According to Euromonitor International reports, western readymade meals in China are becoming extremely popular on Chinese E-commerce. The Chinese market for packaged, food like readymade meals is booming. Food like ready-made meals, snacks and drinks like cookies, chips, and soda will surpass America’s by 2015. China could consume as much as 107 million tonnes of packaged food, compared to 102 million tonnes in the US.

Increasingly, due to busy lifestyles, Chinese consumers don’t have time for cooking meals and view cooking as a chore. This trend has given rise to conveniently prepared Ready meals. This way Chinese consumers have more time to themselves. Many western-style inspired and white collar Chinese consumers are driving demand for Western-style ready meals and desserts. The demand is progressively increasing but options to meet the demand aren’t enough.

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Young professionals and children are two important target customers of Readymade meals in China

 readymade meals in China

The main target groups is young professionals and children, as these segments have disposable incomes along with occupied routines and need for energy. This target group is also focused on healthy eating therefore manufacturers must develop packaging which appeals to consumer desire for healthy & nutritious meals and desserts. As an example; based on consumer research Chinese consumers want – no additives or preservatives and more vegetables as the main convenience solution ready meal claim, but taste above all as their purchase factor.

 readymade meals in China

Readymade meals in China are selling best on Chinese E-commerce platforms

Western-style Readymade meals in China are increasingly popular among high-income netizens. There is also an increasing trend of purchasing online. Mostly readymade frozen, chilled, or shelf-stable packaged meals that are ready to eat or require limited preparation or additional food ingredients are popular to sell online.

The serving size is at least 250g and the example products are frozen dumplings, buns, meats, pizza, pasta, shelf-stable canned porridge, and chilled lunchboxes. The size helps in the logistics of a delivery system.

Demand by Chinese online shoppers has increased dramatically. In 2015, Chinese consumers purchased 118.43 billion yuan ($17.22 billion) worth of overseas products through cross-border e-commerce, a 112% year-over-year increase. With an annual growth rate of 86% and 219.8 billion yuan ($31.99 billion) in e-retail. Price is not the only driver for e-retail in Readymade food products, as the internet also offers convenience and greater product selection for Chinese consumers.

How to enter Readymade meal in the China E-commerce market?

There numerous opportunities in the E-commerce market for international readymade meal brands in China. Although, entering the E-commerce market of China is not easy due to cultural barriers, language differences, and strict e-commerce platform policies.

However, there are solutions among which two are vital. Firstly, International Readymade food brands need to have strong Branding of their products and secondly, they need to be present on well-known E-commerce platforms.

Branding of Readymade meals in China on Chinese E-commerce platforms

Most Chinese consumers show a keen interest in products containing fish, meat, and vegetables. There is a huge potential for manufacturers who can demonstrate high nutritional value in their readymade food products. The company needs to build e-reputation in order to gain popularity among customers. The marketing campaign must address the need of customers. It is highly important for International companies to understand the local culture and demands before it translates its offerings.

Therefore, when approaching China’s E-commerce, it is advisable to partner with a local digital agency as it is equipped with the right set of skills to find a “sweet spot” between the International brand value and the preference of Chinese consumers.

Presence of Readymade meals in China on Chinese E-commerce Platforms

Readymade meals in China online store on TMALL or TMALL Global

TMALL holds the biggest market share in the e-commerce market of China at 57%. It mainly focuses on premium brands. This characteristic makes TMALL the most expensive e-commerce marketplace in China. It provides an opportunity for International brands to open exclusive online stores and directly sell products to Chinese consumers without being physically present in China.

TMALL has an invitation-only policy where only qualified international brands can either be invited to join or can apply through a local digital marketing agency. For more information on how to sell International products through TMALL, please contact a digital marketing agency.

 Readymade meals in China online store on is China’s largest online direct sales company. It relatively has less market share than International companies can open individual online stores on JD’s cross-border service enables suppliers to sell directly to Chinese consumers without a local is less expensive than has a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeit products.

 Readymade meals in China online store on Haitao Web Interface

There are several cross-border websites that cater to international readymade food brands. Cross-border B2C e-commerce refers to a form of B2C (business to consumer) online purchasing where consumers can purchase foreign goods online via e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, such as, Tmall Global, and others, who are set up to operate within special Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in China. Chinese consumers prefer buying imported products from Haitao websites. To learn about which Haitao is suitable for your to brand please contact a local marketing agency catering to International brands.

Readymade meals in China on Taobao

Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group. It offers the largest C2C e-commerce marketplace in China. Taobao allows registered or non-registered businesses to sell directly to consumers. Establishing a store on Taobao is virtually free but the online marketplace is ruled by small sole sellers who compete fiercely on price and honesty and authenticity is an unwritten rule of their trade ethics. Sellers with low budget and low-quality products opt for this platform.

Readymade meals in China online store on WeChat app

WeChat is engrained in the lifestyles of Chinese consumers. It is an all-in-one app that integrates social e-commerce seamlessly. Wechat store gives numerous possibilities to International brands to reach Chinese consumers effectively. Possibilities range from Branding to campaigning and easy payment methods.

Readymade meals in China online store on WeChat Store

WeChat Service Account is considered the most suitable for business and organization that aspires to access advanced WeChat Official Account. Service accounts allow more APIs (Minisite) and companies are can open their own store. The online store can be used to manage products, take orders, display products, and manage customer complaints. For more information on how to manage Wechat stores, international companies are advised to partner with an expert Digital Marketing Agency, willing to apply for an Official WeChat Account on behalf of the international company.

Are you interested in selling western readymade food products in China on the E-commerce market, and learn how you can target Chinese consumers digitally? You are welcome to call us for a friendly discussion and learn about your brand’s prospects in the Chinese E-commerce market. Our Digital Marketing agency provides international brands with tools that are optimal to unlock this enormous market to earn their full potential. If you are interested in exploring Chinese Digital E-Commerce platforms, reach out to us for customized advice.

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  1. Good article , really it is true, Chinese mum will have less time for cooking and should think of “solution”. Most of Young Chinese do not cook so much and order delivery every day , eleme is successful

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