Food Consumption in Rural China: Preliminary Results from Household Survey Data

Type Conference Paper - 15th Annual Conference of the Association from Chinese Economics Studies
Title Food Consumption in Rural China: Preliminary Results from Household Survey Data
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
The increase in consumer income in developing countries induces changes in the composition
of food consumption. Such changes have important implications for policy makers and for
food marketers. For a large developing country such as China, changes in food consumption
have even much greater implications, not only for China itself but also for the rest of the
world, due to the sheer size of its population. As a result of its rapid economic growth and the
resulting increase in consumer income, expansion and diversification of food consumption in
China have been most notable in the past two decades. It is believed that there is
considerable latitude for food consumption growth in China and China will become one of
the fastest-growing markets for food products in the coming years. Using household-level
survey data of representative provinces, this study examines the changes in the proportion of
food consumption expenditure out of total household expenditure and identifies patterns of
change in food consumption in rural China by region and by income group. Major factors
that affect consumption behaviour in rural China are investigated. Implications of the
changes in China’s rural food consumption are discussed.

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