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On the ten first months of 2016, the ice cream consumption reach 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 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 be reach for now.

Trend is changing for ice cream consumption

While before it was only a product for western high-ranking government, Ice cream become a widespread product in China (as the beverages). As the consumption capacity is getting higher in China and the factor of the warmth become less constraining, the ice cream which was traditionally consumed for its cooling effect, it becomes nowadays more 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.

Popular brands in China

  • Haagen-Dazs and its success

Despite the price of Haagen-Dazs in China is 5 even 10 times of common types, it is very popular amongst Chinese customers. Chinese people are chasing for comfort and leisure of life as we already talk about earlier. Some of its store choose also strategic place to implant like the one in 城隍庙cheng huang miao (a touristic place in Shanghai). The brand is using also quality ingredients and ensure to communicate information about it. Haagen-Dazs is considered as 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 as 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 which on the chinese consumers rely on the most. It has a significant place amongst Chinese customers, not only for ice-cream but also for other dairy product, 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 to have a good taste (“you pin wei”)

Some tips to get involved in this market

  • Count on product quality 

The ice cream made like Italian is a appreciate way among china. Italy is a reference in this area and Chinese people trust on 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 consumer.

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

  • Ice-cream and health maintenance

Chinese people care a lot about “yangsheng” which means the health maintenance, so they have intested about product with ingredient which can preserve one’s health. That’s why they have so many product’s taste like almond, green tea, nuts, red beans and so on. There is also increasing part of people who is seeking for 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 new Way to consume ice cream

While competition in China’s ice cream sector is turning red hot, 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, the toasted marshmallow ice cream (warm outside and cool inside) which are very appreciate. Also the dondurma (turkey ice cream) is quite spread in China. Chinese people like to discover news things and are a very receptive population, whether it is for themselves or to bring new experience for their family or friend.

Chinese people’s expectations are growing with their economic condition and revenue. They have 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, their network.  Also, that the key point why high end product can see their market growth in China.

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

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