The COVID-19 outbreak coincided with the Chinese New Year. As a result, measures implemented to contain the disease were in place during what is traditionally the peak season for foodservice outlets, with people gathering together and dining out during the season’s festivities.
Soy sauces is seeing a notable shift in character, with national standards coming into force in December 2019 that revised the definition of soy sauce so that it now excludes blended soy sauces and only applies to brewed products. Furthermore, manufacturers are actively upgrading their offers, with high-end soy sauce that is high in amino acid nitrogen, indicating a high degree of umami, increasingly penetrating the market.
Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food Ltd remains the leading player in sauces, dressings and condiments, ahead of Lee Kum Kee (Guangzhou) Food Co Ltd. Haitian has worked to consolidate its leading position in soy sauces while also expanding its oyster oil business by targeting the middle-to-low-end market and increasing its influence with younger consumers through the sponsorship of trendy talk show, Roast, and live show, Super Brain.
The return to normal social and economic activity following the lifting of the strict restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19 will generate notable opportunities for the development of sauces, dressings and condiments during the forecast period. Products such as cooking sauces are becoming increasingly popular in foodservice channels because they improve efficiency and help to control costs, which has become more important than ever due to the impact of lockdown on the foodservice industry.
As in other packaged food categories, the prominent health and wellness trend will play an important role in the development of sauces, dressings and condiments during the forecast period. COVID-19 has increased consumer health-consciousness through direct concerns about contracting the disease and greater awareness of issues such as the role of diet in a healthy immune system, as well as encouraging a stronger emphasis on health in general.
The influence of the health and wellness trend may be affected by new regulations relating to product labelling, with the State Administration for Market Regulation issuing the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Food Labelling (Draft for Comment) on 27 July 2020. The draft was notified to the World Trade Organization on 23 September, though China had not proposed a date for when the measures would come into force.
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