Ivan Choi says; "In China, where consumers have limited brand loyalty and distribution channels are fragmented, the main competitive differentiator is making products available to a wider selection of consumers. While distribution is the key to foreign companies' success in the confectionery sub segment, its importance is also evident in the broader processed foods sector. This is partly due to the Chinese retail market being so large and fragmented, with the top five retailers holding only a small percentage of the market."
Brands must tailor their strategy to the different sub-markets within the country. Provinces in China vary greatly in their taste preferences, spoken languages and cultural practices as well as having different distribution chains. "Foreign confectionery brands should view different provinces as different markets and adjust products accordingly when contemplating a ' China' market entry strategy," Choi advises.
In a market where consumers place brand name as a secondary decision factor, European and North American brands are in better position to trump local Chinese brands with their perceived premium brand position and safe quality image, but all this will hinge on these companies identifying their optimal distribution strategy to succeed in China.
The Rabobank report on the Chinese market potential for European and North American processed food brands is available to media upon request.Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, asset management, leasing, real estate services, and renewable energy project financing. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank is one of the largest banks in the world, with nearly $1 trillion in assets and operations in more than 40 countries. In North America, Rabobank is a premier bank to the food, beverage and agribusiness industry. Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory team is comprised of more than 80 analysts around the world who provide expert analysis, insight and counsel to Rabobank clients about trends, issues and developments in all sectors of agriculture. www.Rabobank.com