Baked goods are rising in popularity in China, with sweet treats transitioning from luxury to indulgence status as consumption of biscuits and cakes continues to rise, driven to a large extent by the intensifying café culture in the Tier 1 and 2 cities.

In Chinese cities, bakeries have lines of affluent young people reaching out the door. These fans of baking are learning that baking is a skill that they can do it in their own home, with a toaster-oven and some basic knowledge. While most Chinese households don’t own full-size ovens, enthusiasts are taking on the challenge.

As a consequence there is increased interest in dessert and baking courses, with cooking classes booming. Many Chinese housewives are seeking to give their family western-style treats, and have indicated that by making sweet treats, such as cookies, biscuits, cakes and cheesecake, they get accolades from their family, friends and relatives, especially at parties or celebrations.

Chinese mothers who have been educated abroad are more conscious of providing their children with a broader diet, which has led them to home-baking classes. Home-baking classes teaches about recipes and the cooking process and assists in the purchase of cooking utensils.

Pantry’s Best which is a cupcake delivery company in Shanghai and Beijing, has recently hosted a series of classes based around skills such as creaming and frosting. Their initial classes were set for a maximum group of 20 mothers but due to popular demand they had over 50 apply.

The ABC Cooking Studio, a wildly popular women-only cooking school from Japan, has opened cooking schools across Shanghai and Beijing. They are offering courses in cooking, cakes and breads, and the viewer-friendly stores in prominent locations are attracting a strong following and courses are over-subscribed.

The rise in the popularity of baking provides a fantastic opportunity for western brands to introduce their food and baking products, such as high quality flours, sugars, cake and cookie mixes, cookie dough, and utensils, to an upscale Chinese audience hungry for new culinary adventures. Online shops that sell baking utensils and ingredients have also seen a boom.

Jan Bierman

Author Jan Bierman

Jan is our business strategist, with over 20 years consulting in the commercial and public sectors. She specialises in guiding individuals and organisations on the critical success factors that drive innovation adoption, from ideation through to implementation.

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