Food & Beverage Business in China

In 2024, the F&B industry in China is evolving rapidly, influenced by technological innovations, shifting consumer preferences, and food and beverage digital marketing trends.

  1. Red’s Real Reviews: The social media platform Red (Xiaohongshu) is becoming a pivotal space for authentic food reviews and recommendations. Restaurants and food brands leverage user-generated content on Red to build credibility and attract customers seeking genuine dining experiences.
  2. Discover on Douyin: Douyin (TikTok) has emerged as a prime channel for discovering new food products and viral food trends. Brands frequently collaborate with influencers to create engaging content that showcases their offerings, driving both awareness and sales.
  3. Choose with Dianping: Dianping remains the go-to app for restaurant reviews and bookings. With its comprehensive user reviews and ratings, Dianping helps consumers make informed choices about where to eat, significantly influencing dining decisions.
  4. Discount Dynamics: Promotions and discounts are ubiquitous in the Chinese F&B market. Apps and platforms offer real-time discounts to drive traffic during off-peak hours, helping restaurants increase turnover and consumers save money.
  5. Diet-Conscious Dining: There’s a growing trend towards health and wellness, with an increase in demand for diet products and health-focused menu items. Restaurants and food brands are responding by offering more low-calorie, low-fat, and nutrient-rich options.
  6. Green Gastronomy: Eco-conscious eating is on the rise, with more consumers interested in sustainable and environmentally friendly dining options. This includes preferences for organic produce, plant-based meals, and minimal waste packaging.
  7. Tech at the Table: Technology is transforming the dining experience, from AI-powered order systems to robotic servers. These innovations not only streamline operations but also enhance the customer experience with novelty and efficiency.
  8. Home Chefs’ Rise: With the growing interest in home cooking, platforms like Douyin and Red are full of tutorials and cooking tips, boosting the sales of gourmet ingredients and cookware directly through social media platforms.
  9. Global Flavors, Local Plates: There’s a surge in popularity for international cuisines, adapted to suit local tastes. This has led to the proliferation of fusion cuisines, where traditional Chinese dishes are blended with foreign elements to create innovative flavors.
  10. Smart Snacking: Snack foods are becoming healthier and more diverse, with a focus on functional benefits like boosting energy or promoting relaxation. The market for packaged and on-the-go snacks is expanding rapidly, driven by busy lifestyles and health awareness.

These trends highlight the dynamic nature of the food and beverage industry in China, showcasing how businesses are adapting to the new digital landscape and changing consumer behaviors to stay competitive and relevant.

Top digital marketing for F&B in China

Food & Beverage business in China


For professionals looking to navigate the competitive and complex landscape of China’s food and beverage industry, asking the right questions is crucial. Here are ten essential questions to consider when trying to establish and grow your business in this dynamic market:

How can I find the right distributors for my food and beverage products in China?

Good question: Identifying and partnering with distributors who have the right network and local market knowledge is crucial for successful market entry.


What are the best practices for negotiating with Chinese distributors?

Understanding the cultural nuances and business etiquette in China can help you establish stronger relationships and more favorable terms with distributors.

How should I market my food and beverage products to Chinese consumers?

Tailoring your marketing strategies to align with local tastes, preferences, and cultural norms is key to resonating with Chinese consumers.

Which social media platforms are most effective for promoting food and beverage products in China?

Deciding between platforms like WeChat, Douyin, Red (Xiaohongshu), and others can make a significant difference in your marketing effectiveness.

What regulatory requirements must I meet to sell food and beverage products in China?

Navigating China’s regulatory environment is essential for compliance and to avoid potential legal issues.

How can I leverage e-commerce platforms for selling food and beverage products?

With e-commerce booming in China, understanding how to effectively utilize platforms like Tmall,, and Douyin can expand your reach.

Use ecommerce agencies, easier specially at the beginning 🙂

What consumer trends should I consider when introducing new products to the Chinese market?

Staying ahead of trends such as health consciousness, premiumization, discount or convenience can influence product development and of course a strong marketing activation, branding is everything in China.

How can I protect my brand and ensure intellectual property rights in China?

Knowing how to safeguard your brand against infringement is crucial in a market where IP violations are common. (use law partner in China 😉 ) 

What logistical challenges might I face distributing food and beverage products across China?

Planning for China’s vast geographic and demographic diversity is necessary to ensure efficient distribution and supply chain management.


How can I adapt my products to better fit the local tastes and preferences of Chinese consumers?

Customizing products to meet local tastes, which may involve reformulating recipes or changing packaging, can significantly impact market acceptance.

By addressing these questions, professionals in the food and beverage industry can better prepare for the complexities of entering and succeeding in the Chinese market.



In the 20th Food and Beverage Industry Meeting at IESE on May 2024, China became the most attractive market for food and beverage companies.

Chinese tourists love to try local when when they travel


F&B in China,  is one of the leading sectors for commerce in China. Whether you’re a foreign trader trying to make profit or a resident trying to establish your own business, the food market of China is favorable to all.

The primary reason for the eruption of food and beverage business is the consumer demand. Other factors like largest middle-class population, urbanization rates and economic expansion continues to uplift the F&B business in China. While health and safety are the major factors governing and initiating the growth of foreign traders, local Chinese manufacturers are elevating their standards. In 2009 the Chinese Government introduced extreme food safety laws to keep the health hazards at bay. 


China’s Food Market booming with Foreign Ingredients


China became the world’s largest consumer market for food and beverage, surpassing US. In Asia, China is the second fastest growing F and B market. The country’s annual average growth rate is 30% between 2005 and 2014.

South East Asian countries, EU countries, Australia, New Zealand, US, Brazil are some of the top exporters of foreign foods in China. Amongst the EU countries, France was estimated to export more than $12 million, The Netherlands more than $7 million and Germany more than $4 million in China.

At present, the consumer demand for foreign commodities in the Chinese Food market is immense. Reports confirm that foreign food import has become more than 3 times in the last 3 years.

 5 best-selling foreign commodities in the Chinese Market are as follows


  • Wine, Beer and Alcoholic Drinks: The influence of the Western world, affluence in economic status, and wide availability has made wide, beer and alcohols popular amongst the middle-class Chinese population.
  • Dairy Products: The dairy products like milk, yogurt, baby formula, and others are an important part of a child’s diet and hence the demand for them remains throughout the year. A few food scandals in the past years have weakened the faith of Chinese people on local brands and opened the doors for foreign brands. According to Bloomingdales, a dairy company, their sales rose by 30% in 2013.
  • Meat: Pork and poultry are two of the main food ingredients in Chinese food and is a part of everyday diet. Though beef and mutton are not authentic Chinese delicacies, but a growing foreign influence have made then popular in their markets. China has become 4th largest beef supplier in the world.
  • Sweets: The Chinese have recently taken a liking to dark chocolates, confectionary and other sweets. Though these are not traditional Chinese sweets, yet the demand foreign desserts is growing every year.
  • Premium Coffee Options: The café culture is gradually settling down in the country, and premium coffee outlets like Starbucks are coming up at every corner of the metropolitan cities. Despite the high price for products, foreign coffee and beverage brands are rushed by office-goers, college students and people from different strata.


5 Factors that are dominating China’s F & B Market


  • Food Safety:


The food safety issue has plagued the Chinese market for a long time. Consumers are now aware and trying to select products that are hygienic and safe. Foreign brands claim to provide fresh produce, 84% says that they do not compromise with the origin of food. This is striking the Chinese population. Moreover, government verification certificates and online reviews are other factors that come into consideration before making food choices. Many Imported grocery stores have get great success in China. 

  • E-commerce:


Online shopping is gaining grounds and more people are going for e-commerce every year. Apart from snacks, dry ingredients, chips, cookies and other non-perishable food products, several e-commerce website are directly collaborating with foreign wholesalers. As a result, foreign exotic ingredients are available online at a cheaper price than in regular stores. More information here

Natural and Healthy Foods:


Healthy and fresh products are more desired by the customers in the Chinese market. The consumers are inclined to go for organic products, and are concerned about the additives mixed with food. 62% Chinese consumers tend to analyze the labels of food to inspect the additives. So, natural, fresh and healthy products are more in demand. Many scandals are actually scaring Chinese consumers. see these videos



Not only traditional Chinese cuisine, but also the foreign cuisines are gradually penetrating into the lives of people in China. Cooking and eating out in standard restaurants at different occasions have become a part of their lives. Celebrating ceremonies, coming together on social occasions and other events often lead to going out and eating or ordering food.

Advertisements in China


 Promoting commodities are done by giving advertisements, making celebrities as brand ambassadors, giving newspaper ads, displaying them in regular TV channels and putting them up in hoardings across the country. Endorsements have a great influence on common people and over 50% of consumers are purchasing goods based on endorsements. (more information here) 


other posts suggested : 

Paris for Chinese people 

Asian destination for Chinese

Imported Products in China, what does that mean ? 





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