In the era of rapid development of mobile e-commerce, a number of meal replacement e-commerce brands have emerged in China. At present, the market competition in China’s meal replacement industry is very fierce, and the number of enterprises in the industry is still showing a trend of rapid growth. In recent years, by virtue of its products, the US brand Herbalife has maintained an ultrahigh market share with its sales performance growing steadily. Herbalife had a market share of 88.6%, according to Euromonitor. Last year, Herbalife's net sales in China were $1,077.6 million, which increased by $121.7 million with a growth rate of 13.7 % from a year earlier, according to its 2018 financial report. The second was Amway, with a market share of 4.4%. Meanwhile, there are more than ten foreign brands in the market, such as Optislim from Australia, Slimfast from Britain, Yamamoto Kanpo from Japan, etc., which have improved the product categories of meal replacement in China gradually. Due to the huge market potential, Chinese enterprises swarmed in to catch up with the market, Competitor, LV SHOU, and other well-known meal replacement brands are also racing for the market shares.

China's meal-replacement market has become a virgin land with numerous opportunities. Despite the dominance of Herbalife and other international meal replacement businesses, the penetration rate of meal replacement food in mainland China is only 29.7%, while there are more than 200 million obese adults in mainland China and more people pursue a balanced diet and a perfect figure. The current market demand for meal replacement products is expected to exceed $50 billion, which will definitely be higher in the future. Therefore, only by accurately grasping the demand of Chinese consumers for meal replacement can food companies get a share in this great battle, and the scene is the core of meal replacement product consumption.

When you suddenly feel hungry at midnight, it’s easy to gain weight if you have another meal. Then, drinking a meal replacement milkshake or eating a meal replacement bar at this time is a good choice, which satisfies the appetite without the burden of gaining weight. Scenes such as mid-night, work overtime and meetings are the core of meal replacement consumption. Developing different meal replacement food based different consumption scenes can create a huge space for development. Kellogg's, for example, has launched a ready-to-eat fruit blend cereals, rich in raisins, strawberries and natural fiber from oats, wheat and corn to help digestion, and it is rich in vitamins and minerals. It can be eaten as a meal at midnight, characterized by high in fiber and low in fat, without cholesterol. Soylent, an American company, provides a wide range of meal replacement products for people at work and working overtime, such as meal replacement drinks and meal replacement bars, etc. There are coffee flavor, cocoa flavor, vanilla lattes flavor, fruit flavor, milk tea flavor and other flavors, which are popular with many busy office workers.

In addition, nutritional snack being taken as meal replacement products are also popular. With the gradual development of the concept of "snacks replace meals", the boundary between snacks and meals has become increasingly blurred. 

Meal replacement snacks can provide sufficient energy and satiety for people in the busy working interval, reducing the burden of having lunch, dinner or midnight meal. Consumers hope that snacks can be healthier, more nutritious and more satisfying, according to Innova Market Insights. Now many brands have launched daily nuts, with a variety of nuts and dried fruit. Consumers can satisfy their appetite while also supplementing the required nutrition. In addition to nut snacks, nutritional meal replacement bars are also gaining popularity among consumers. The existing meal replacement bars in the market are made of different grains, fruits, nuts, chocolate, high-protein foods, etc., with comprehensive nutrition, rich in protein or dietary fiber. They are simply packaged and easy to carry which are suitable for people to replenish energy and nutrition during exercise or overtime work.

Meal replacement food aim at the growing health needs of consumers in the fastpaced life. For imported meal replacement foods, the key to stand out is accurate scene positioning and meeting the needs of different groups of people. The form of meal replacement products are also extending to more categories, from the traditional meal replacement powder, meal replacement bars to small-packaged mixed snacks, and so on. As for the form of packaging, consumers is looking for convenience and better experience. Meal replacement products need to be easier to carry, and need to adjust to more scenes, and to enhance the consumer experience. In the future, meal replacement food is bound to be more diversified and more convenient.


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