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Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is China’s most important festival. This year, on Friday, February 12, 2021, is the beginning of the year of the Ox. In light of this occasion, our APAC analysts present the latest Chinese-inspired food and drink innovations that caught their eyes.

Herbal/ TCM drinks offer consumers healthy solution

With the impact of COVID-19, consumers have become more health-conscious, and Chinese herbal medicine has been recognized by more and more consumers for its positive role in the pandemic.

In addition, the popularity of plant-based products in the Chinese market has further boosted consumer awareness of plant-based nutrition and plant-based functions.

Mintel research reveals that Chinese consumers had a high preference for herbal formulas even before COVID-19, and recently, products based on the concepts of herbal formulas or medicine and food homology have been further recognized.

Quaker Donkey-Hide Gelatin Oatmeal

Yili Red Bean, Wolfberry and Dong Quai Flavoured Grain Milk

Hema Lalang Grass Rhizome and Sugar Cane Water 

Self-heating redefines instant food

Self-heating hotpot has become a new market in the instant food consumption upgrade in China after its rise from around 2018.

The popularity of self-heating foods stems from the upgrading of Chinese consumers’ demand for instant food in terms of convenience and taste. In the face of increasing consumer consumption scenarios at home, self-heating instant food had great potential for growth.

During the pandemic in early 2020, self-heating instant food also became a major choice for many catering brands to enter retail.

Hai Di Lao Tomato and Beef Brisket DIY Hotpot Meal

Nongfu Spring TANBING Self-heating coffee 

Personalization * Smart digital solution

With the rapid development of digital technology in China, Chinese consumers have a strong interest in digital and technological means to improve their quality of life. The food and beverage industry is taking full advantage of this feature of the Chinese consumer, combining digital life\technological means with the individual needs of consumers, and becoming a driving force for food and beverage innovation.

NesQino is Nestlé’s personalisable drink system launched in China.