Understanding middle class Chinese consumers’ attitudes to food

29 October 2015

Understanding how middle class Chinese consumers think about food will assist Australia’s red meat industry when presenting and communicating the benefits of red meat and competitive advantages in that market.

These findings are derived from MLA’s annual Global Consumer Survey.  In China, interviews were conducted in June 2015 with 1,020 residents, aged between 18-64 years-old from Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.  All were the primary grocery buyers for the household, and 84% were living in upper income households (earning 100K+ Yuan per year). This analysis includes “affluent imported beef buyers” who live in household earning 200K+ Yuan per year and who say they buy imported beef on a monthly basis.

  • For middle class Chinese consumers, beef is considered the most superior protein of all, particularly because it is believed to offer the highest nutritional value.  The survey also suggests that these consumers consider Australian beef to be the world’s best in terms of safety, consistently high quality, taste and nutritional value.
  • Most of these consumers (86%) say they try to buy additive-free food. The upper middle class approach food not just as a product that maximises nutrition but also as a source of experience, even “inspiration” and “reward”.  Demand for safe products is one driver behind their interest in buying imported food products such as meat, but becoming more important is their curiosity to “try new things”.  
  • MLA’s Global Consumer survey suggests that the affluent middle class are even more likely than the average Chinese middle class to enjoy, and be interested in trying, foods from other countries. 


These are trends that fit the profile of Australian red meat and will be of benefit for the industry.

Click here for more information about what urban Chinese middle class consumers love about Australian beef.

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