It's a piece of cake for bakers in China

China's bakery market is expected to grow exponentially and overseas dairy makers are clamoring for a slice of the pie.

China's bakery market is expected to enjoy exponential growth and overseas dairy makers are hoping for a piece of the cake to serve a wide range of tastes for deserts and beverages in both Chinese and western style. 

The world's largest dairy exporter Fonterra is no longer satisfied with just selling dairy and baking material to local vendors and consumers, but also hopes to deliver a whole suite of services in terms of products.

Fonterra China President Christina Zhu said its food professionals sector is the fastest growing business in China and it is also working closely with local caterers to offer innovative dishes and tastes. 

"The competitive market landscape requires a forward-looking attitude when we work on innovative products and industry solution for the food businesses here," she said.

Fonterra has been offering raw materials such as whipping cream and cheese for over four decades in China and in recent years has been pushing forward the convergence of Chinese dishes with western ingredients.  

The New Zealand dairy supplier operates five centers in China through its professional services brand "Anchor Food Professionals" where it works with chef and food industry experts to work on how dairy is to be used in new Chinese and western style new dishes. 

The value of China's bakery industry is expected to be 362 billion yuan (US$52.78 billion) by 2022 with plenty of room for growth in terms of average consumption volume of bakery items, according to consultancy Strategy&. 

Ireland's largest dairy producer Glanbia is expecting a growing contribution from its bakery raw material Avonmore in China. 

We see an increasing competitive dairy market in China but also unmet demand, especially for baking material such as whipping cream, which we expect an annual sales growth of 30 percent in China, said Stephen Browne, director of exports at Glanbia Consumer Food.  

Marketing director for Avonmore Niamh Parlon said it's introducing butter and cheese to China this year after exploring preliminary opportunities in the past two years and seeks better recognition among the mass consumer. 

Ready-to-make beverage stores saw a booming development in 2018, rising from about 360,000 outlets at the end of 2017 to 570,000 ones by the end of the third quarter of 2018, according to lifestyle services site Meituan Dianping. As many as 39 percent of consumers spend an average of 15 to 30 yuan during each visit to beverage vendors, 

Local tea stores have been quick to offer new tastes such as milky tea and cheese tea. 

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