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Brief Published: 5 Apr 2017

Lifestyle Changes Driving Chinese Spending

A relatively affluent group of 20 to 30 year olds are replenishing China's future middle class

Consumer spending in China is expected to shift towards products and services that embrace health and the environment, according to Credit Suisse Research’s 2017 Emerging Consumer Survey. The study, based on research gathered by Nielsen in face-to-face interviews with consumers in eight countries, including 2,561 in China, was published in late March. Highlights include: 

  • Rising Middle Class: A relatively affluent group of 20- to 30-year-olds are "replenishing China's future middle class" and are expected to contribute 35% of total consumption in the country over the next five years.
    "It is clear that, as consumers become wealthier, they want to upgrade their lifestyles and spending on more large-ticket items that have longer life spans versus the traditional fast-moving consumer goods with a low ticket size," the report said.
  • The Conscious Consumer: While spending on education, cars, property and phones has increased, it has run alongside the growth of "the conscious consumer", with potentially significant implications for brands.
    "This is apparent through a greater focus on skincare, good food, sportswear and using car-sharing services, rather than owning vehicles," the report noted. In China, for example, 80% of respondents agreed that they had started to eat more healthily, while 40% indicated an intention to spend more time playing sports.

For more on shifting consumer behaviour across China, including the rising appeal of local brands, see APAC Mentality.