Chinese beverages industry showed signs of recovery in Q4 2020, says GlobalData

The Chinese market for beverages (dairy and soy drinks, alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, and hot drinks) showed signs of recovery in Q4, mainly driven by the dairy and soy drinks, and milk alternatives sectors as consumers sought nutritious products in a bid to maintain their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s report, ‘China Beverages Consumption Trends and Forecasts Tracker, Q4 2020 (Dairy and Soy Drinks, Alcoholic Drinks, Soft Drinks and Hot Drinks)’, reveals that the measures taken by China to combat the spread of COVID-19 helped the country’s economy to recover quickly. This allowed Chinese GDP to achieve annual growth of 6.5% in Q4 2020. China’s GDP reached C¥101,598.6 billion (US$15,570.9 billion) in 2020, up by 2.3% in annual terms.

In 2020, per capita disposable incomes recorded an annual increase of 4.7% and a real increase of 2.1% post price factor deduction. Per capita disposable incomes rose annually by 1.2% in urban areas and 3.8% in rural areas, again after price factors deduction.

Hot drinks saw their volumes rise by 3.7% while dairy drinks’ consumption rose by 3.8%. Soft drinks, on the other hand, declined marginally at a rate of 0.2% while volumes of alcoholic drinks fell by 1.4% in Q4 2020.

Anchal Bisht, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Thanks to the gradual reopening of foodservice establishments, the hot coffee segment returned to growth in Q4 2020, with volumes increasing by 3.8% annually.”

The alcoholic drinks sector recorded a 1.4% annual fall in volumes in Q4 2020, which represented a slight improvement on previous quarters. Beer and spirits were driving forces behind this decline. Niche products such as sake and flavored alcohol registered growth. However, on-premise volumes failed to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Ms Bisht concludes: “Major progress in the vaccination drive helped in the recovery of the country’s economy, enabling the beverage industry in China to recover faster than most nations worldwide.”

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