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Improved diet in China is driving a rise in consumer packaged goods

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By Jenny Eagle+

19-Jun-2014
Last updated on 20-Jun-2014 at 10:33 GMT

Videojet, emerging markets, China packaged goods

China is still the next big emerging market from a packaging industry viewpoint, according to Videojet.

‘The next big thing will come from the growth of the domestic Chinese market driven by massive urbanization which will exacerbate the increase of consumer package goods consumption’, it said.

World Bank report

Adrian Fernandez, VP, global supplies, parts and service, Videojet Technologies told FoodProductionDaily, we only have to look at the recent report commissioned by the World Bank on changing food consumption patterns in China , which attributes the country’s rapid growth over the past three decades to vastly improved diets.

Outbound mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the food and beverage industries accounted for 17% of total M&A in China in the past year,” he said.

A clear sign China is undertaking a shift from an export-led economy into one driven by a swelling consumer class that has ultimately transformed the country into the world’s second-largest consumer economy.”

According to the World Bank report, rapid economic growth has changed Chinese diets and will continue to change them for a while, as consumers shift their diets from crop to livestock-based products and away from basic staples.

China’s CE consumption expanded nearly three times over 1980–2009, from 407m tons to 1,479m tons, at a time when the population rose from 1.0bn to 1.4bn.

Of this CE consumption growth, a third is attributable to population growth and two-thirds to diet change. And as China’s population growth is slowing and is projected to peak in around 2025 (at about 3% higher than in 2013), the primary driver of food consumption in the near future is likely to be growth in per capita consumption.

More 'affluent' diet

Such a shift to a more “affluent” diet is adding strains to agriculture because production of livestock-based food requires far greater resources and causes more environmental damage than that of vegetable-based food,” said Karlis Smits, senior economist, World Bank, working in a team of researchers for the report.

These factors will start to constrain the country’s food-output capacity and availability over the coming decades unless tackled now, hence the need to understand how China’s domestic demand for and supply of food will evolve, as a basis for formulating policy.”

China’s rapid economic growth since the market-oriented reforms launched in 1978 has vastly improved diets.

Total calorie intake per capita a day has climbed by nearly half, from 2,163 kcal in 1980 to 3,036 in 2009. This is much faster than the world average, which grew from 2,490 kcal to 2,831 over the period.

Calorie consumption is now roughly the same as in Japan and the Republic of Korea, but still lower than in the US and the European Union.

Protein intake, too, climbed sharply, nearly doubling from 54g per capita in 1980 to 94 in 2009, with about three-fourths of this growth coming from livestock-based products.

Fat intake nearly tripled from 34g per capita to 96 over the period, again largely based on greater consumption of livestock products (about two-thirds). Calorie intake among some high-income countries, notably the US and Japan, has declined over the last decade or so.

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