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THIS CONTENT IS PRODUCED AND PUBLISHED BY CHINA DAILY, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, WHICH TAKES SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS CONTENTS

Yogurt ferments the dairy segment

Cream of the crop: a consumer selects yoghurt at a Wal-Mart store in Beijing Credit: Provided to China Daily
21 June 2018 • 12:00pm

Chen Meiling

Chinese consumers have taken a fancy to novel dairy products such as creamy, sweet, flavoured yogurt and yogurt-based drinks

Chinese consumers have taken a fancy to novel dairy products such as creamy, sweet, flavoured yogurt and yogurt-based drinks. Category sales have risen about 20 per cent a year since 2014 to reach 122 billion yuan (£14.2 billion) last year, confirming the trend of health-related products tasting success in the China market.

Global consultancy firms such as Mintel are conducting consumer surveys and finding that about half the interviewees associate yogurt with key words and phrases such as “nutritious”, “helps boost immunity”, “easy to digest” and “suitable for children and older people”.

Although a dairy item, yogurt is seen as better than alternatives such as “high-protein” milk, butter that has “high calories, fat and cholesterol”, and cheese that has both healthy and unhealthy elements linked to it, a Mintel report said.

“The rapid growth of yogurt shows it has become a leading product in the domestic dairy market, or even in the whole food and beverage market,” said Chen Yangzhi, an analyst with Mintel.

Traditionally, Chinese customers tend to buy and take along dairy products when visiting friends during the Spring Festival holiday

However, yogurt consumption is low in China compared with other countries, at 7.56lb per person per year. But the recent rise in yogurt sales in China has positive implications for the larger dairy market, industry insiders said. Overall dairy sales in China are expected to exceed 480 billion yuan by 2022 on a compound annual growth rate of 6.6 per cent, the Mintel report said.

Traditionally, Chinese customers tend to buy and take along dairy products when visiting friends during the Spring Festival holiday. Now dairy companies are planning to create more occasions to market and sell yogurt, such as encouraging consumers to go in for do-it-yourself yogurt, said a report jointly published by the market research firm Nielsen and the Chinese online search engine company Baidu Inc.

Dairy products accounted for 21 per cent of the whole fast-moving consumer goods sales last year, and two of the top three companies in this field in terms of sales revenue in China were dairy producers, the Nielsen-Baidu report said.

In this category, packaging and marketing gimmicks (such as limited-edition versions) are less important, the Mintel report said

This article was originally produced and published by China Daily. View the original article at www.chinadaily.com.cn

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