Chinese shopping behaviour: China's repertoire shopping

Jason Yu
Kantar Worldpanel China

Bruno Lannes
Bain & Company

Chinese shoppers who buy frequently in a FMCG category buy more brands, but there are a few categories with high brand loyalty.

Kantar Worldpanel and Bain & Company recently released the 2012 China FMCG Shopper report in Beijing. We studied 26 of the top consumer goods categories sold in China across packaged foods, beverages, personal care and homecare, covering more than 80% of the country's fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market. Shoppers from 40,000 households throughout urban China were given barcode scanners to record their purchases from all channels.

In most of the 26 categories, shoppers who purchase more frequently in a category tend to buy more brands rather than more of the same brands. The findings dispel several misunderstood notions about how Chinese consumers respond to FMCG brands. Although over 60% of Chinese shoppers have said that brands were their top consideration when purchasing (in previous Bain research), in reality, they rarely act on that consideration at the moment of purchase. Instead, they are in a near-constant state of trial, without leading to eventual preference and loyalty.