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China’s Convenient Fast Food: Evolution, Diversity, and Innovation

16 JULY 2024

Types of Chinese Market Participants

In addition to established and emerging Chinese convenient fast food companies, leisure food firms, and restaurant brands are also entering the market, diversifying the landscape. Established brands leverage their experience to enhance product quality, while new brands focus on innovation to meet changing consumer demands. Leisure food and restaurant companies use their brand strength and resources to enter new sectors, expand product lines, and increase market influence.

Types of Chinese Convenient Fast Food

Instant noodles, quick-cooking, and self-heating convenience foods each have their characteristics, meeting the needs and taste experiences of consumers in different scenarios.

Instant Noodles – Overview

 

Starting from fried instant noodles, the category gradually expands into various flour-based products, offering high-end and nutritious options. Instant noodle products, loved for their convenience, only require hot water to prepare, making them suitable for various occasions. However, their taste often doesn’t match dine-in standards, limiting their premium pricing potential. With low barriers to manufacturing, the market faces intense competition.

In 1990, the industry began with limited options, mainly instant noodles. By 2013, rapid growth had occurred due to urbanization. However, in 2018, increased competition and negative perceptions led to adjustments, prompting companies to innovate. In 2020, the market rebounded with food delivery subsidies and product upgrades. Online consumption surged during the pandemic, influencing trends. Convenient fast food expanded beyond noodles to include healthier and diverse options like self-heating hot pot and snail noodles.

Quick-cooking – Overview

 

Offers superior taste but requires additional cooking utensils, reducing the immediacy of consumption compared to self-heating or instant noodles. Quick-cooking products provide a better taste as they are freshly cooked, but their need for heat sources and utensils makes consumption less convenient and limits consumer scenarios.

In 1990, the industry began with limited options, mainly instant noodles. By 2013, rapid growth had occurred due to urbanization. However, in 2018, increased competition and negative perceptions led to adjustments, prompting companies to innovate. In 2020, the market rebounded with food delivery subsidies and product upgrades. Online consumption surged during the pandemic, influencing trends. Convenient fast food expanded beyond noodles to include healthier and diverse options like self-heating hot pot and snail noodles.

Self-heating – Overview

 

Self-heating products, with fewer sub-categories, command a higher average price per order. Besides emerging brands, restaurants also play a significant role in the Chinese market. This category, mainly comprising self-heating rice and hot pot, is relatively new in the convenient Chinese fast food sector. However, its Chinese market expansion potential is limited.

In 1990, the industry began with limited options, mainly instant noodles. By 2013, rapid growth had occurred due to urbanization. However, in 2018, increased competition and negative perceptions led to adjustments, prompting companies to innovate. In 2020, the market rebounded with food delivery subsidies and product upgrades. Online consumption surged during the pandemic, influencing trends. Convenient fast food expanded beyond noodles to include healthier and diverse options like self-heating hot pot and snail noodles.

Product Innovation

 

The Chinese convenient fast food market has evolved significantly to meet consumer demands for diversity and healthiness. It now offers a wide range of options beyond traditional fried instant noodles, including self-heating foods and flavored snacks, spreading local flavors nationwide. Products feature comprehensive formulations with starch, protein, and dietary fiber, enhancing taste and nutrition without added preservatives. Items like snail noodles and instant noodles offer restaurant-like dining experiences at home with balanced ingredient ratios. Innovative and trendy packaging designs attract consumers, especially the younger demographic, driving sales. Moreover, the new generation of Chinese convenient fast food products combines food with play experiences, diversifying offerings and enhancing Chinese consumer enjoyment.

In 1990, the industry began with limited options, mainly instant noodles. By 2013, rapid growth had occurred due to urbanization. However, in 2018, increased competition and negative perceptions led to adjustments, prompting companies to innovate. In 2020, the market rebounded with food delivery subsidies and product upgrades. Online consumption surged during the pandemic, influencing trends. Convenient fast food expanded beyond noodles to include healthier and diverse options like self-heating hot pot and snail noodles.

Market Players and Product Introductions

 

Brands in China usually start by focusing on a flagship product category to establish brand influence, later diversifying into multiple categories to meet various consumer needs and expand Chinese market share. Initially, they concentrate resources on developing and promoting a distinctive product to gain a competitive edge and attract Chinese consumer attention. As they gain market share and brand recognition, they expand horizontally by introducing related or new product categories. This strategy leverages existing brand influence for easier market acceptance of new products while catering to diverse consumer needs and expanding market reach.

In 1990, the industry began with limited options, mainly instant noodles. By 2013, rapid growth had occurred due to urbanization. However, in 2018, increased competition and negative perceptions led to adjustments, prompting companies to innovate. In 2020, the market rebounded with food delivery subsidies and product upgrades. Online consumption surged during the pandemic, influencing trends. Convenient fast food expanded beyond noodles to include healthier and diverse options like self-heating hot pot and snail noodles.

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

Our blog is your resource for Chinese marketing tips and Chinese market guidance. Contact us with questions or for more service details below.

Website: www.mmgthailand.com
Tel: 06-3167-8206
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About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

Contact us

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Exploring Growth and Prospects in China’s Convenience Fast Food Sector: Analyzing Market Trends, Supply Chain Advancements, and Consumer Preferences

2 JULY 2024

Industry definition and article scope

Convenient fast food offers ready-to-eat meals that cater to modern Chinese consumers’ need for quick, affordable dining. While lacking a strict definition, it typically involves pre-prepared meals that are either partially or fully cooked, requiring minimal additional preparation. These meals can be quickly heated or cooked, saving time and catering to fast-paced lifestyles.

The difference between convenient fast food and prepared dishes lies in their preparation level, preservation methods, target Chinese customers, and product categories.

Prepared dishes, categorized as prepared foods, are focused on individual meals and primarily serve B2B catering companies. Convenient fast food, mainly noodle or flour-based, like instant noodles, targets end consumers (B2C) and is stored at room temperature.

Industry Development Journey

The convenient fast food industry in China has evolved from a single category to diverse competition, emphasizing innovation and healthiness. Initially driven by urbanization, challenges emerged from takeaway sector competition and negative perceptions. However, with low-price subsidies and industry transformation, it now offers a varied competitive landscape. New products have emerged, meeting consumer demands for health, variety, and quality. The industry is poised for further development.

 

In 1990, the industry began with limited options, mainly instant noodles. By 2013, rapid growth had occurred due to urbanization. However, in 2018, increased competition and negative perceptions led to adjustments, prompting companies to innovate. In 2020, the market rebounded with food delivery subsidies and product upgrades. Online consumption surged during the pandemic, influencing trends. Convenient fast food expanded beyond noodles to include healthier and diverse options like self-heating hot pot and snail noodles.

Industry Development Drivers – Demand Side

The growth of the convenient fast food industry in China is fueled by single-person households, busy lifestyles, and the ‘lazy economy’. These products offer convenience and efficiency to consumers, particularly in fast-paced lives. As the Chinese seek quick dining options, convenient fast food saves time and aligns with the homebody culture among younger generations. Additionally, rising incomes prompt consumers to prioritize convenience, enhancing their quality of life.

Industry Development Drivers – Supply Side

The mature supply chain and technological advancements have led to innovation and improved quality in convenient Chinese fast food. Large-scale manufacturers now have both processing and product development expertise, shortening product launch cycles and reducing entry barriers for startups. Technological upgrades, like freeze-drying and self-heating technologies, have notably enhanced the quality and flavor of these products.

 

Supply chain maturity and technological advancements are driving industry development in China.

 

Rapid Market Response: A mature supply chain enables quick adaptation to Chinese market changes, allowing for rapid innovation and product development to meet consumer demands.


Lowered Entry Barriers: Modern supply chain systems and OEM outsourcing models streamline production for new brands, reducing the time and resources needed to enter the market.


Enhanced Product Quality: Advanced dehydration technologies improve product quality by preserving texture and nutrients, such as freeze-drying for instant noodles.


Diversified Product Range: Self-heating packaging technology expands product offerings with options like self-heating rice and hot pot, increasing convenience for consumers.


Improved Product Safety: Innovative sterilization techniques ensure product safety and extend shelf life, enhancing consumer trust in the products.

Other listed companies from different sectors are crossing over into China’s convenient fast food sector, seeking a second growth curve.

Leading hotpot chain brands like Haidilao, Dalongyi, Xiaolongkan, and Dezhuang are expanding their presence in the convenient fast-food sector, drawing from their extensive experience in the restaurant industry. Leveraging their strong brand reputation and established supply chains, these restaurant giants are swiftly seizing market opportunities and solidifying their brands in this rapidly growing segment.

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

Our blog is your resource for Chinese marketing tips and Chinese market guidance. Contact us with questions or for more service details below.

Website: www.mmgthailand.com
Tel: 06-3167-8206
Email: info@mmgthailand.com
FB: MMG Thailand
IG: mmg_thailand

About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

Contact us

To Grow Your Sales

Due to high demand of our services, we offer only a 40-minute free consultancy session

Headquarters

Soi sukhumvit 39 Khlong Toei Nuea, Bangkok 10110

Operational office

211 Soi Pridi Banomyong 11, Sukhumvit 71 Rd., Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110

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Unlocking China’s Next Snack Food Decade: Trends, Innovations, and Growth Opportunities

18 JUNE 2024

The next 10 years for snacks, where are the opportunities?
By examining the historical trajectory of the snack category in China, tracking shifts in distribution channels, and drawing insights from the evolution of snack markets in developed countries, we can anticipate the forthcoming trends in China’s snack industry over the next decade.
We predict the following for the Chinese snack market in the next 10 years:

1. The snack market size will increase by 200 billion.


2. Health, functionality, and high-end trends will dominate the entire snack category.


3. Confectionery, nuts, and meat snacks will show a clear trend towards high-end products.


4. Offline channels, represented by bulk snacks, will enhance cost-effectiveness.


5. The online channel dividend will shift towards live-streaming e-commerce and instant retail.


6. Snack exports will embrace opportunities.

1. The Chinese snack market is poised for substantial growth, with an estimated nearly 40% increase, reaching 682.2 billion yuan by 2033. Categories aligning with health, functionality, and high-end trends, like nuts, meat snacks, flavored snacks, and protein bars, will drive this expansion. Traditional segments like candies and chips might see slower growth while emerging segments within these categories will thrive. New distribution channels, including bulk snacks and live-streaming e-commerce, are expected to outpace traditional platforms. Overall, the next decade presents significant opportunities for innovative snacks catering to evolving consumer preferences.

2) Key Trends

2.1. Snackification of Meals: Small Bites, Big Meals

Snackification of meals, a leading trend recognized by Innova Market Insights, sees consumers increasingly replacing regular meals with snacks. Mondelez International’s 2022 report reveals 71 % of consumers snack twice daily, and 60% are open to meal substitution. Popular among millennials, around 70% prefer snacks, and 90% replace at least one meal weekly. Notably, nuts, protein/energy bars, and meat snacks have emerged as meal replacement products. Daily portioned nuts create a 6 to 7 billion yuan market, while the Chinese protein/energy bar market anticipates 12.99 % CAGR, reaching 451 million yuan by 2028. Meat snacks predict over 9% CAGR from 2022 to 2027.

2.2. Healthification: Addition and Subtraction

 

The global food market emphasizes healthification, with governments and agencies promoting healthier food choices. Healthy snacks had a 90.62 billion USD market size in 2022, projecting a 6.4% CAGR from 2023 to 2032. In China, the health food market is expected to reach 1.14 trillion yuan in 2025, with 5.6% YoY growth, particularly in healthy snacks. Chinese consumers prioritize health, evident in their 80% habit of checking snack nutritional labels. Healthification involves both “addition” and “subtraction.” “Addition” includes incorporating ingredients like chia seeds and kale, observed in products like Haomaiduo’s Black Gold Cheese Crackers and Weilong’s Whole Wheat Kale Biscuits. “Subtraction” focuses on reducing sugar, low GI, salt, and saturated fats. Brands like Daily Black Chocolate and Mars Arrow offer zero-sugar products, contributing to the rise of healthier alternatives. Low GI snacks cater to diabetes patients and weight-conscious consumers, while efforts to reduce salt and saturated fats are notable in brands like Lay’s and Ritz, aligning with the trend of “healthy subtraction.”

2.3. Functionalization: Catering to Specific Consumer Segments

 

China’s functional food market surged from 137 billion to 196.1 billion yuan (2016-2021), ranking as the world’s largest. Functional snacks present growth potential, with trends like adding functional elements to candies. BuffX and Minayo achieved notable sales in functional candies. The “Food as Medicine ” concept, surpassing 20 billion yuan on Taobao and Tmall in 2022, features ingredients like bird’s nest and black sesame. Globally, Enlightened herbal tea-infused ice cream showcases innovation. Functionalized potato chips and ice cream hold promise in China. Developing products for specific segments, like snacks for the elderly or addressing health issues, aligns with consumer concerns. Methuselah and Sugar Mate Bao Bao’s success in customizing snacks for specific health needs indicates market opportunities.

Brands can also develop snacks tailored to specific health issues. According to Ipsos research, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and immunity are major health concerns. Probiotics, GABA, and vitamin gummies have emerged in response to these challenges. Additionally, the weight management market in China is currently focused on fat-reducing products. In an era of “body anxiety,” taking inspiration from Japan, lowering cholesterol is also an innovative direction.

2.4. High-endization: From 1.0 to 2.0

 

High-end ice cream brand Zhongxue Gao faced a PR crisis, and Liangpinpuzi implemented its largest price reduction in 17 years due to the rise of bulk snacks. Despite a perceived downgrade, it’s a “price” downgrade, not affecting the high-end focus on quality. The global high-end snack market is predicted to grow at a 4.8% CAGR (2022-2027). In the 1.0 stage of Chinese snack high-endization, brands like Three Squirrels covered various categories. In the 2.0 stage, a greater focus on single categories or specific consumer segments is observed, exemplified by brands like Dr. Cheese, Mr. Daishu, and Methuselah, emphasizing quality, health, and specific consumer needs.

3) Growth Opportunities in Diversified Channels

 

Snack brands’ destinies are closely tied to distribution channels. While Dove, Lay’s, and Qia Qia excelled in supermarkets, Liangpinpuzi, Laiyifen, and Three Squirrels thrived through chains and e-commerce. However, the latter trio faced declining sales in traditional channels recently, impacting their performance. In H1 2023, Three Squirrels saw a 29.67% YoY revenue decrease, Liangpinpuzi dropped by 14.33%, and Laiyifen by 7.61%. Despite these challenges, Three Squirrels experienced growth in Douyin, where revenue increased by 28.61%. Brands embracing change early, like Yanjin Shop, seizing the bulk snacks and Douyin opportunity, achieved high-speed growth, nearing Laiyifen’s estimated 2023 revenue. Early adopters of change will reap dividends.

3.1. Offline Formats: Bulk Snack Stores Boost Ultimate Cost Performance


Bulk snack stores and other offline formats continuously compete on the cost performance of Bulk snack stores, with over 22,000 in China by October 2023, presenting growth opportunities for brands, led by Busy for You with 6,500+ stores. The popularity of bulk snacks lies in hard discounts, lowering average prices, and attracting customers. This trend contributed to Yanjin Store’s 52.54% YoY revenue growth in Q1-Q3 2023 and boosted net profits for Ganyuan Food and Jinzai Food. Forecasts suggest China’s snack collection stores will exceed 120 billion in the next two years, with a potential 116,000 or 50,000 mass-selling snack stores nationwide, doubling growth. Warehouse membership stores like Sam’s and Costco offer opportunities for cost-effective large-package snacks. Bestore and Three Squirrels are adapting to the discounting trend, launching mass-selling snacks and adjusting prices, respectively.

3.2. Live streaming e-commerce: Undertake online dividends, brand self-broadcasting welcomes opportunities

 

Live streaming e-commerce is challenging traditional platforms; Nielsen IQ data indicates a decline in snack sales share on Tmall but an 80%+ growth on Douyin. In 2023, Douyin surpassed Tmall and JD.com in market share for meat snacks. The surge in live-streaming e-commerce is driven by short video consumption habits, with nearly 30% of China’s mobile internet users spending time on short videos. Celebrity-driven live broadcasts peaked, leading to a surge in corporate self-broadcasts, growing from 30.5% in 2019 to 49.8% in 2022. Platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou focus on shelf e-commerce, offering growth opportunities for snack brands. In December 2023, Douyin’s “Fun Snacks Festival” featured 2,300+ videos, with a 66% increase in GMV for new mall entrances and searches outside the mall.

3.3. Instant Retail: Igniting New Vitality in Immediate Needs


Instant retail is a thriving sector in the leisure snack market, with a projected market size of 82.6 billion yuan by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 46.6%. Unlike food delivery, instant retail covers a broad range of SKUs, involving platforms and physical stores. It aligns well with snack consumption habits, exhibiting all-day consumption characteristics. The impulsive nature of snack buying is encouraged through daily promotional mechanisms, with 21% of purchases driven by promotions. Categories like marinated snacks, pastries, nuts, dried meat, puffed/fried snacks, and candies excel in instant retail. Brands, like Liangpinpuzi, witnessed a 72% YoY sales growth on platforms like Meituan and Pinduoduo in H1 2023. Leveraging consumer preferences for new, diverse, and trendy items positions snack brands strategically in this growing trend.

3.4. Opportunities in Going Global


Instant retail is a thriving sector in the leisure snack market, with a projected market size of 82.6 billion yuan by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 46.6%. Unlike food delivery, instant retail covers a broad range of SKUs, involving platforms and physical stores. It aligns well with snack consumption habits, exhibiting all-day consumption characteristics. The impulsive nature of snack buying is encouraged through daily promotional mechanisms, with 21% of purchases driven by promotions. Categories like marinated snacks, pastries, nuts, dried meat, puffed/fried snacks, and candies excel in instant retail. Brands, like Liangpinpuzi, witnessed a 72% YoY sales growth on platforms like Meituan and Pinduoduo in H1 2023. Leveraging consumer preferences for new, diverse, and trendy items positions snack brands strategically in this growing trend.

Summary

In the next 10 years, the Chinese snack market will have vast growth potential. Apart from catering to demands for health, functionality, and the snack consumption trends of meals, snacks will also integrate with outdoor activities and experiential eating, and cater to the personalized needs of specific consumer groups, giving rise to new categories and forms.

Different snack channels have their respective focuses, and there is a clear trend toward an omnichannel approach. Fueled by the “catfish effect” in bulk snack retailing, offline snack channels are optimizing their supply chains and engaging in fierce competition on price. Live streaming e-commerce and instant retailing leverage platform advantages to provide online growth opportunities.

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

Our blog is your resource for Chinese marketing tips and Chinese market guidance. Contact us with questions or for more service details below.

Website: www.mmgthailand.com
Tel: 06-3167-8206
Email: info@mmgthailand.com
FB: MMG Thailand
IG: mmg_thailand

About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

Contact us

To Grow Your Sales

Due to high demand of our services, we offer only a 40-minute free consultancy session

Headquarters

Soi sukhumvit 39 Khlong Toei Nuea, Bangkok 10110

Operational office

211 Soi Pridi Banomyong 11, Sukhumvit 71 Rd., Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110

Fill out my online form.
Navigating China’s Dynamic Snack Food Market: From Traditional Favorites to Nutrient-Packed Innovations

4 JUNE 2024

China’s snack food market has seen significant changes in recent years, with meat snacks and protein/energy bars becoming the fastest-growing categories. The market size of chili sticks, dried beans, and seasoned vegetable products has expanded to hundreds of billions. The snack industry has become more functional and health-oriented, targeting specific demographics. The rise of mass-marketed snacks and discount stores has made “snacks” overtake “beverages” as the most popular keyword in the food industry. The market size reached 465.324 billion yuan in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.1% from 2008 to 2022. In the next decade, the market is expected to further unleash $200 billion of growth space.

1 China’s Snack Market: Continued Category Fragmentation

China’s snack food category is driven by consumer demand for sweet, crunchy, health and nutrition-focused options. Emerging categories include nuts, meat snacks, and personalized taste preferences. The core drivers are pleasurable experiences and a relaxing food experience, ensuring a satisfying and enjoyable experience.

 

The snack food category is evolving due to health-conscious consumers, with health-conscious products attracting growth opportunities, while high-sugar, high-oil, and high-salt snacks may face slower growth or contraction.

2 What’s driving the growth of China’s snack food industry?

China’s snack food industry has shifted from classic categories like candy and chocolate to fast-growing meat snacks and nuts, as well as upgrading traditional confectionery and biscuits to become healthier, functional, and high-end, with these emerging categories expected to drive future market growth.
(1) Classic category: Snacks base plate

1. Candy: The sweetness remains, but the enthusiasm is hard to regain.
China’s confectionery industry has shifted from “no sugar” to “less sugar”, with both domestic and foreign brands entering the market. However, foreign brands dominate, with Mars Wrigley, Nestlé, Alpine, Yizzie International, and Ferrero being the top five. The confectionery snacks market is expected to decline by 11.1% and 8.7% in 2020 and 2022, respectively. The market is now focusing on reducing sugar intake and functionalizing, with 55% of consumers reducing their sugar intake. The functional confectionery market is expected to reach 23.556 billion yuan in 2020

2. Chocolate: foreign dominance, domestic breakout
In the Chinese chocolate market, foreign brands initially dominated, with Ferrero, Dove, and Snickers leading. Domestic brands struggled, with some being acquired or facing production halts. However, in recent years, emerging Chinese brands have gained traction through e-commerce, with Daily Black Chocolate and Daily Dark Chocolate becoming top sellers on Tmall. The market witnessed the rise of subcategories like black chocolate and truffle chocolate, experiencing 90% growth during the 2021 “double 11” period. Despite a stable competitive landscape, overall growth slowed, and China’s chocolate consumption remains comparatively low. Future trends indicate a focus on sugar reduction, aligning with global chocolate market shifts.
China’s chocolate market is stable with a slow growth rate, reaching 22.07 billion yuan by 2022. The top five brands, including Dove and Nestle, consistently hold a 69.1% market share. Despite low chocolate consumption in China compared to Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, the market faces a slowdown. The future trend emphasizes sugar reduction, aligning with a projected 2 billion yuan growth space in the global sugar-free chocolate market by 2028, according to Beziers Consulting.

3. Biscuits: more than just hunger
China’s biscuit industry underwent a significant transformation post-1980s, evolving from limited production to a diverse market. Classic products like Want Want Shelly Senbei and Hsu Fu Chi’s French pancakes marked the industry’s “blossoming” stage. In the 1990s, foreign brands like Oreo introduced chocolate and biscuits but initially struggled due to taste differences. Localized improvements, reducing sugar and enhancing flavor, led to Oreo’s sales surge by over 50%. By 2022, Oreo had claimed the top spot in China’s sweet biscuit category with a 19.4% market share. Despite sluggish overall growth in recent years, the packaged biscuits market size in 2022 reached 48.67 billion yuan, constituting about 10% of the entire snack food market.

 

Biscuit market growth extends beyond flavor to health, functionality, and premiumization. Stormy Unicorn’s high-fiber meal replacement biscuits thrive on Jingdong with 500,000 reviews, while Marsala’s low-GI biscuits with konjac and buckwheat garner 200,000 reviews. Medicinal foods with upscale ingredients, evident on Tmall, show notable growth, with black rice, yam, and monkey mushrooms contributing to top-ranking market size growth. High-end ingredients like black truffle and ham are well-received, as highlighted in the 2023 Tmall Biscuit Puffed Industry Trend Report.

4. Potato chips: be happy, not fat!
The evolution of the crisp market in China reflects changing consumer preferences. In the 1990s, foreign brands like Lay’s and Pringles faced challenges due to high prices, prompting the rise of domestic low-end alternatives. Copico, endorsed by Jay Chou in 2003, gained prominence with a 17.3% market share by 2022, surpassing Pringles. As consumption levels improved, crisps became a staple with innovative flavors such as cucumber and lime. However, concerns over traditional high-calorie, high-oil, and high-salt crisps have slowed market growth since 2010, with a 0.9% decline in 2022. The market is highly concentrated, with foreign investors, led by Lay’s, holding a 50.8% share.

 

​​The crisps category is shifting away from the “junk food” label by upgrading raw materials. Lay’s in China introduces innovative flavors like taro chips and yam slices, incorporating health-focused ingredients such as red dates and wolfberries. Additionally, efforts to reduce oil and saturated fat, such as Lay’s “50% less saturated fat” formula introduced in November 2023, contribute to making crisps healthier.

5. Ice cream: the choice of taste and price

China’s ice cream evolution began in the 1920s with “Beauty Girl” popsicles, while Yimin Food Factory No. 1’s “Guangming Brand” dominated until 1993. Foreign brands like Haagen-Dazs challenged this in the 1990s, leading to Yili and Mengniu rise through channel expansion and affordability. Recent years have seen high-end strategies, with Mengniu Tilan Shengxue and Zhong Xuegao’s Tmall rankings. Mengniu’s Moutai ice cream faced backlash in 2022, but high-end offerings persist. In 2023, major brands introduced over 70 new products, of which 51% were priced above 10 yuan. Affordable ice cream dominates, with 70.9% accepting prices between 3 and 10 yuan. China’s ice cream market is diverse, with low concentration and Yili leading with a 21% share. Innovation focuses on taste, health, and portability, responding to changing consumer preferences.

5. Ice cream: the choice of taste and price

China’s ice cream evolution began in the 1920s with “Beauty Girl” popsicles, while Yimin Food Factory No. 1’s “Guangming Brand” dominated until 1993. Foreign brands like Haagen-Dazs challenged this in the 1990s, leading to Yili and Mengniu rise through channel expansion and affordability. Recent years have seen high-end strategies, with Mengniu Tilan Shengxue and Zhong Xuegao’s Tmall rankings. Mengniu’s Moutai ice cream faced backlash in 2022, but high-end offerings persist. In 2023, major brands introduced over 70 new products, of which 51% were priced above 10 yuan. Affordable ice cream dominates, with 70.9% accepting prices between 3 and 10 yuan. China’s ice cream market is diverse, with low concentration and Yili leading with a 21% share. Innovation focuses on taste, health, and portability, responding to changing consumer preferences.

6. Dried Fruit: Attack of the Fruits
Dried fruits and nuts, which account for 4.9% of China’s snack food market, have a wide range of products, on a small scale. The industry has evolved from handmade workshops to modernized production, from large single products to combination products. Since 2000, companies have innovated in product form, segmentation, and standardization. The market is growing towards healthy raw materials and innovative forms, with sugar-reduced and additive-free traditional dried fruit products growing at a high rate. Combination dried fruit products, such as milk jujube, have also seen high-speed growth. The growth of the dried fruit market is driven by the increase in the consumer population and the rise in unit price. The market concentration is low, with the top five market players at 28% in 2022. Traditional products account for a large market share, with dried fruit, jujube, and plums ranking in the top three in consumption scales. The diversity and low concentration of segmented categories in the dried fruit market indicate potential for future growth.

High-growth categories: new dynamics in the industry

1. Nuts: The Chosen Child of Healthy Snacking
Nuts are a rapidly growing category in the health trends industry, with brands like Shazi Melon Seeds and Qiaqia Melon Seeds gaining popularity due to their taste and marketing advantages. The establishment of offline sales channels has led to high growth in standardized packaged nuts, with Qiaqia’s sales increasing to 400 million in 2001. Three Squirrels, founded in 2012, has ranked first in Tmall’s “Double 11” snack category for eight consecutive years. Health awareness has led to the rise of small packages of mixed nuts, with Wolong pioneering the daily nut category in 2015. The mixed nut market size expanded from 3.2 billion to 11.5 billion from 2017 to 2021, with mixed nuts occupying the main market share of 28%.

1. Nuts: The Chosen Child of Healthy Snacking
Nuts are a rapidly growing category in the health trends industry, with brands like Shazi Melon Seeds and Qiaqia Melon Seeds gaining popularity due to their taste and marketing advantages. The establishment of offline sales channels has led to high growth in standardized packaged nuts, with Qiaqia’s sales increasing to 400 million in 2001. Three Squirrels, founded in 2012, has ranked first in Tmall’s “Double 11” snack category for eight consecutive years. Health awareness has led to the rise of small packages of mixed nuts, with Wolong pioneering the daily nut category in 2015. The mixed nut market size expanded from 3.2 billion to 11.5 billion from 2017 to 2021, with mixed nuts occupying the main market share of 28%.

2. Meat snacks: talented players enter
Meat snacks, including meat and seafood snacks, have high protein properties and are popular in the market. Ham sausage, a popular choice for eating meat, has been around since the 1990s. Yangshengtang’s Mother brand beef sticks emerged in 2004, offering Western-style grilled positioning. Pork jerky, a popular snack, has been slow to develop due to channel restrictions and outdated technology. Comprehensive brands like Bestore and Baicaowei have made pork jerky popular, with terminal sales exceeding 500 million in 2021. Casual braised food, such as Zhou Hei Ya and Juewei, has accelerated its development, with brands like Juewei and Tmall entering the market. The focus has shifted from deliciousness to health and nutritional value, with brands like Tyson and Hormel attracting new players. Emerging brands like Wang Xiaolu have entered the braised snack market, winning top positions in Tmall’s meat snack list and Douyin’s chicken category. The competitive landscape in China’s meat snacks is fragmented, with leading companies having low market shares.
3. Other flavored snacks: “Grassroots” take the big stage
Other flavored snacks, including pasta, casual vegetable, and dried bean products, are transforming “grassroots” ingredients into modern delicacies. The market size of these snacks is close to 100 billion, with seasoned noodle products, leisure vegetable products, and dried bean products accounting for 28.6 and 18.2 billion, respectively. The chili bar industry is moving towards standardization and health, with Weilong improving the stereotype of chili bars as “junk food” through a workshop promotional video. Konjac, a low-calorie snack, has become the most popular snack in the world, with the Tmall platform’s Konjac snacks increasing by 47% in Q1 2021. Konjac deep processing is expected to provide a breakthrough, with Konjac flour accounting for 83.22% of the overall revenue. Other-flavored snacks are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2022–2027, higher than the average indicator for the snack industry (5.9%).
4. Protein/energy bar: spinach for the new Popeye
Protein/energy bars are nutritious and satiating bars made from whey protein, casein, or legumes, while energy bars are made of carbohydrates from whole grains, oats, and dried fruits. The Chinese market for these bars is growing, with Euromonitor International estimating a total retail scale of 1.164 billion yuan in 2022. Protein bars are popular in meal replacement, exercise, and body management. Ffit8, a Chinese brand, sold 10.5 million protein bars in 2020. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.34% in the next five years, with the Asia-Pacific market growing fastest.

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MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
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Exploring China’s Evolving E-Sports Landscape: Case Studies and Emerging Trends

21 MAY 2024

Exploring China’s Evolving E-Sports Landscape: Case Studies and Emerging Trends

China’s E-Sports landscape is undergoing significant changes, with Valorant entering FPS E-Sports, mobile tournaments reshaping gaming narratives, and E-Sports blending with cultural communication.

 

Valorant:
Riot Games ‘Valorant,’ underwent final testing in China’s FPS E-Sports domain, securing accolades like ‘Best Esports Game’ at The Game Awards. Its Champions Tour initiated leagues across major global regions, set to ignite a new wave in China’s FPS E-Sports.

 

Snapdragon Elite E-Sports Tournament:
ESL Gaming and Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Elite E-Sports Tournament, hosted by Prophet Entertainment, showcased top-tier mobile titles like ‘Honour of Kings,’ ‘Peacekeeper Elite,’ ‘League of Legends: Wild Rift,’ and ‘Identity V.’ With a 3-million-RMB prize pool, the event attracted 70,000+ participants, 100,000+ offline viewers, and 5.3 billion online impressions, revolutionizing mobile E-Sports through innovative technological solutions.

Mobile E-Sports Innovation:
This tournament, a collaboration between Prophet Entertainment and Qualcomm’s cutting-edge technology, introduced revolutionary formats like mobile terminal usage over traditional equipment and XR spectator experiences via VR terminals—these innovations at Snapdragon Elite E-Sports Tournament spearhead future esports event developments.

 

China Mobile Migu in E-Sports:
Migu’s expansion into the E-Sports sector reinforces the ‘5G + All-Sports’ ecosystem, securing rights to top E-Sports leagues like PEL, LPL, and KPL. Aggregating partnerships with numerous E-Sports content providers, Migu consolidates its position in E-Sports content distribution, aiming to construct the esports metaverse.

E-Sports as an Emerging Sports Discipline:
Acknowledgment of E-Sports as a sports discipline by several nations alongside its frequent inclusion in international sporting events positions esports as a trailblazer in sporting development.

 

E-Sports as a Cultural Communicator:
China’s E-Sports industry evolution, from ‘introduction’ to self-driven innovation, integrates traditional cultural elements into games and events, acting as a significant platform for showcasing Chinese heritage to the world.

E-Sports as a Social Phenomenon:
E-Sports, rooted in the internet, transcends from gaming to popular culture, bridging diverse global communities and becoming a pivotal lifestyle for the modern youth.”

 

This condensed overview offers insights into China’s vibrant E-Sports landscape, from game advancements to its cultural and societal impacts.

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MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
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Analyzing Chinese Esports Culture: Demographics, Habits, and Hangzhou Asian Games Expectations

7 MAY 2024

Analyzing Chinese Esports Culture: Demographics, Habits, and Hangzhou Asian Games Expectations

Analysis of Chinese e-sports user attributes Gender and Age Distribution of Chinese Esports Users.

 

Young demographics form the main force of esports users.

 

According to research data on esports users, nearly 70% of esports users in China are male. Users aged 25 and below account for 44.7% of the total, and those aged 30 and below make up 78.7%. Youthfulness stands out as one of the primary characteristics of esports users.

The distribution of income and consumption levels among Chinese esports users

Esports users have a relatively good income level and purchasing power.

According to research data on Chinese esports users (excluding students, unemployed individuals, and retirees), in 2023, the highest proportion of individuals’ monthly income falls within the range of 6001-8000 yuan, reaching 31.9%. As for monthly personal spending, the majority is concentrated in the ranges of 2001-3000 yuan and 3001-5000 yuan, accounting for 26.9% and 26.5%, respectively.

Reasons for preferences and attention duration among Chinese esports users

Esports meet the diverse demands of users, resulting in relatively high user loyalty.

For esports users, esports is not only a way of leisure and entertainment but also a means of socializing. 62.2% of users enjoy esports because it provides a ‘common topic to play with friends.’ Meanwhile, users have shown a high level of loyalty to esports, with the highest proportion (35.2%) of users having followed esports for a duration of 3-5 years, and nearly 40% of users having followed esports for over 5 years.

Expectations and approval levels of Chinese esports users towards the Asian Games

The Hangzhou Asian Games, marking the debut of esports as an official event, is expected to generate excitement among esports users, with nearly 60% expressing interest in watching the events. Users believe the inclusion of esports will positively impact the esports industry in China, according to research data.

The viewership status of esports events among Chinese esports users

Mobile esports events, particularly professional leagues, are increasingly popular among esports users due to their convenience and social aspects. With 66.3% watching mobile esports-related events, gaming companies’ tournaments are highly appreciated for their
professionalism and excitement.

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

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About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

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Evolution and Growth: An In-Depth Analysis of China’s Expanding Esports Landscape

23 APR 2024

Analysis of the Development of Esports Gaming Products in China

The life cycle of electronic sports games is long, and rejuvenation creates high-quality IP.

 

Esports gaming products in China boast long lifecycles, exemplified by popular games such as Honor of Kings and Identity V, which have thrived for over 10 years. Developers consistently innovate, introducing new gameplay and competitive strategies. However, unlike traditional sports, esports games are significantly influenced by developers or operators, highlighting the evolution of esports towards recognized formal sports.

Analysis of the Development of Esports’ Sportsification in China

The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2022 will introduce esports as an official event, featuring seven gold medals in esports events like Honor of Kings, Peacekeeper Elite, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Three Kingdoms Rush, FIFA Online 4, and Street Fighter V. China’s esports industry has made progress in establishing competition standards and standardizing talent selection.

Analysis of the Development of China’s Esports Industry Organizations

The esports industry in China has seen significant progress in research and management, with the establishment of the first national-level Esports Research Institute by the Central Radio and Television General Station the China Esports Industry Research Institute by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association and the Jing’an District People’s Government.

Analysis of the Development of Esports Content Broadcasting in China

The internet era has led to the expansion and deepening of content distribution channels for esports, with new media channels enhancing market influence and social awareness. Traditional media, self-media, and offline venues are also joining the discourse, integrating esports with traditional Chinese culture.

The Key Track in China’s Esports Industry – Event Operations

The esports industry’s increasing influence has led to more third-party companies organizing esports events, enhancing event operators’ capabilities. This is due to intense sponsorship competition and high costs, as well as the convenience of event authorization by gaming companies like Tencent and NetEase.

​​The Key Track in China’s Esports Industry – Esports Clubs

Esports clubs are diversifying revenue models to focus on tournament performance, establishing their intellectual property, creating brand value, and expanding revenue streams through peripheral products and diversified entertainment content. As regionalization in the industry continues, more clubs are expected to have their home venues.

Competitive marketing

IP and eSports are embracing innovative models to engage younger demographics. These models include co-branded products, co-created content, themed events, and immersive experiences, extending beyond traditional sponsorships to create a competitive arena for brands.

The Key Track in China’s Esports Industry – Esports Plus

The emerging esports industry is undergoing organic integration, leveraging technologies like 5G, VR/AR, AI, IoT, and cloud computing. This integration not only enhances the consumer experience but also opens up new development opportunities and economic benefits for the industry

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

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About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

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China’s E-Sports Industry: Opportunities and Trend

9 APR 2024

China’s E-Sports Industry Overview:

The forthcoming Hangzhou Asian Games presents a significant developmental opportunity for China’s E-Sports sector. Since 2022, numerous regions have ramped up support for the industry, aiming to establish advanced E-Sports cities. For example, Hangzhou, capitalizing on the Asian Games, is set to become an international animation hub and a renowned E-Sports city by 2025.

Development Background:

In December 2018, the State Council issued guidelines to achieve a 2 trillion yuan sports competition and performance industry by 2025. With the global sports industry revival, numerous professional leagues and international events have resumed, creating new prospects. The inclusion of E-Sports in professional sports competitions and performances further contributes to the industry’s high-quality development.

Social-Cultural Context:

With over 1.06 billion mobile internet users, mobile gaming is increasingly popular. In 2022, market influences led to a significant decline in investment and financing in the gaming and E-Sports industries. However, with the restoration of industry policies and the full resumption of E-Sports events in 2023, a rebound in related investment and financing markets is anticipated. The metaverse industry, despite a subdued domestic venture capital market, saw increased attention and potential for the E-Sports industry’s innovation.

China’s E-Sports Market:

The 2022 Chinese E-Sports market valued at approximately 157.9 billion yuan experienced a 5.6% year-on-year decline due to macroeconomic impacts and conservative event planning amid the pandemic. However, the orderly recovery of social activities and events, alongside comprehensive sports events like the Hangzhou Asian Games, will drive market rebound and growth.

E-Sports Segment Market:

E-sports gaming accounted for 75.6% of the market in 2022, with the ecosystem projected to grow. By 2025, the E-Sports ecosystem is estimated to hold 29.4% of the market share.

E-sports User Base:

In 2022, China had about 504 million E-Sports users, with a 0.4% year-on-year decline primarily attributed to gaming user loss. Anticipated Hangzhou Asian Games events in 2023 are expected to expand the esports user base.

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

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About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

Contact us

To Grow Your Sales

Due to high demand of our services, we offer only a 40-minute free consultancy session

Headquarters

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Platform Marketing Strategies for Brand Engagement in China’s Diverse Beauty and Home Cleaning Market

26 MAR 2024

Platform Marketing Strategies for Brand Engagement in China's Diverse Beauty and Home Cleaning Market

Platform Marketing Strategies in the Chinese Market

Baidu: Baidu, China’s leading search engine, offers a comprehensive platform encompassing search, promotion, and purchase functionalities. Successful case analyses showcase its prowess in enhancing brand visibility for companies like Sisley and Natural Hall within the competitive beauty industry.

Little Red Book: This platform serves as a “seeding” ground for interests, attracting young women with visually appealing content. Little Red Book leverages User-Generated Content (UGC) and Key Opinion Consumers (KOC) to highlight real experiences, enhancing peer influence.

Bilibili: Targeting a youthful demographic, Bilibili fosters emotional connections through an entertainment-focused platform. Its emphasis on community culture values establishes a sense of belonging among users and User Producers (UP) creators.

Marketing Mechanisms: Success on these platforms hinges on aligning with community culture values and integrating with their nuances. Engaging users to generate content and participate in interactive campaigns is key to building a diverse content pool.

In summary, these platform-specific strategies highlight the need for adaptable approaches at various brand development stages and consumer decision-making processes. Brands navigating the dynamic landscape of Chinese marketing must understand and tailor their efforts to resonate effectively with target audiences across different platforms. Success lies in agility and adeptness in leveraging the unique features of each platform to engage and connect with the diverse consumer base in China’s ever-evolving market.

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

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About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

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Consumer Trust and Decision-Making in Chinese Beauty & Home Cleaning: Insights for Brands

11 MAR 2024

Consumer Trust and Decision-Making in Chinese Beauty & Home Cleaning: Insights for Brands

Information Preferences and Consumer Decision-Making in Chinese Marketing

In China’s beauty and household cleaning market, nearly 80% of consumers prioritize brand reputation, emphasizing its pivotal role in shaping consumer trust. Brands aiming to cultivate trust must strategically spotlight core products and build confidence throughout the consumer’s journey. The perceived brand value hinges on delivering high-quality products, emphasized through sustained industry visibility and a deep understanding of the brand’s philosophy.

To cater to consumer demands, brands need to exude warmth, commitment to quality, and resonance with prevailing trends. Evolving brand communication requires richer, deeper interactions and the dissemination of valuable content. Consumers seek detailed product information, focusing on ingredients and user experience, to establish trust and ensure product safety and efficacy.

In the realm of informational content, comparisons, personal usage sharing, ingredient knowledge dissemination, and updates on favored products are essential touch points aligned with consumer needs. Brands must orchestrate multiple-channel combinations spanning search, content, information platforms, and e-commerce to deliver authentic and trustworthy content, influencing purchasing decisions positively in the dynamic Chinese beauty and household cleaning market.

Consumer Decision-Making Paths and Strategic Brand Marketing

 

Consumer decision-making paths in the Chinese market involve demand generation, information retrieval, channel selection, and post-purchase engagement. Brands must initiate awareness, provide accurate information, optimize presence on preferred channels, and enhance post-purchase experiences for customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Building long-term brand awareness requires sustainable strategies, diverse marketing methods, and an understanding of different brand types’ appeals. Chinese brands, whether emerging or traditional and globally recognized international brands, necessitate tailored marketing strategies at different stages, from user acquisition to fostering customer loyalty in the dynamic Chinese market landscape.

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

Our blog is your resource for Chinese marketing tips and Chinese market guidance. Contact us with questions or for more service details below.

Website: www.mmgthailand.com
Tel: 06-3167-8206
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About MMG Thailand:

MMG Thailand is the first and only Chinese-owned Chinese marketing company in Thailand that aims to connect Sino-Thai cultures and power partners’ success.

We:
  • are from mainland China, based in Thailand
  • provide real-time Chinese market information
  • represent the highest standards of industry professionals
  • customize all solutions and plans
  • offer a friendly budget and flexible financial terms
  • continue delivering good results
We’re committed to providing deep insights into the rapidly changing Chinese market and leveraging our rich experience to facilitate your growth in this dynamic environment.

Contact us

To Grow Your Sales

Due to high demand of our services, we offer only a 40-minute free consultancy session

Headquarters

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