Restrictive Requirements for Imports

OTA estimates total organic market consumer sales of China at about $3.7 billion USD per year.

  • The total market size for organic packaged food and beverages in China in 2015 is US$1,669.4mn. The country ranks as the 5th largest market in the world by value.
  • Per capita spending on organic packaged foods and beverages in China is US$1.20, which is the 34th largest spending per capita in the world.
  • The largest company by sales in organic packaged food and beverages is Inner Mongolia Yili, which maintains 34.5% of total sales. It is followed by China Mengniu Dairy Co and Inner Mongolia Shengmu.
  • Organic packaged food and beverages in China will see strong year-on-year growth of close to 20% in 2015. This is higher than the rest of the Asia Pacific region, which will experience greater than 13% year-on-year growth in 2015.
  • China maintains a market size for organic packaged food and beverages of US$1,669.4mn in 2015, which is 4.8% of global category sales.
  • Within the Asia Pacific region, China is the leader in terms of total value sales of organic packaged foods and beverages.
  • China will experience robust forecast growth of sales of organic packaged food and beverages, at 15.9% from 2015–2020.

QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS

Quick Facts

  • The total market size for organic packaged food and beverages in China in 2015 is US$1,669.4mn. The country ranks as the 5th largest market in the world by value.
  • Organic products generate little interest in China, and the market is expected to remain a niche, appealing mainly to affluent consumers in major urban areas.
  • Organic standard milk accounts for almost all overall sales value.

Market Trends

Competitive Landscape

  • China's two leading dairy giants, Inner Mongolia Yili and Inner Mongolia Mengniu, dominate sales of organic packaged food due to the dominance of organic standard milk. Together they accounted for 67% value share in 2014. 
  • The organic beverage market is more fragmented, with Huangshan Guangming Tea Industrial Co Ltd holding the leading position in 2014, with 18% market share.

Prospects and Growth Opportunity

  • Consumer mistrust of organic accreditation remains despite the government's tight supervision.
  • The organic food and beverages market will remain niche, appealing mainly to affluent consumers in major urban areas.
  • Consumers are only likely to accept a small number of product segments within the organic packaged food category, with organic standard milk likely to continue to dominate overall sales.

General Health & Wellness Trends

General Economic & Demographic Landscape

Economy: 

  • Despite a slowing economy, China’s consumer market continues to expand at a relatively healthy rate due to rising incomes and a large, expanding middle class.
  • Beijing appears to be making progress in its bid to rebalance the economy towards domestic consumption.
  • A high level of inequality, especially between urban and rural areas, will remain a key challenge to consumer goods businesses.

Population demographics: 

  • In 2014 China’s population was almost 1.4 billion.
  • The fertility rate is presently 1.3 births per female. China abandoned the one-child policy in 2015, and fertility rates are expected to gradually increase to 1.6 births per female throughout the remainder of this decade. 
  • The country is rapidly urbanizing. More than half of all Chinese live in urban areas, and up to 70% are expected to be urbanites by 2030.

Income & expenditure: 

  • The income of urban households is, on average, several times higher than that of rural households, but the gap has narrowed in recent years.
  • China’s aging population should result in a strong rise in consumer spending on health goods and medical services. Household goods and services spending will be bolstered by ongoing urbanization and social mobility.
  • Disposable income per capita totaled RMB28,863 (US$4,699) in 2014.

QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Organic packaged food & beverage data

 

Data type

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

CAGR
(12-15)

CAGR
(15-18)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health & wellness products consumption

2,063.6

2,094.2

2,152.5

2,167.9

2,174.7

2,181.5

2,190.0

-

-

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption

77,539.7

90,972.0

103,860.5

116,556.1

128,596.8

142,212.6

157,041.3

14.6%

10.4%

Organic packaged food consumption

682.1

993.3

1,341.6

1,669.4

1,996.4

2,376.1

2,735.5

34.8%

17.9%

Organic beverages consumption

665.6

972.3

1,315.0

1,636.8

1,957.4

2,329.6

2,680.8

35.0%

17.9%

Organic packaged food and beverages consumption as a % of total health & wellness products consumption

16.5

21.0

26.6

32.6

39.1

46.5

54.8

25.5%

18.9%

 

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Economic & demographic data

Data type

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total population

1,347.4

1,354.0

1,360.7

1,367.8

1,375.2

1,382.9

1,390.5

% Middle and upper class of total population

36.7%

36.9%

37.1%

37.1%

37.2%

37.3%

37.3%

% Population aged 65+

8.8%

9.1%

9.4%

9.7%

10.2%

10.7%

11.2%

% Population aged 0-14

18.0%

17.7%

17.6%

17.5%

17.5%

17.6%

17.6%

% Population with higher education degrees

11.0%

11.3%

11.5%

11.8%

12.0%

12.2%

12.5%

Average number of children per household

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

GDP per capita

6,365.7

6,973.4

7,507.0

7,949.5

8,417.6

8,885.2

9,378.8

Consumer expenditure per capita (US$)

2,252.9

2,493.3

2,756.2

3,005.1

3,225.2

3,450.2

3,630.7

Consumer expenditure per capita on food and non-alcoholic beverages (US$)

605.0

650.4

703.0

750.0

789.7

830.9

862.2

Retailer & urban area data

 

Data category

Rank

Urban Area/retailer

Population 
(mns)

 

 

 

 

Top urban areas by population (2015)

1

Shanghai

24.9

Top urban areas by population (2015)

2

Beijing

22.2

Top urban areas by population (2015)

3

Tianjin

16.0

Top urban areas by population (2015)

4

Guangzhou

13.2

Top urban areas by population (2015)

5

Shenzhen

10.9

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

1

RT Mart

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

2

Walmart Supercenter

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

3

CR Vanguard

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

4

CR Sugo

-

Top grocery retailers by sales (2015)

5

Yonghui

-

USDA GATS data

Rank

2015

2014

2013

2012

1

Peas

Coffee Roast

Grapes

Cherry Tomatoes

2

Cherries

Oranges

Lemons

Coffee Roast

3

Oranges

Lemons

Coffee Roast

Oranges

4

Apples

Tomato Sauce

Oranges

Grapes

5

Grapes

Grapes

Tomato Sauce

Grapes

Policy Information

Government Agency(s)/Competent Authority

Authorized Government Agency(s): 

Standardization Administration of China (SAC) and the General Administration on Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Agency(s) Contact Information: 

Standardization Administration of China
No. 9 Madian East Road
Haidian District
CN-Beijing 100088
Tel: +86 10 8226 2622
Fax: +86 10 8226 0660
E-mail: sac@sac.gov.cn
Web

General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine
No. 9, Madian East Road
Haidian District
Beijing100088
People's Republic of China
Web
 

Organic Regulations and/or Standards

Name(s) of Regulation and/or Standard: 

National Standards for Organic Products, GB/T 19630-2005 were updated in 2011 to National Standards for Organic Products, GB/T19630-2011.

GB/T19630-2011 consists of 4 parts:
GB/T19630.1 Organic Products: Production 
GB/T19630.2 Organic Products: Processing 
GB/T19630.3 Organic Products: Labeling and Marketing 
GB/T19630.4 Organic Products: Management System 
 

 

Date of Implementation: 

2005

Regulation and/or Standard Scope: 

The Chinese standard covers the general specifications and requirements for organic production, processing, transport, storage and packaging of crops, edible fungi, wild plants, livestock and poultry, aquatic products, textiles, and apiary.

Imported Products Requirements

Imported Products: 

China does not allow equivalence agreements with other countries. US producers, even though they are USDA certified, will not be allowed to use the Chinese term for organic unless they receive Chinese certification. See the reports in Additional Information below for more detailed information about meeting China's requirements for imported products.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) plans to require importers of certain products to a review overseas exporters and producing enterprises. See the GAIN report.

Certification and Accreditation

Certification: 

United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service UNOFFICIAL translation of certification rules .pdf (2012)

There are local and foreign certifiers available.
Two major Chinese certifying organizations: China Organic Food Certification Center (COFCC) and Organic Food Development Center (OFDC).
Joint-venture companies: BCS (Changsha); ECOCERT (Beijing); Japan Organic and Natural Foods Association (JONA) and Overseas Merchandise Inspection Company

Requirements for Foreign Certification Body (CB):

- Regulation on Certification and Accreditation (Decree No. 390 of the State Council of PRC) Requirements for all CBs, plus extra requirements for foreign CBs
- Requirements on approval of CBs (RMB 3 M, 10 full-time staff...)
- Foreign CBs must be accredited in its own country
- Foreign CBs must have organic experience over three years

Accreditation Method: 

Government

Accreditation: 

Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA)

China does not allow foreign assessment bodies, such as USDA, to accredit certifiers.

Additional Information

Additional Information: 

Food importers must register every four years. See GAIN Reports below for more information.

USDA's report on the 2015 Food Safety Law
USDA's GAIN Report 2016 Exporter Guide to China
USDA's GAIN Report Annual Retail Foods Report (2017)
USDA's GAIN Report Organic Certification Issues Update from East China
USDA's GAIN Report AQSIQ to Require Importers to Review Overseas Food Producers 
USDA's GAIN Report Food Processing Ingredients Annual (2017)

Hong Kong does not have a law regulating organic food products.  U.S. organic products can be sold in Hong Kong with the USDA organic logo. See the Global Organic Trade Guide's page for Hong Kong for more information about this Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

In August 2016, US shipments are subject to China's requirements designed to halt the spread of Zika-bearing mosquitos

Definitions

Review definitions of terminology included in this website.