This translates to an increase on expected volumes from 9.6bn kg to 10bn kg in 2020 alone, primarily due to health concerns relating to Covid-19, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.
GlobalData said annual milk sales in China, which were valued at $24.2bn in 2019, would increase gradually to $29bn in 2023. However, following disruptions due to the pandemic, the projected figure is now closer to $31bn, with the largest jump in sales occurring in 2020.
GlobalData’s most recent consumer survey in September 2020 found 47% of Chinese consumers consider themselves ‘extremely concerned’ about their health, whilst a further 52% said that they were ‘quite’ or ‘slightly concerned.’ Only 2% of respondents said that they were ‘not concerned’ about their health at all.
Ryan Whittaker, consumer analyst at GlobalData, said, “China invested heavily in modernizing its dairy industry for the past several years and officially promotes milk consumption on the basis of its health benefits. Refrigeration has become increasingly ubiquitous in China, meaning that modern consumers have the space to store milk and other dairy products for longer. Milk is often positioned as a means to get more protein into the diet, and to help build and maintain the body’s immune system. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Chinese consumers to focus on their health, prompting a surge in demand.
“The impact of COVID-19 on cooking at home should not be overlooked. During China’s lockdown, consumers were forced to remain at home and cook for themselves far more than before, and in doing so, ate out and on-the-go much less than before.
“Clearly, the milk category will do well during the pandemic, and attitudes towards health, supported by the government’s pro-dairy campaigns, are likely behind it.”