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China: Consumers expectations for Bakery in the ‘new normal’

The coronavirus outbreak has had a profound impact on consumers, changing how they live, what they eat and how they purchase.  To understand these changes in behaviour and to offer our customers in depth insights, Puratos is conducting consumer surveys around the world to discover how bakery categories will need to adapt and evolve to meet future consumer needs in the ‘new normal’.

Chinese consumers were first to discover the post-lockdown life, which is why, end April, Puratos investigated how the needs for bakery items has evolved in China.

More hygiene

Chinese consumers are worried about their personal health and seeking re-assurance and guarantee on hygiene.  It is not a surprise that hygiene has now joined health, freshness and taste as key criteria when purchasing bakery items.  Stores & restaurants need to re-build trusts with new hygiene protocols ensuring the safety of their customers and employees.

Winning products

Product preferences are evolving and there is an increased interest for products which are:

  • Healthy and contribute to strengthening the immunity.  Consumers will increasingly look for ingredients such as fibres, grains and fruits, while also preferring cakes with less fat & sugar.
  • Freshly packed with 1-2 days shelf life, while un-packed products are now making many consumers uncomfortable.
  • Indulging, with sweet baked goods very appreciated as small reward and escape from daily stress
  • Local, now considered more trustworthy
  • Affordable, because most families expect financial losses due to the crisis and will pay more attention to the amount spent on food

Winning sales channels

Purchasing behaviours are also changing, with 2 sales channels likely to perform above average after the crisis.

  • Online purchases have strongly increased during the crisis and is expected to keep growing. Consumers are building new shopping routines and opt for purchasing without visiting physical stores as this helps address their safety concerns.
  • Artisans and bakery chains, the most trusted shopping location for hygiene and food safety in China.

Home baking

While staying at home during the lockdown, 68% of Chinese consumers were home baking, amongst which an amazing 95% state they will continue or even increase in the future.  The benefits they see are clear: home baking is considered healthier, offers great family time, and helps to control the hygiene.

Stay tuned for more consumer insights.

In the upcoming weeks and months, we will continue to explore and gather in-depth insights into global and local consumer behaviour, attitudes, choices and trends related to Bakery categories.

More about how Puratos is facing covid-19