Demand for breakfast cereal in China is expected to continue to grow amid the urbanisation of the population and continued interest in Western eating habits. Breakfast cereal witnessed a 10% growth in current value terms in 2017 with forecasts calling for continued solid gains into 2021.
The boom in cereal demand has seen China oat imports climb from 85,839 MT in 2012 to 394,310 MT In 2017. Imports are forecast to increase to 450,000 MT in 2018.
Australia remains the major oat supplier to China with a 96% market share. Canada, which accounts for 56% of total global oat exports, remains a non-player in the Chinese market due to the fact no import protocol has been put in place by the Chinese Government. The Canadian oat industry is working on obtaining the protocol, but no time frame is known.
Breakfast cereals remain a small part of the overall breakfast market in China, but it is on the rise – and is expected to continue to grow.
Hot cereal options have made the greater inroads but demand for cold, ready-to-eat (RTE) products are also seeing double-digit growth and global manufacturers are speeding up product launches to stay competitive.
The cereal sector is growing very well in China as consumers become more and more focused on health and wellness. Chinese consumers are quickly adopting RTE cereals like granola, a fast-growing segment.
China is now the third largest global oat importer behind, the US and Germany but is expected to move into second place within the next five years.