Wednesday, 21 February 2024 07:55

Chinese dairy habits evolve

Written by  Jessica Marshall
New research from the Riddet Institute has revealed new insights into Chinese dairy consumption habits. New research from the Riddet Institute has revealed new insights into Chinese dairy consumption habits.

Recent research has provided new insights into Chinese dairy consumption.

The research, part of the Riddet Institute’s NZ Milk Means More research programme, surveyed 1,000 Chinese milk consumers aged between 45 and 75 residing in the mega-cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou along with the two smaller provincial cities of Chengdu and Shenyang.

Dr Ao Chen, who was responsible for the project, says traditionally, milk has not been a staple in the Chinese diet. “However, over the past two to three decades, there has been a significant increase in its consumption,” Chen told Dairy News.

He says that, initially, a lack of cold chain distribution and home refrigeration led to the popularity of UHT milk across the country, but the growing interest in imported milk – often in a powdered format – has boosted powdered milk consumption in the city of Guangzhou.

“The consumption of pasteurised milk, on the other hand, has largely depended on the development of domestic dairy manufacturers in various regions.”

Chen says successful examples of this include Sanyuan Foods Co. Ltd in Beijing and Bright Dairy & Food Co. in Shanghai, the latter of which is a significant shareholder of Kiwi dairy company Synlait.

“Consuming dairy requires a changed mindset, and new ideas and exotic foods and drinks tend to be adopted first in the big cities where people are more open-minded and affluent,” Chen says.

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