Food Consumption in China

Food Consumption in China

The Revolution Continues

Zhang-Yue Zhou, Hongbo Liu and Lijuan Cao

Recent decades have seen China’s domestic consumption in sectors such as food, housing, health care, education and travel greatly increase. This important book assesses China’s current food consumption trends and the outlook for its future needs of such a crucial commodity.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Zhang-Yue Zhou, Hongbo Liu and Lijuan Cao

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, environment, agricultural economics, asian environment, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy

Extract

China has experienced remarkable economic growth in the past three decades. This has resulted in a sustained increase in consumer income, which in turn has led to important changes in food consumption. Notable changes include not only higher demand for food, but also a demand for greater diversity and higher quality, and growing consumption of food away from home. Constrained by limited and degrading agricultural resources, China has become unable to produce enough food domestically to meet the changing and increasing demand. In 2004, for the first time, China's food imports exceeded food exports. Since 2008, food imports have been increasing. In 2008, the food trade deficit was US$14 billion. By 2011, it had increased to almost US$22 billion, growing at a rate of 15 per cent per annum (UN Comtrade Database 2013). Growing imports of foods into China have attracted the attention of the commercial world and governments alike in China and elsewhere around the globe. Insights into trends in China's food consumption are important in helping to understand future opportunities. Such insights will help both China and food exporting countries to better understand how food consumption may develop in the coming years and how they can work collaboratively to meet the rising needs for food in China. This book examines the recent trends in food consumption by Chinese consumers and undertakes analysis of how these trends may develop into the future.