consumer group of children/pregnant women nuts accounted for 3/4 of the nut market size. Buyer mainly are 26-45 years old, of which 26-35 years old consumers accounts for 56.3%. These young consumers prefer shopping online and the results are already visible in the increasing volumes of online sales in the snacks sector.

The sales of protein nut bars, meal replacement nuts, daily nuts, and probiotic nuts meet the needs of specific populations with an interest in muscle gain and fat loss. Also, this market niche increased significantly.

In terms of taste, fruity flavors such as crab roe, and coconut occupy a relevant place in the nut market. Among them, the sales of coconut flavor accounted for nearly a quarter of the fruit flavor, and flavors like white peach, passion fruit, and durian also attracted many new tasters.

Imported Nuts in China are the best?

Most nuts consumed in China are imported, except for walnuts. Pistachios and almonds have been the leaders among nut imports, but the market share of macadamia nuts is quickly catching up. China’s in-shell pecan imports have declined from their peak in 2012, but are increasing again. Imported snacks are gaining popularity among urban Chinese consumers.

According to Mintel’s research, as many as 4 of 10 urban Chinese consumers are interested in buying imported products. They have never tried before across a variety of purchase channels for selling imported snacks.

As consumers continue to look for new and different flavor experiences, international snacks have become a sector that many consumers are gravitating towards. E-commerce is especially an important channel for international snacks.

How to promote and sell nuts in China on the web?

Research by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) shows that 85% of respondents are getting information from the web, 66.1% from TV, and 61.1% from newspapers. For those facing the sale of nuts in China, branding and online marketing are excellent solutions. The advantages are as follows:

  • good value for money
  • targeted marketing
  • easy control of the reputation
  • market feedback

Design a Website in Chinese to start promoting your nuts brand

Nowadays in China, most of the sites for the sale of nuts are created by distributors. While this solution saves work for manufacturers, it hurts the building of the brand image in the long run, because sellers will focus primarily on sales while the company must spread its brand. With a site in Chinese you can:

  •  Increase the popularity of a brand
  •  Influence consumers through content and design
  •  Create the image of a company

After creating a website for your brand, you must think about promotion. A good site without visitors is useless. To promote the site the most widespread and effective solutions are SEO and SEM techniques, which should be designed for Baidu and not for Google.

Use Chinese social media to grow your reach

Chinese social media platforms have become an important source of information. The advantages of using social networks to sell nuts in China are:

  •  Building a community around your company
  • Reaching a specific consumer target
  • Quickly get feedback from these consumers
  • Create a better company image

If you want to connect with Chinese customers, having accounts on WeChat, Weibo and Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) is essential. Leverage these popular platforms for their special offers, mini-stores & official information as well as additional customer touch points like coupons and live streaming – all of which contribute towards heightening your followers base!

Don’t minimize the influence of Kols in China

How influential the KOLs are is obvious. Even one of the latest studies conducted by McKinsey & Company confirms that Chinese consumers during the purchase decision find 4 of the 5 main touchpoints in the digital world: website, social networks, and, indeed, influencers.

Having to move in a market where counterfeit products are the order of the day, the Chinese are very careful and before finalizing purchases they usually check information and products on different channels and sources of information. The purchase of trust is essential, and influencers greatly facilitate the journey.

Collaborating with the right Chinese influencers has a return of image, and therefore of business, very concrete. Better if they are seen as points of reference for small or large market niches. In this way, you can strongly influence the impact of a product and of a Brand on a complex and multifaceted market.

In addition, working with a Key Opinion Leader can bring much more results than big-budget adv on a so wide market like China. The message arrives more directly at the heart of the target.

Sell your Nuts Brand on Chinese eCommerce platforms

With over 76% of the population utilizing their smartphones or tablets to make purchases, the Chinese e-commerce market has flourished – particularly within food sales following pandemic lockdowns where people ordered all their provisions online. This booming industry is the perfect option for nuts sales in China.

You can sell your nuts on Tmall, JD, and Pinduoduo, but you can also start your own WeChat store or Xiaohongshu store, which are cheaper and offer a good opportunity to test the market before making a big investment.

Do you want to increase your sales in China?

China is the largest e-commerce market in the world. The rapid development of smartphones and tablets in China quickly enabled 76% of connected Chinese to make purchases via their mobile.

There are several things to know if you want to reach the expectations of Chinese consumers: you have to be present online on e-commerce platforms such as Tmall, JD, Taobao. After reading about your Brand, they surely want to find you on E-commerce platforms. Chinese people buy everything online.

So before starting your business in China, you have to truly understand your target and how to reach them.

We’re a marketing agency focusing specifically on digital in China. If you have a business and want to expand to China, contact GMA. Over 10 in China we helped more than 600 brands achieve and exceed their goals in the Chinese market.

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Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us, so we can schedule a free discovery call, where one of our experts will get to know your brand and offer you the best solutions for your strategy in China. Let’s keep in touch!

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