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Plant-based eating in China: attitudes and opportunities

The worldwide surge in interest in plant-based eating has prompted much research about the adoption and acceptance of such diets among populations in different countries. This report focuses on the Chinese consumer market and explores their attitudes towards and awareness of plant-based foods. Additionally, we assess how willing Chinese consumers are to eat more plant-based foods after they have been informed of the health and environmental benefits, and rank which benefits of a plant-based diet people see as the most significant.

The report aims to provide useful insights for stakeholders in the plant-based food industry and help with the crafting of compelling messages that can be used in consumer-focused messaging to increase consumption of plant-based and alternative-proteins products in China.

In April and May of 2024, ProVeg Asia conducted extensive research on Chinese consumers’ perception of plant-based diets and their knowledge about the effects that our food choices have on human health and the environment. A total of 1,000 people living in Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou took part in an online survey. The research took into account the demographics of the research sample group, including gender (60% were female), age, and income (based on median household income). The study also specifically targeted people who don’t strongly reject plant-based food and the diet decision-maker in households.

The research is based on a series of statements about the impact of plant-based diets on human health and the environment, fully backed by extensive scientific research.

Generation Z’s attitudes towards sustainable protein in China

In 2023, ProVeg Asia conducted similar research involving 1,024 people aged 19–28 with a college education who live in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. In China, Generation Z comprises 264 million people, and, encouragingly for future trends, they are already buying 40% of the country’s new plant-based products. Their purchasing influence is expected to increase as Gen Z becomes the main consumer force in the China market over the next ten years.