So much to choose from in China Ltd

Updated: 2013-07-29 07:19

By Cecily Liu, Chen Yingqun in Beijing and Qiu Bo in London (China Daily)

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New trends

The Chicago-based Dover Corp is also benefiting from China's increasing population of quality and safety-conscious customers. Its printing and identification section, which first came to China in 1991 to provide services for industrial products, focuses more today on printing services for consumer products such as food, beverages, cosmetics and personal care and pharmaceutical products.

It prints "best before" dates and codes that trace products back to source.

"China's consumption of packaged goods is growing and Chinese customers are very brand conscious," says John Hartner, CEO of Dover's printing and identification division. "Our printing and labeling solutions help them find products of high quality from good sources that are fresh and safe."

Dover's customers in China range from multinational brands such as PepsiCo and Nestle SA to Chinese ones such as Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd, Want Want Holding Ltd and Mengniu Dairy Group.

The faster lifestyle in urban centers has also fueled the growth of fast food chains. The US chain Subway has 400 stores in China and plans 80 more this year. It aims to have 900 by 2015 and 1,600 by 2017.

"White-collar workers in the city are really busy. They opt for convenience and they want a quick lunch," says Tomaz Hladnik, Subway Greater China area manager.

He says Subway is to add 20 stores in first-tier cities and 15 in second-tier ones every year, convinced that China's bigger cities are still experiencing increasing demand despite the availability of many fast-food outlets.

Because the Chinese are becoming more concerned about food safety, he believes Subway's method of making sandwiches in front of customers gives it an advantage.

Another is in letting them select ingredients, rather than offering them standard meals already prepared.

Along with the fashion retail industry, the market for electric appliances has also witnessed a growing number of foreign companies.

British technology company Dyson only entered China last November, opening stores in Beijing and Shanghai to sell vacuum cleaners, hand driers and bladeless fans and heaters.

Company founder James Dyson says he has been surprised by how much people's preferences have converged globally over the past few years. People want smaller, more efficient technology that makes their lives easier. Dyson's cordless technology has proven popular in China, he says.