China has experienced remarkable economic growth in the past three decades. This has resulted in sustained increase in consumer income, which in turn has led to important changes in food consumption. Notable changes include higher demand for food, demand for a more diverse range of food, demand for higher quality food, and the growth of away–from–home food consumption. Constrained by limited and degrading agricultural resources, China’s ability to meet the changing and increasing demand from domestic production has been a concern for many. It has been generally held that China’s domestic supply will not be able to meet the rising demand for food in the future. Not surprisingly, its future demand for food imports has interested many traders and government officials around the globe.
This report examines the recent trends in China’s food consumption, with a focus on the period of 2000–2010. Insights into such trends should be most valuable in understanding this potentially enormous food consumption market. Such insights will help both China and food exporting countries like Australia to better understand how food consumption may evolve in the coming years and how they can work collaboratively to meet the rising needs for food in China.