Why the Yoghurt Market in China is booming since 2023-2024 ? Full Market report

… because Chinese consumers are

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  • used to the taste of yoghurts
  • Lot of Advertising campaign since years , sensitive the market
  • and parents want best nutriment for the health of their Kids.

The demand is growing more and more and the domestic market can’t produce enough yoghurts to answer this demand.

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Yili Group is a Client of GMA

The yogurt market in China has seen significant growth and evolution in recent years. Here are five key aspects to consider:

  1. Rising Health Consciousness:
    • As health awareness grows among Chinese consumers, there is an increasing demand for nutritious and functional food products. Yogurt, perceived as a healthy and probiotic-rich option, has gained popularity as a convenient snack or breakfast choice.
  2. large product Offerings:
    • The Chinese yogurt market features a diverse range of products, including traditional yogurt, Greek yogurt, flavored yogurts, and yogurts with added functional ingredients like probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
    • Manufacturers are continuously innovating to cater to varied consumer preferences, offering options for different taste profiles and nutritional needs.
  3. E-Commerce Dominance:
    • E-commerce platforms play a crucial role in the distribution and sales of yogurt products in China. Consumers often purchase yogurt online due to the convenience of home delivery and the availability of a wide range of brands and flavors.
    • Brands leverage online platforms not only for sales but also for marketing, utilizing social media to engage with consumers and promote their products.
  4. Probiotic and Functional Yogurts:
    • The demand for probiotic-rich yogurts has grown significantly as consumers become more aware of gut health benefits. Probiotics are often associated with digestive health and overall well-being.
    • Functional yogurts, fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting ingredients, are gaining traction as consumers seek products that offer additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition.
  5. Health and Wellness Trends:
    • Yogurt brands in China are aligning their marketing strategies with broader health and wellness trends. This includes promoting yogurt as a source of protein, a contributor to weight management, and a supporter of immune health.
    • Collaborations with health influencers, celebrity endorsements, and the use of natural and organic ingredients are common strategies employed by brands to appeal to health-conscious consumers.

The Yoghurt market in China

The dairy industry is very popular in China because it’s easy to do a very good profit margin. The three main Chinese companies in the Yoghurt market are Yili, Mengniu & Bright Dairy. Last year, these three companies had try to increase their production of yoghurt to reduce the lack of production compared to the demand. But for now, it’s not really sufficient.

The yoghurt market like in other countries is not an easy market. A lot of competitors are present such as foreign competitors, regional competitors (also very appreciated) and also the substitution products. You have to be strong if you really want to get rid of the game. In addition, the milk scandals had also weakened the yoghurt market. Trust is becoming a mandatory criterion in the yoghurt market in China.

Read also Best Tips to Sell and Promote Yogurt on the Chinese Market

75% of domestic demand

It’s an amazing fact because yoghurts are not a part of Chinese diet habits compared to western diet habits. But the demand grows more and more. The domestic dairy market is only able to cover the domestic demand for yoghurts by 75%. The demand is growing faster than the domestic production and supply.

Large space for international Brands in 2024

You understand that the yoghurt market is a lucrative market for foreign brands. You need to understand some things before developing your marketing strategy in China if you don’t want to fail.

Understand the Chinese consumer

Understand before make your first move

Chinese consumers are very different from your domestic consumers. They don’t have the same culture, traditions and habits. You need to understand the Chinese consumers to develop a strategy that will match their needs and desires.

China is changing, the wealth is increasing, they have access to the information easier than before and that change their habits and lifestyle. They want more and more quality products because they have more money. Certain health awareness and food awareness is born. They know that some products are not good for their health and prefer buy less but buy a better quality even if it’s more expensive.

The development of tourism is also an explication of the growth of yoghurt demand, the Chinese lifestyle is westernising. They travel more and that’s why yoghurt is becoming a part of their life.

Yes Chinese test some yoghurts abroad and want to buy the same yoghurt in their country for few reasons: as a memory of this fun trip, to keep a part of western lifestyle, to show that to their friends and be a precursor of this new way of consumption in their circles of friends.

It could be easy for foreign yoghurt brands to develop their business in China because you don’t need to convince your consumers to love you, they already love you. But, trust is really important in China. Due to all the milk scandals, they are very suspicious and they will only buy products that have a good reputation.

You need to develop a good brand image and be transparent with your Chinese consumers if you want to increase your yoghurt business in China.

  1. Health and Wellness Preferences:
    • Chinese consumers increasingly view yogurt as a healthy and nutritious food choice. The association of yogurt with probiotics and digestive health has resonated well with health-conscious consumers.
    • Yogurt is often perceived as a convenient and tasty option for those seeking to maintain a balanced diet and improve overall well-being. This aligns with the broader trend of Chinese consumers actively pursuing healthier lifestyles.
  2. Flavor Innovation and Diversity:
    • Chinese consumers exhibit a strong interest in diverse and innovative flavors when it comes to yogurt. While traditional plain yogurt remains popular, there is a growing demand for a wide range of flavored options, including fruit-infused, dessert-inspired, and exotic flavors.
    • Yogurt brands that invest in flavor innovation and cater to local taste preferences are likely to attract and retain a larger consumer base. This reflects the dynamic and evolving nature of consumer preferences in the Chinese market.
  3. Digital Engagement and E-Commerce:
    • Chinese consumers, particularly the younger demographic, are highly engaged in digital platforms for information, recommendations, and purchases related to yogurt. Social media platforms and e-commerce channels play a pivotal role in shaping consumer choices and facilitating convenient online purchases.
    • Brands that establish a strong online presence, leverage social media influencers, and optimize their e-commerce strategies can effectively tap into the digital habits of Chinese consumers. Online platforms offer an opportunity for direct communication with consumers and real-time feedback, influencing purchasing decisions.

Understanding the health-conscious mindset, the demand for diverse flavors, and the significance of digital engagement is crucial for yogurt brands aiming to succeed in the competitive and evolving Chinese market.

Adapting to these consumer insights can help brands tailor their products and marketing strategies effectively and we can help you 🙂 .

The Yoghurt market in China, a lucrative market who suffers from the lack of foreign brands

To answer to the growing demand they need to import yoghurts.

some figures and trends related to the Chinese Yogurt market:

  1. Market Size: China has one of the largest consumer markets in the world, with a GDP exceeding $14 trillion in 2021.
  2. Growth Rate: China has experienced rapid economic growth over the past few decades, with an average annual growth rate of around 6-7% in recent years.
  3. E-commerce Penetration: E-commerce has seen significant growth in China, with a high penetration rate. As of 2021, e-commerce sales accounted for approximately 30% of total retail sales in the country.
  4. Average Price: The average price of goods can vary significantly depending on the product category. For example, consumer electronics may have higher average prices compared to everyday household items.
  5. Import Size: China is one of the world’s largest importers, with imports totaling over $2 trillion in 2021. The exact composition of imports can vary. The importation of yoghurts constitutes 20% of the yoghurt market in China.
  6. Yili Turnover: Yili Group is one of the leading dairy companies in China. As of my last update, its annual turnover was around $12 billion. Please check for the most recent figures.
  7. Mengniu Turnover: China Mengniu Dairy Company is another major player in the dairy industry. In 2021, its annual turnover was approximately $8 billion, but this figure may have changed since then.
  8. Number of Supermarkets: The number of supermarkets in China can fluctuate over time due to market dynamics and urbanization. As of 2021, there were thousands of supermarkets across the country.
  9. E-commerce Marketplaces: Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall, as well as JD.com, are some of the largest e-commerce platforms in China, with millions of sellers and a wide range of products.
  10. Cross-Border E-commerce: Cross-border e-commerce has been on the rise in China, allowing consumers to purchase goods from overseas. This segment of the market has grown significantly in recent years.

On average, 15,237 tonnes of yoghurts are imported each year. In 2015, the figure for yoghurts importation was only 10,274 tonnes of yoghurts. This represents an increase of 104% of the yoghurts importation in China. There is clearly a niche for foreign yoghurt brands.

Yes, in fact, foreign brands miss their chance in China. Only some big brands have understood that the yoghurt market in China is a very good opportunity.

Do you want to sell in China? We have experience and contact you need

China has a need. They need more yoghurts to respond to the increase in demand. Chinese consumers love foreign brands. So foreign yoghurts will be very appreciated. The growth of the Chinese middle class also allows you to develop premium brands. You really can focus your market on this premium field. Because Chinese consumers think that foreign products are better in quality than local products. That’s why they will not be impressed with the price of your premium yoghurt brand.

You can also focus your business on healthy yoghurts. It’s one of the changes that appeared these few years. Chinese people now take care of their health. The increase in income at the beginning created a new issue: obesity. They had more money so they consumed more and obesity is becoming a very important health issue. Now, they want to reduce this problem by buying more healthy products such as yoghurts.

What can we do for you?

You understand now that the yoghurt market is a market in expansion. If you are a foreign yoghurt brand, it’s your chance to take a part in this cake. You need to answer to the Chinese hunger for yoghurts and especially for foreign yoghurts.

You can’t succeed without Branding in China

China is a digital country, be present on their social media platforms, use their communication mediums and you will quickly gain invisibility.

You can also work with a marketing agency, they will help you to develop the best strategy to overcome your competitors in the yoghurt market in China.

GMA, an Ecom agency based in Shanghai, is composed of experts in the Chinese market. We understand Chinese consumers and their complexity. It’s the key to selling in China.

  1. See our Agency Website 
  2. Contact us to discuss your project with our experts

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