UMS Morning Brief monthly overview – February

To give a general idea of what’s in the UMS’ bespoke China Daily Morning Brief, a daily email service focused on four industry categories – Education, Tourism, Food & Beverage, and Health & Skincare, I decided to write a summary of the Feb. insights our team published. The Morning Brief reports on the latest buzz on social media and what topics have been discussed most in China’s market. Providing a broad reference for four different industries: education, travel, food and beverage, and health and wellness, the publication enables brands to make proactive strategic decisions. Let’s take a look at some of the themes that were highlighted in February’s publications.


1. Education industry

Recently, a number of publications released their higher education and destination rankings. Times Higher Education’s THE World University Rankings 2022 included 3 Chinese universities in the top ten, and 5 universities in the top 100. Australia once again has the most universities in the top 200, with 20 universities in the world’s top 200. released their ranking of the top ten best countries in the world to study abroad in 2022. This year, Australia came out on top for “access to quality education”, with cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane boasting top universities.

With the arrival of the new semester in Australia, many overseas students are preparing to return to Australia. This is the first time that Australia has welcomed international tourists on a large scale after two years, and the tourism industry, which has been devastated by the epidemic, is expected to be revived. A new report released by HolonIQ shows that the international education market is expected to reach $433 billion by the end of 2030. In 2019, before the pandemic, the figure was $196 billion. However, it is difficult to buy a ticket to Australia, which has become a problem for international students. The number of international flights in short supply has added difficulties and uncertainties to the road back to Australia. However, as Australia fully opens its borders, the number of international flights is expected to increase. In addition, many universities are also providing various conveniences and subsidies to encourage international students to return to Australia and help reduce the financial burden.


2. Travel industry

The World Health Organization has advised countries lift or ease existing COVID-19-related travel restrictions, saying it could exacerbate economic and social stress related to the pandemic. As countries around the world follow this advice and gradually relax epidemic prevention measures and reopen their borders, tourism stocks have been rising for nearly a week. According to industry analysts, the recent rise in tourism stocks may be related to the opening of borders by many countries. However, some experts support that “coexisting with the virus” does not mean completely ignoring the virus, and there is still a high risk. Chinese travel agencies believe that although this is good news for the recovery of business activities, the epidemic has not ended, and the future should not be too optimistic.


3. Food and beverage industry

Recently, Starbucks raised the price of some of its coffee drinks by 1 to 2 yuan. The rise in coffee prices is mainly related to the increase in raw materials and operating costs. Judging from the current situation, Starbucks’ biggest competitor in the future is likely to appear in the Chinese market. Although Luckin Coffee has always referred to Starbucks as its competitor, their business models are different.

PepsiCo has gained more share in the salty snack market in many international markets, including Brazil, China, Turkey and Australia. In terms of beverages, Pepsi also gained more market share in China, Mexico, Poland and Thailand in 2021. PepsiCo announced its fourth-quarter 2021 financial performance and 2021 full-year results. The fourth quarter of 2021 grew 12.4% year over year, with net income of $25.248 billion.

With the improvement of consumers’ health awareness, the old generation and young generation will be the main driving groups for the growth of the health food industry. Research institutions believe that there is still a lot of space for growth in China’s health food consumption. Judging from the data, at present, the overall penetration rate of health food in China is about 20%, which is much lower than mature markets.


4. Health & Wellbeing

The concept of public health is undergoing a huge transformation, and people’s health concept is transitting from “passive treatment of diseases” to “active disease prevention”. With the continuous release of policy dividends, the big health industry is about to enter a period of vigorous development and has formed a new economic growth point. However, compared with developed countries, China’s health industry is still in its infancy period.

The scale of China’s pet economy was close to 300 billion yuan in 2021 and will maintain a compound annual growth rate of about 14.2% over the next three years.

Under the trend of the increasingly hot pet industry, many domestic and foreign big companies in the field of personal care, such as Unilever, Bloomage Biotech, etc., as well as Kiehl’s and Aesop have started to enter this market. In 2012 China Pet Foods Co.,Ltd, added dry pet food production, and then continued to improve its industrial layout. Now it has developed into a full-line pet food manufacturer integrating snacks, wet food, dry food, and pet supplies.