Export products to China and prepare for the Chinese market

More and more Western companies decide to start exporting their products to China. Many of them produce and export food such as dairy products, sweets or alcohol. When doing so, it is essential to know that the exported food must have the appropriate certificates. In addition to ensuring that the product meets all formal requirements, it is essential to adapt it to Chinese consumers. In this article, you will find useful marketing methods to help you export products to China, especially food, and introduce them to the Chinese market.

Exporting products to China
Here are some useful practices for preparing food, food products and packaging before exporting to China.

Chinese logo
When starting to export products to China, you need to keep in mind that not all Chinese are fluent in English. It is much easier for them to remember a Chinese name for the product rather than foreign sounding words. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust the logo. The original design may still be in the packaging, but a Chinese one is also needed.

There are three ways to put the new logo on the packaging. The first is to leave the original packaging as is and place a sticker with Chinese characters on it, and the second is to print a new packaging with only Chinese characters. We recommend the third option, which is to leave the original logo and simply add the Chinese to the side or the other side of the product.

La mejor manera de hacer un logotipo chino es contratar a un traductor que decidirá el nombre chino adecuado para la marca. Puede ser una traducción directa o fonética del original. Los personajes también deben elegirse con cuidado para que traigan asociaciones positivas. Si la traducción se hace mal, puede tener el efecto contrario y solo desanimar a los clientes potenciales.

Al exportar mercancías a China, debe tener en cuenta las diferencias culturales y los desafíos del nuevo mercado. Muchos fabricantes están acostumbrados a su marca tal como está y son reacios a adaptarse al consumidor chino. Para eso, tenga en cuenta que incluso una marca global como Coca-Cola se ajusta al mercado, usando un nombre diferente: 可口可乐 (Kěkǒu kělè).

Exporting products to China: small portions in packages
The Chinese tend to eat smaller portions of food at a time, so all foods should be packaged in smaller quantities. It applies both to the amount of food in the package and to the package itself. For example, instead of large bottles, drinks are often sold in small cans. Products are also often placed in smaller packages within larger ones; for example, cookies are packaged separately within a box. This practice makes it easy to share food with others, which is appreciated in China. The two-piece Snickers bar is quite popular there for that very reason.

Chinese New Year special editions
Sweets and other foods are often given to relatives or employees on the Chinese New Year. When buying gifts for this occasion, Chinese consumers generally prefer to buy special edition Chinese New Year items. A properly prepared product can encourage customers to choose it over another. Special Chinese New Year items are similar to Christmas-themed products in Western countries.

It is not necessary to change the color scheme when exporting to China in general, but it is important to change it when it comes to Chinese New Year products. The colors red and gold should be used, since in Chinese culture, they symbolize happiness and success, which accompany the wishes that are delivered along with the gift.

Flavors suitable for Chinese taste
People living in Asia have different tastes than people in Western countries. To ensure that the product suits Chinese consumers, we recommend that you adjust it. Western products can be fine too, but consider changing the flavor to suit local tastes to promote and differentiate your product from others. Unique food editions can be found only in China, for example Kit Kat bars flavored with green tea, Chili Snickers, or Lychee Vodka.

When you start your journey exporting products to China, remember that it pays to adjust both the packaging and the product itself to the target consumer. A successful trade depends largely on understanding the cultural differences of your country and China and taking them into account in business. Products specifically tuned for the Chinese market are likely to generate more interest and therefore the manufacturer has a greater chance of being successful exporting to China.