Meat will drive Chinese food processing industry

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

Rising demand for meat will drive the Chinese food processing industry to record double digit growth, according to market research organization RNCOS.

Its latest report, Chinese Processed Food Market Analysis, predicts that the processed food industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33 per cent over the next three years.

The processed meat sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16 per cent from 2010-2013.

Increasing affluence coupled with a growing appetite for time-saving processed food is driving the demand for more processed meat meals.

Between 2000 and 2008, demand for processed meat products rocketed 345 per cent leading it to become the fastest growing sector within the processed food industry.

Low-temperature food

The report also revealed that Chinese consumers are increasingly prepared to accept more low-temperature food products compared with high-temperature food products. This reflects a growing perception of the taste and health benefits of low-temperature foods, according to the report. This trend is already leading major Chinese processed meat manufacturers to boost their production of low-temperature food products.

We have also found that the availability of processed foods products will improve as modern food-retailing formats look beyond to Tier-1 cities and expand their operation into Tier-2, 3 and rural cities to meet the rising demand from more affluent consumers​,” said the researchers. “In order to exploit the opportunities, many local processed food producers have already started focusing on making processed food for domestic sales​.”

Consumer diet preferences

The report also analyses growth factors such as Chinese consumer diet preferences, growing food safety concerns and intensive marketing of processed meat products and processed meat imports and prominent market players.

In addition to meat, the researchers also consider other food segments including dairy products, fish and seafood products, fruit and vegetables, juice and ready meal products.

After processed meat, dairy and ready meals are predicted to be the two highest growing segments.

Researchers said the global economic crisis had hardly any impact on the Chinese processed food market.

Meanwhile, there is still a considerable disparity between the Chinese food packaging sector and the industry in developed nations, according to Marketing Review​.

The nation’s food packaging machinery focuses mainly on single machines employing a low level of technology and automation. That has led food companies to import more sophisticated food packaging machines, it said.

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