While many parts of the West look to local, organic food to ensure quality, Chinese consumers are starting to buy imported food in response to China’s seemingly ever-present food scandals. China Daily reports:
According to the report [by Ipsos research company], 61 percent of Chinese consumers said that their confidence in domestic food brands has declined during the past year, and 28 percent said they will buy more imported food brands to replace domestic products.
Dairy products, cooking oil, and children’s food rank among the most popular imported foodstuffs, which shouldn’t be too surprising considering that these are the foods most notorious for being tainted in the past. Melamine in the milk, gutter oil, mercury in baby food; the list of this past year’s scandals could fill a space the size of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.
In response to the imported food trend, Tim Wang of Ecolab Greater China stated, “the operators of the companies should learn to take social responsibility and establish trusting relationships with consumers. It often takes a long time to establish a company’s reputation.” Oh, and keeping the melamine out of the milk, the mercury out of the baby food, and the oil out of the gutter might help too.
Until then, lots of New Zealand butter appears to be on the horizon.