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Chinese choose Western appeal over lactose intolerance to boost dairy market

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese choose Western appeal over lactose intolerance to boost dairy market
China's US$50bn dairy market should see continuing strong growth until at least 2021, making it a key target for local and global producers.

The average 10.5% annual growth rate of the last five years is expected to increase alongside higher middle-class consumption, according to a study by Research and Markets. 

Usually living in cities and developing a taste for Western foods, the growing Chinese middle-class is likely to see dairy as a health segment and a good source of nutrition. 

However, tempering this growth somewhat is widespread intolerance to dairy: a significant portion of the population is lactose-intolerant and experiences adverse health effects from dairy products. 

This could prompt a growing preference for non-dairy products like soy milk at some point, but for now Chinese consumers will still continue to increase their milk consumption as the middle-class expands, the research found.        

Though it is one of the smaller markets in the global dairy sector, in terms of per-capita expenditure, China’s rapid economic development bodes well for consumer goods producers, and especially ones which produce products associated with the West that carry premium branding, the study concluded.

Related topics: Markets, China, Industry growth, Dairy

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