Chinese choosing to spend, not save, on food stuffs, but the thrifty British eat more fruit

Chinese consumers are less concerned with saving money on food and drink than their European counterparts; however consumers in the UK and France could be some of the healthiest with 72 percent of British and 67 percent of French respondents claiming to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

A recently released report, concluded July 14, by The Oxford Research Agency (TORA) which provides information and advice on retail trends, has found that UK consumers are splashing out less on food than their European and Asian counterparts but are eating more fruit and vegetables.

The findings were compiled from 1534 people across the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Brazil and China, and each country was scored by subtracting the percentage of people who have actively been saving money in their expenditures on food and drink purchases from the percentage who spend more (and more freely). Positive scores indicate that respondents who spend more on food and drink in that country are in the majority, whereas negative scores indicate that savers are in the majority.

The country where respondents who spent more on food and drink most outnumbered savers was China with a score of 37; far behind in second place was Brazil which had a score of 16; the UK and the USA came last in the table with scores of - 29 and -33 respectively.

The disparity between savers and spenders in the UK and China is illustrated in the report by the fact that 64 percent of UK workers opt for the cheaper option of preparing their lunch at home, while only 38 percent of Chinese do the same, and only 11 percent of UK workers compared to 38 percent of Chinese eat lunch outside of the office at restaurants or the like. A May 2010 report by research group Alixpartners found that 40 percent of Chinese consumers who do eat at restaurants intend to do so in 'western style' establishments.

However, respondents in France and the UK may be amongst the healthiest; despite coming a respective fifth and sixth place in terms of spending on food, respondents in  the UK and France consumed five portions of fruit and vegetables more regularly than those in China, the USA, Brazil or Germany.

Overall 72 percent of respondents in the UK and 67 percent in France claimed to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day either ‘frequently or quite frequently' compared with only 57 percent of respondents in third-placed China.

The research suggests that messages of healthy eating are getting across to UK consumers; however the recent economic downturn has made European and American consumers more restrained in their expenditure, while the rising middle class in China are exercising their purchasing power to enjoy more luxury lifestyles.  


Food and drink spending behavior scores

China +37

Brazil +16

Germany + 4

France -10

UK -29

USA -33


Responded positively to the question "Do you eat five portions of fruit and veg per day either frequently or quite frequently?"

UK 72%

France 67%

China 57%

USA 47%

Brazil 40%

Germany 37%


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