During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese Government ensured a sufficient supply of edible oils and stable prices in order to avoid panic. The state-owned enterprise, China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Imp & Exp Corp (COFCO), provided around 300 tonnes of edible oils for the Wuhan market in order to guarantee the supply of what is considered a daily necessity to the highly affected area.
Rising consumer health-awareness was already exerting a significant influence on the development of edible oils prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, however the trend has been bolstered by the pandemic, with consumers placing a growing emphasis on the nutrients and health benefits of edible oils. Players in the category are increasingly building on publicity about the positive properties of oils, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determining that there is credible evidence to support a qualified health claim that consuming oleic acid in edible oils may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The leading player in edible oils in China, Yihai Kerry, started trading on the Shenzhen ChiNext Market in October 2020. By listing, the company aims to disengage itself from foreign capital and increase investment in the Chinese market.
Increased consumer health-awareness, bolstered by the experience of COVID-19, will remain a key influence on the development of edible oils during the forecast period, supporting further growth in olive oil and the further emergence of niche products in other edible oil. Consumer demand for oils offering health benefits is set to play a key role in the development of rice bran oil, which is a notable area of potential growth in edible oils.
As well as reinforcing the general rise in consumer health-awareness, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the increase in consumers’ concerns about hygiene. This is helping to boost demand for smaller packaging in edible oils as households shrink in size.
The COVID-19 lockdown has (re)familiarised many consumers with home cooking, which has the potential to support more sophisticated, diversified demand for edible oils during the forecast period. Indeed, persistent consumer reluctance to visit restaurants because of economic concerns, as well as the fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus, is likely to encourage younger consumers to pursue their rising interest in culinary experimentation at home rather than through foodservice, boosting retail sales of a range of edible oils.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Edible Oils industry in China with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Edible Oils research and analysis database.
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