The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to a decrease in consumption of other hot drinks in bricks and mortar stores as the government introduced stringent measures including lockdown and home seclusion in a bid to halt transmission of the virus. However, this was offset to a degree by the closure of foodservice outlets and subsequent shift from foodservice, work and other institutions to retail, which is likely to help sales remain in positive territory in 2020.
Herbs and grains have health benefits according to traditional Chinese medicine, with such beliefs rooted in Chinese culture. As a result, there is a large and steady consumer base for plant-based powder, with these consumption habits having been passed on from generation to generation.
Leading player Natural Food International Holding Ltd, announced that the company’s revenue was expected to have declined by 50% in the first half of 2020 in comparison with the same period in 2019. However, since April, the company’s sales gradually stabilised through a variety of effective measures.
According to the “Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents”, a balanced diet should comprise a variety of foods, including cereal-based, with attention paid to the mix and consistency. An ideal breakfast should be comprised of well-balanced foods, with a low fat content and which help lower cholesterol.
Trail mixes which became popular mid review period popularised mixed natural health products with this trend now being seen in plant-based hot drinks. Some types of grain mixes are already familiar to Chinese consumers, such as walnut with sesame and red bean with coix.
The other plant-based hot drinks category remains highly fragmented, with all of the leading brands, including Wei Wei from VV Group accounting for single figure shares of retail value sales. Most of the leading players do not engage in research and development.
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