As the coronavirus epidemic developed, Chinese consumers became even more focused on their health. In addition to taking physical exercise, people are also looking to supplement their diets and improve their immunity through healthy food.
In China, dairy products are widely recognized as having health benefits, and during the outbreak shoppers put more of them into their shopping baskets, resulting in some supermarkets selling out.
The proportion of liquid dairy products in domestic food shopping baskets in 15 cities in China increased by 2.5% during the SARS period 17 years ago, which fully reflected that consumers increased their dairy products purchase during the epidemic period to improve their immunity, although China’s dairy products were still at the primary stage of development in 2003.
In the past 17years, China’s dairy industry has undergone significant development with many new sub-brands, formats and flavours now available. Products which communicate more on inner heath and immune-strengthening will do particularly well during the Coronavirus outbreak.
At present, 3.6g milk protein content has become the standard of high-end milk which has always been an important category leading the growth of dairy products.
According to the research of Kantar Worldpanel, the average compound growth rate of high-end white milk in 2017-2019 reached 10.5% (versus overall liquid milk growth of 2.7%). Meanwhile, some high-quality protein products that are easier to absorb, such as a2b casein, are booming.
Active probiotics play an important role in low-temperature yoghurt, which is popular among consumers, especially high-income groups. According to Kantar Worldpanel, the average compound growth rate of healthy functional yoghurt in high-income families (family income greater than 12,000 RMB per month) in 2017-2019 reached 11.6%.
After the outbreak of novel coronavirus, CCTV news broadcast a German study that lactobacillus can ‘activate’ the human immune system. This may reignite the development engine for the active probiotics category. Of course, what needs to be emphasized here is that there is no doubt dairy products contain many beneficial ingredients for the body, including probiotics.
As consumers, they need to carefully screen and judge the nutritional value of food based on their own personal requirements, while dairy enterprises are deemed to shoulder more obligations on guiding consumers on how to be healthy.
Good products can stand the test of time and consumers. We hope that Chinese consumers will scientifically supplement nutrition, fight against the epidemic together and wait for the spring blossoms.
Low-Temperature Fresh Milk
Low-temperature fresh milk, because of its low-temperature sterilization process, retains the living bacteria and trace elements beneficial to the human body, while maintaining the pure natural fresh taste.
According to the research of Kantar Worldpanel, the penetration rate increased by more than 3% in 2017-2019, which is equivalent to 5.5 million new urban households.
Furthermore, through selecting better quality milk source and improving the processing technology, the manufacturers are striving to provide an even higher quality of healthy elements and better taste.
Fat and sugar are a key focus of people’s health management and in recent years how to reduce the intake of these components has become more important. Within Dairy low sugar and low-fat products are performing particularly well.
The research of Kantar Worldpanel shows that in the yoghurt and active lactobacillus beverages, the amount of low sugar/sugar-free products increased by more than 20% in 2019, and the penetration rate increased by more than 5%, far higher than the category growth rate.
In normal temperature milk, the amount of low-fat defatted products increased by more than 10%, and the penetration rate increased by 11%, which was also far higher than the category growth rate.
Plant-based Dairy Products
For the recent years, plant-based products began to come into people’s view, from the expanding business of soymilk drinks to the recent rise of plant-based yoghurt, these products are gradually becoming a viable dairy replacement for many consumers, especially for vegetarians and vegans.
The nutritional value of plant-based dairy products lies in ‘not containing certain substances’, such as some allergens, lactose, cholesterol, saturated fat, etc. Many Asians are lactose intolerance and plant-based products do not cause the same negative effects on their body.
The major features labelled by the products are that they are suitable for people with diseases, obesity, and lactose intolerance.
Under the novel coronavirus outbreak, plant-based products are likely to see significant growth, further helping to drive the industry.
On all accounts, the people all over the country are now fighting the epidemic and it is hoped that normal life and market order are restored as soon as possible.
For the brands in the dairy industry, those who can grasp the latest changes of consumers’ needs and develop and focus investment on healthy products that meet these needs will accelerate growth and drive the industry forward.