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 7: Conclusions and implications

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


In this book, we examined China's food consumption trends since 2000 and assessed China's likely food import needs by 2020. In making our assessments we used data from the SSB, food balance sheets from FAO and projections of production and consumption trends from FAPRI, USDA, OECD-FAO and some less sophisticated modelling of our own. The examination of China's food consumption trends is largely based on the household survey data collected by SSB. The SSB survey data does not include away-from-home consumption, which is a major phenomenon in China today. Without away-from-home consumption, the SSB data underestimates food consumption for China. Our analysis shows that China's food consumption revolution has continued in the past decade. Major factors identified as driving the revolution are: rising real income, rapid urbanisation, changes in lifestyle, changes in consumer tastes and preferences, and better organisation of food production and marketing. Among them, growth in income and urbanisation are the most important drivers.

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