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In the ten first months of 2016, ice cream consumption reached 1140,78 billion yuan in China. 7 years before, the consumption per capita was only about 0,8 liters, and nowadays, it reached 4L.  But, even if the market is growing fast, the expense per capita still remains lower than in other countries such as Australia, America, Italia, or other developed countries. In fact, the consumption level in the ice cream market in China is about 1/10 now while in America this level is about 1/3 even 1/2. This fact clearly means that the potential of the market is far to reach for now.

The trend is changing in ice cream consumption

While before it was only a product for western high-ranking governments, Ice cream become a widespread product in China (as a beverage). As the consumption capacity is getting higher in China and the factor of the warmth becomes less constraining, ice cream which was traditionally consumed for its cooling effect, it becomes nowadays more of a product for leisure and entertainment, considering that as a petty bourgeoisie life (as the fact of drinking high-end coffee). Moreover, Chinese people tend to turn to a better way of consumption.

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Popular Ice Cream brands in China

  • Haagen-Dazs and its success

Despite the price of Haagen-Dazs in China being 5 or even 10 times of common types, it is very popular amongst Chinese customers. Chinese people are chasing comfort and leisure in life as we already talked about earlier. Some of its stores choose also strategic places for the implant like the one in 城隍庙cheng Huang Miao (a tourist place in Shanghai).

The brand is using also quality ingredients and ensures to communicate information about it. Haagen-Dazs is considered a luxury consumption, often for couples to go. Also in its advertisements, it appeals to couples by incorporating an element of romance.

  • Nestle Brand is popular

Nestle brand is considered a good quality product, with a large range of variety, and bring to consumer a good experience of consumption and chill time which can meet the demand from Chinese consumers. It is also the brand that Chinese consumers rely on the most. It has a significant place amongst Chinese customers, not only for ice cream but also for other dairy products, coffee, chocolate, and others.

  • Yili Group and Mengniu’s place in China

Yiligroup and Mengniu are two domestic ice cream brands (17% and 10% of the total market share) and they are part of the well-known brand. But Chinese consumers tend to prefer foreign and most again, western ice cream brands which look more stylish. They are talking about having good taste (“you pin Wei”)

Some tips to Succeed in The Chinese Ice Cream Market

Count on product quality 

The ice cream made like Italian is appreciated way among china. Italy is a reference in this area and Chinese people trust its know-how. Ice-cream shop under the signboard of Italian type made is a good deal. The homemade signboard is also a good thing to attract Chinese consumers.

A little digression here, we can find each in different cities in China each city’s specialty. Chinese consumers use to refer to this kind of heuristic to decide what to consume. They went to the specialties or recommended places to eat. So even for other food, they have the habits to rely on what is popular and well described.

Ice cream and health maintenance

Chinese people care a lot about “yang sheng” which means health maintenance, so they have invested in products with ingredients that can preserve one’s health. That’s why they have so many products that tastes like almonds, green tea, nuts, red beans, and so on. There is also an increasing part of people who are seeking organic food.

The consumption of this kind of food can make Chinese people less guilty than consuming a bad quality product and also give them satisfaction

Imagine a new Way to consume ice cream

While competition in China’s ice cream sector is turning red hot, an Interesting way or new way of consuming ice cream is such an added value to your product. There is, for example, the baked ice cream, and the toasted marshmallow ice cream (warm outside and cool inside) which are very appreciated. Also, the dondurma (turkey ice cream) is quite spread in China. Chinese people like to discover new things and are a very receptive population, whether it is for themselves or to bring new experiences to their family or friend.

Chinese people’s expectations are growing with their economic condition and revenue. They have the capacity to buy a better way of consumption. Moreover, this kind of consumption is not only for themselves, they like to share it with their family, their friends, and their network.  Also, that is the key point why the high-end product can see their market growth in China.

Do you have some ideas for development in China? You may need some help from Gentlemen Marketing Agency. Our team is specialized in the Chinese market and its consumers, and we can guide you in your project in China. Do not hesitate to contact us or to visit us directly at our office based in Shanghai 🙂

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