China’s restaurant market is more vibrant than ever and is home to close to 8 million food service points of sale and dozens of unique local cuisines. The industry’s growth is outstripping other major markets and showing extraordinary resilience in a time of declining GDP growth. According to the China Cuisine Association statistics, China’s catering service market grew by 11.7 percent from a year earlier to reach 3231 billion yuan [~US$491 billion] in 2015…Full Article: May 2016

Key Points

  • China’s middle class (US$9,000 to US$34,000 annual income) accounts for approximately 68% of all urban households. In addition, more than 80% of Chinese households with at least an annual income of CNY 20,000 (US$3,049) dine out at new or modern restaurants.
  • The restaurant brands with the best reputation in China are as follows: Haidilao, Pizza Hut, Little Sheep, McDonald’s, TGI Friday’s, and KFC.

ChinaAg Comments

  • Founded in 1999 in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Little Sheep is a hot pot restaurant chain. The company also deals in Little Sheep seasonings, processing and marketing of special meat products. In February 2012, Yum Brands acquired Little Sheep and delisted the restaurant chain from the Hong Kong Stock exchange. As of 2015, Little Sheep had 202 restaurant outlets. Meanwhile, Xiao Wei Yang hotpot, a hotpot restaurant chain from Baotou and competitor of Little Sheep, reportedly had more than 600 outlets.
  • Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Beijing, Sichuan Haidilao Catering operates a chain of hot pot restaurants whose meals consist of beef, pork, duck, mutton, vegetables, tofu, dumplings, and other food products. The company opened its first restaurant in Jianyang (near Chengdu), Sichuan Province. In 2013, the company spun off soup sauce and seasoning business and established Yihai International Holding. In 2015, Sichuan Haidilao Catering had 142 restaurants in China.

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