NDTO News Article

China Trade Mission Maximized by Food Ingredients China Show

Planning for the March 2012 China Trade Mission, hosted by the North Dakota Trade Office, is in full swing.  The mission will be centered around the areas of Shanghai and Guangzhou, two of China’s most rapidly-growing cities.

Why China, Why Now?

There are a number of reasons for North Dakota companies to consider entry into the Chinese market.  Two of the most-significant variables supporting opportunities in Shanghai and Guangzhou are population (specifically the growth of the middle class) and the business-friendly environments found in each city.

China is continuing to experience a surge in the number of people achieving true middle class status.  Growing populations in cities like Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing are taking the lead in purchasing organic and high-quality food products.  These new consumers have an increased awareness of nutrition; ever-expanding incomes and the latest worries over food safety and security are the main drivers in the increasing demand.  According to USDA, Chinese consumers’ spending on food has increased an average of 17 percent per year for the last four years.

Another opportunity fueled by the growing middle class is the rise of restaurant chains in Shanghai.

In addition to this growing middle class, Guangzhou ranks number one on the 2011 Forbes (China) list of the most business-friendly cities in China.  Other cities that made the top ten, in order of rank, are Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Wuxi, Suzhou, Beijing and Tianjin.

Because of the above reasons, the potential market opportunities for North Dakota’s food-related products in China are significant and cover a variety of food industries.

Organic Products

The organic market in China has been growing at an annual double-digit rate over the past decade.  The growing population of middle class in Shanghai is taking the lead in purchasing organic food products.

Increased awareness of nutrition, health, ever expanding incomes and the latest worries over food safety are the main factors in driving the demand for organic products in Shanghai.

The best products for organic retail foods, according to the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, are as follows:  breakfast cereals, soy/rice milk, fruit juice, baby food, dried fruits and nuts, fresh produce, grains and biscuits.


China annually consumes nine to 10 million metric tons of food grade soybeans directly in human food, to produce major products such as:  bean curd, yuba, soy milk, soy sauce, etc.  Due to nutrition and health concerns along with the rapid urbanization in China, consumption is steadily increasing and this trend is expected to continue in coming years.

Because of the GMO control law and related labeling requirements, almost all soy foods are produced from domestically grown non-GMO soybeans.  However, there is a great need for US soybeans for the crushing industry.  In China, this industry annually consumes over 60 million metric tons of beans, with over 50 million metric tons relying on imported beans, which the US has over 40 percent share.

Food Ingredients China 2012

For value-added agriculture producers who are interested in entering or furthering business in the Chinese market, the Food Ingredients China Show – the largest and most authoritative international show on the food additives and ingredients industry in Asia – may be a valuable addition to the Trade Mission.

Food Ingredients China 2012 (FIC) will be held in Shanghai, March 28-30.  The show is attended annually by over 1000 exhibitors from more than 20 countries around the world.

The 2012 Food Ingredients China will be the third year that the show will have a US presence.  As one of the top suppliers of quality food ingredients in the US, Food Ingredients China provides an excellent platform for North Dakota food producers to meet potential buyers.

“If a North Dakota ingredient supplier is looking to enter the Chinese market, I highly recommend exhibiting at this show and utilizing the in-country expertise and services offered by Food Export – Midwest,” said Stephanie Sinner, marketing specialist with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

Through Food Export-Midwest, an organization which offers a variety of programs and services to help grow exports of value-added food and agricultural products, regional food companies can take advantage of the Food Show PLUS! program at Food Ingredients China.

Food Show PLUS!TM is designed to help companies with technical and logistical assistance by providing pre-show feedback on your competition, translation of your marketing materials, an in-market briefing and orientation, retail store visits, a booth interpreter, pre-arranged meetings with potential buyers, trade lead qualification, and post-show follow-up assistance.

For more information about specific food-related market opportunities in China, contact Sharon May at NDTO, Sharon@ndto.com.

If you would like more information on Food Ingredients China 2012, or if you’re interested in participating in the Food Show PLUS! TM program, contact Stephanie Sinner at ssinner@nd.gov .  To register for booth space through this program, visit http://eweb.foodexport.org/eweb/ProfilePage.aspx?WebCode=CSCEventInfoSC&Site=MIATCO&evt_key=3c2abe31-cfaa-4ca7-9b40-1fa5178a2296

NDTO will discuss commercial and educational opportunities in China in upcoming editions of NDTO News.