China’s import quantity of F&B products has increased greatly; according to statistics from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ; 中华人民共和国国家质量监督检验检疫总局), 35.141 million tonnes (USD 48 billion) of import food was inspected and quarantined in China, representing year-on-year growth of 7.3% (amount) and 3.3% (value).
In 2005 imported food trade was valued at over EUR 8.7 billion (USD 10 billion) and by 2014 this has more than quadrupled to EUR 42.0 billion (USD 48 billion).
Top 6 Exporters (Country) by Value
In recent years, China’s imported food source has become increasingly international. In 2014, China’s imported food products came from 192 countries and regions. The top 10 importing sources in terms of import value were:
The European Union
The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
In 2014, the top 5 EU countries importing to China (prepared foodstuffs, beverages, spirits and vinegar, tobacco – Hs codes 16 to 24. Source: China MOFCOM) were France, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, and Italy, with total amount of EUR 1,237 million, 756 million, 441 million, 316 million and 298 million
According to research conducted by Mintel, the retail market value for China’s full-service restaurants (excluding fast food restaurants)12 reached EUR 265 billion (CNY 1,865 billion) in 2014; Mintel predicts that by 2019, the retail market value will reach EUR 390 billion (CNY 2,724 billion). Despite marked growth, competition among players remains strong, and the choice of cuisine remains limited.
In China, imported F&B products are generally consumed in bars, cafés, restaurants and hotels in urban settings, and Chinese consumers are increasingly choosing ‘Western food’ when they dine out. Many Western-style restaurants that were originally targeted at expatriates now have predominantly Chinese clientele, and generic Western-style chain restaurants are widespread. Many social occasions and family celebrations now take place in Western restaurants, boosting traffic in these venues.
Chinese online retailer Taobao13 is a market leader in the e-commerce sector, and online shopping is a daily routine for 65% of Chinese consumers. In 2014 alone, Taobao’s total sales reached EUR 170 billion, with Tmall14 achieving EUR 73 billion in annual sales the same year. According to the annual financial report compiled by the Alibaba Group, year-on-year sales in the e-commerce sector reached 394% in 2014. Taobao, Tmall, JD15 and Yihaodian16 were the largest F&B importers to China in 2014-2015.17 Online shopping in China is not only about buying things consumers need or want but also about information sharing, communicating and a keeping up with trends. The Chinese are the world’s largest consumers of online products, with one in seven consumers purchasing online every day. The surge in e-commerce is not necessarily bad news for brick-and-mortar stores since consumers seek more than just ‘products’ when they shop; instead, they want and expect a more integrated and personalised experience.18
For more information on the Chinese e-commerce market, please download the EU SME Centre report Selling Online in China, available at http://www.eusmecentre.org.cn/report/selling-online-china.
REMOVING REGULATORY ROADBLOCKS,
EXPEDITING MARKET ACCESS
As early as 2009, REACH24H started the first ‘International Chemical Regulation REACH Workshop’ (renamed
as ‘Chemical Regulatory Annual Conference’, abbreviated as ‘CRAC’), known as the flagship conference for
networking, disseminating the latest updates in regulatory affairs and providing practical compliance know-how.
As the most professional chemical regulation conference in China, this annual meeting has become an essential
forum for experts from national regulatory authorities, chemical industries and testing institutions to share
regulatory developments, compliance experience and practical issues.
Nowadays, not only public expresses grave concern over the food safety issues, the mass media also writes
tracking reports about food scandals. Meanwhile, the government is pushing harder on improving the food safety
standard, strengthening the supervision of food safety, reinforcing law enforcement and intensifying industrial
self-discipline. In such a case, the Food and Food Contact Material Annual Summit, part of the CRAC 2014 serials,
will be jointly held by REACH24H and Zhejiang institute of standardization at InterContinental Shanghai Puxi on
Oct 13 (Mon) 2014, to enhance industries’ understanding of the updates of the food and food contact material
regulations. The summit will discuss the issues including supervision of the Chinese Imported Food, the regulation
of the health food and genetically modified food and requirements of Chinese food labeling. Participants will
benefit from the in-depth discussions and have their confusion and concerns instantly answered.
Direct communication and guidance from the regulatory authorities makes the delegates get the most accurate
interpretation of regulations. Therefore, the speakers we invite for this summit are key officers of relevant
governmental authorities such as AQSIQ, local CIQ, NIFDC and experts from top research organizations. It bridges the
industry and authorities and provides the opportunity to work out a practical solution to ensure the compliance.
This annual summit will be an event gathering authorities, industry leaders, experts and food safety managers.
The participation would provide a sound opportunity to extend the knowledge, communicate with authority
directly and network with industrial professions.
No worries of food, we are looking forward to your participation.
Seven Chinese cities and provinces approved for wholly foreign-owned hospitals
In an August 27 circular, China’s Ministry of Commerce and National Health and Family Planning Commission jointly announced a pilot programme for the establishment of wholly foreign-owned hospitals in seven mainland cities and provinces – Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan. Under the terms of the programme, foreign investors can either set up new hospitals or acquire existing ones through mergers and acquisitions. The pilot programme came into effect as of July 25.
China Coffee Standard: First National Standard for Coffee Beverages in China Formally Released
- The first national standard for coffee beverages has been released.
- Solid content and caffeine content of coffee beverages are regulated in this national standard.
On July 8, 2014, the first national standard for coffee beverages drafted by China Beverage Industry Association was formally approved and released by SAC (Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China). The implementation date of this national standard is December 1, 2014.
The national standard released this time is the first standard for coffee beverages in China. This national standard also takes the solid content of coffee as the technical index as well as the content of caffeine as characteristic index. These two technical indexes can effectively ensure the authenticity of coffee beverages. The release of this national standard will also further regulate the production and marketing of coffee beverages in China.