Top consumer brands spot opportunities at CIIE

Ding Yining
Leading brands are using the import expo to make valuable connections, introduce new products and learn about the Chinese market.
Ding Yining

Consumer goods companies regard the China International Import Expo as an opportunity to share latest insights in the retail market trends to better suit domestic shoppers.

German cooking appliance provider Miji Technology, which will take part in CIIE for the third time this year, has ramped up investment in China and stepped up localization efforts.

It has brought into the Chinese market induction cooktops and decided to launch more models after seeing fruitful results.

"The CIIE gave us access to distribution channels such as home furnishing and decoration service providers and regional distributors especially in lower-tier cities," said General Manager of Miji China Zhou Wenbing.

The company signed 150 million yuan (US$21.4 million) worth of distribution contracts with a regional distributor from Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province during CIIE in 2018. This was one of its biggest contracts signed at that time with a domestic contributor.

Seeing the encouraging results, it brought other industry partners such as glass fiber producers and home appliance makers to the second CIIE.

This year, the new model Miji Star 3 Format-A will debut at the CIIE, which has more precise temperature settings on different burners. It is more suitable for Chinese-style cooking than traditional electric stoves.

It will also bring a new moving cooking table that allows users to configure their cooking appliances according to their own preferences, with plans to further expand distribution network for corporate customers like caterers and professional service providers. 

Shanghai aims to keep its attractiveness as a top destination for foreign businesses to set up regional headquarters and research and development facilities.

At the same time, it's encouraging new product launches, new retail formats and new latest technologies to serve as new engines for upgraded consumption.

China's consumer market showed resilience after the pandemic.

According to latest Kantar Worldpanel data, fast-moving consumer goods spending in the three months ended August 14 advanced 4.1 percent, driven by higher buying frequency.

Outdoor spending is bottoming out with relaxed pandemic prevention measures.

Personal-care and hygiene products are a bright spot due to enhanced health and cleanness awareness, while other leisure and entertainment activities were limited in the first half.

Unilever, which will also return for the third time at the expo venue, has brought dozens of new brands over the past two years through the CIIE.

The Anglo-Dutch multinational company views the exhibition as an opportunity to bring many brands together and gauge market response.

Its home hygiene brand Domestos, which was present in previous exhibitions, was officially launched in China this August.

The UK-originated brand also leveraged local research efforts to offer two unique products in China — toilet cleansing foam and wet wipes.

After testing the waters through the CIIE, it has expedited the launch of nearly 10 new brands in China.

In June the company announced that it has started construction on a 100-million-euro (US$112 million) manufacturing site in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, to enhance its leading position in the consumer foods sector.

Japanese footwear and sports equipment retailer ASICS will debut at this year's exhibition after signing contracts for two upcoming CIIE.

"We plan to use the CIIE platform to learn more about local demands and bring new products and services to consumers' daily lives," said Tsuyoshi Nishiwaki, chairman of ASICS China Trading.

China is ASICS' fourth-largest market and the company sees huge potential for both sports performance and leisure apparel in China.

It established a product development and design center in China in 2019 and has identified new opportunities in young female shoppers and Generation Z's preference for trendy and fashion items.

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