Chinese consumption trends to keep an eye on: the new priorities

27 Jul 2017
Time passes, Chinese consumption trends change and priorities are altered. In China, this translates into new trends and a new kind of consumer. We have come to the final stage of our analysis of Chinese consumption trends with a study on new consumer priorities. Recent government efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and increase food security have probably also had an effect on ordinary consumers, who are now paying more attention to their habits. Everyday stress is increasingly causing them to look for ways to improve their quality of life. A high Internet penetration rate translates into a large amount of available information and highly brand-conscious consumers. This isn't all: thanks to the Internet, demand for services has increased dramatically and is on the way to becoming one of the driving forces of the Chinese economy.

Putting health first

Keeping healthy, eating good food and doing exercise regularly are among the latest trends in China. The government is investing heavily in trying to repair the environmental damage caused during the period of economic expansion, and so it seems natural for ordinary people to be paying more attention to their health. In part, this is possible through O2O services that bring products that are otherwise unavailable to local stores with a click, such as organic products. Exercise and well-being have gained unprecedented importance now that the average level of education has risen sharply and information about these issues abounds on the Internet.


A study conducted by McKinsey found that Chinese millennials are among the most brand conscious in the world. On average, they know as many as 20 skin-care brands (versus 14 recognised by their peers in the United States), and half of the respondents call themselves promoters of certain brands, which is a significant amount when compared to the US figure of one third. They tend to have a greater emotional bond with the brands, and they evaluate their ability to adapt to their personality as their primary priority. They have long been appreciative of Western brands, but more recently they have started to be more attentive to local ones too. In particular, they tend to focus more on electronics, clothing and skin care products.

Services, the new engine of the economy

As the upper-middle class expands, service consumption is also growing at a rate of 11% each year, compared to 8% for material goods. The most affluent spend on education, culture and entertainment in particular. The transition to a service-based economy is fostered by the development of the Internet and by increasingly widespread use, just as it is in the West. New social, demographic and technological forces are redefining Chinese consumer trends. This new scenario poses both interesting opportunities and unexpected challenges for companies approaching this market. Dealing with a continually evolving market such as this means that the strategies adopted need to be constantly updated. It's a difficult task, especially for Western brands that relate to a completely different market. Digital Retex does exactly this: it supports European brands that want to approach China by making use of the most effective channel, WeChat. Digital Retex achieves two goals by opening of an official account and launching adv campaigns on the platform: enhancing brand awareness and acquiring strategic followers.