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China: second most valuable bakery and cereals market by 2018

06 August 2014

The Chinese bakery and cereals market - already the largest in volume - is set to become the second most valuable by 2018, as more urban dwellers consume pick-me-up snacks on-the-go. 

A new report by Canadean finds that the Chinese bakery and cereals market is not only the largest in volume, but is also set to become the second most valuable, expected to reach $47 billion by 2018. With only the US market worth more, China will be one of the most attractive bakery and cereals markets worldwide.

With the vast Chinese population, currently estimated at 1.35 billion, it is no surprise that China is such a huge market for bakery and cereals; however, the per capita consumption is still low and indicates room for further growth. According to Canadean, the average Chinese only has 92 bakery and cereals occasions per year which is far lower than in Europe. The average German, for example, has 731 bakery and cereals occasions a year. Canadean further found that the Chinese prefer cakes, pastries and sweet pies, instead of bread and bread rolls which are popular in Europe. Cakes, pastries and sweet pies currently account for 43.9% of China’s market share.

Smaller on-the-go packaging will be in demand

As young migrants are moving from rural to urban areas for better opportunities, rapid urbanisation will expose more Chinese to packaged goods. Veronika Zhupanova, analyst at Canadean says: “Growing urbanisation will promote the growth of the Chinese middle class, which, in turn, will lead to a demand for a wider range of products.”

Canadean’s report found that the busy lifestyles of these new urban dwellers will push them to search for convenient and tasty products on-the-go. Zhupanova adds: “Manufacturers should take advantage of this trend and produce bakery and cereals items that serve as an energy boost for busy Chinese who skipped breakfast or need a snack break at work. Single-serve packed items, such as Tao Li's red bean paste Dorayaki, will sell particularly well during office hours, whereas multipacks of ambient and individually packed items will be suitable for tired consumers who are looking for a treat after a long day of work.” 


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Editor’s notes

All market insights from this press release are based on Canadean's report 'Consumer Trends Analysis: Understanding Consumer Trends and Drivers of Behavior in China’s Bakery & Cereals Market.'

Chinese Bakery


A Chinese woman buys an egg tart, a popular snack on-the-go, at a local snack shop in Macau. 

Chinese Bakery 2

Tao Li sells its red bean paste Dorayakis as single-serve packed bakery items.

For further information

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean reports. Contact the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 20 3220 0815 or email

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