China Marketing Insights 2

AsureQuality’s China Marketing Insight Series #2

in Assurance Marks
Author: Pamela Whitfield

Welcome to AsureQuality’s China Marketing Insight Series #2

This is the second of our series full of insights and learnings from the busiest time within the China marketing calendar.

If you're following this series, you'll discover key insights from the 4th CIIE event, the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, and the China market in general.

You'll also hear how AsureQuality partnered with Kiwi brands at CIIE to help them demonstrate their brand and product credentials via independent endorsement of the quality and sustainability attributes which matter most to Chinese consumers.

What happened at the 4th China International Import Expo?

Livestreaming generated huge interest and delivered huge revenue

China consumers are making purchasing decisions based on health and sustainability

  • Businesses showcased healthier, more diversified, and more user-friendly products at the Food and Agricultural Products area of this year’s CIIE, mirroring the common aspiration of people around the world wanting to pursue a better life.
  • China consumers are making more health-conscious purchase decisions. The pandemic has increased awareness of product safety and quality, with this trend expected to continue.
  • COVID-19 has forced purchasing trade-offs, with consumers now seeking better quality and healthier options.
  • More than 70 percent of respondents in the McKinsey China 2021 COVID-19 Consumer Survey indicated they would continue to spend more time and money purchasing safe and eco-friendly products, despite pressure on disposable income because of the economic slowdown.
  • Chinese consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious. Eco-friendly, recyclable, and plastic/micro-free have been among the fastest-growing trends reported as seen in the chinaskinny(external link)  Skincare Tracker. With organic certification and eco-friendly production being the two most compelling brand features cited by consumers in their Dairy Tracker. 

NZ’s global reputation

New Zealand has a global reputation for a green and natural environment and a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly. Our agriculture, land use, and forestry sector have been ranked No 1 for tackling climate change issues in a recently released global report. In its Net Zero Readiness Index (NZRI), global consultancy KPMG examined 103 indicators of commitment and performance on decarbonising in 32 countries, which together are responsible for around three-quarters of global emissions. The report made note of New Zealand's high levels of forest biomass, low levels of food loss, a comparatively high number of agricultural clean-tech companies, and the He Waka Eke Noa government and food and fibre sector climate action partnership.

Many kiwi brands are also making significant commitments towards sustainable and eco-friendly production while leveraging New Zealand’s sustainability attributes which add further weight in the global market. One example of this in action at CIIE was Fonterra, who showcased low carbon footprint products and their grass-fed dairy products at the expo .(external link)

As a trusted New Zealand Government-owned entity AsureQuality works to help our brand partners verify these claims through a range of certification and transparency programmes. We’re actively working with kiwi brands covering a range of sectors including meat, dairy, meat, milk formula, baby food, water, nutritional supplements, honey, and more.

Showcasing brand sustainability credentials at the 4th CIIE - the AsureQuality team supported customers in a variety of ways:


Foreign brands worked hard at this year’s expo to draw crowds and keep them actively involved through a range of initiatives including games, prize draws, virtual reality, and shows. One of the most common tactics used this year was livestreaming. Dedicated livestreaming sections were front and centre at many booths offering product discounts, educating viewers, and answering questions for anyone online. Livestreaming wasn’t just for those not in attendance; many people attended the livestreams in person to get their hands on the product deals offered during the livestreams.

AsureQuality’s independent food assurance experts were livestreaming on screens communicating with Chinese consumers around the product quality and sustainability issues that they cared about most. These third-party expert livestreaming sessions supported NZ brands to showcase their sustainability credentials and maximise results from this year’s CIIE.


AsureQuality provided a short promotional video, created on Microsoft Teams during Lockdown! This video got picked up by the event organisers and included in CIIE’s Official Promo Trailer being showcased on various platforms, including China’s mainstream TV channel Dragon TV (also attach video):


We provided footage of interviews with AsureQuality’s sustainability experts and videos of our team demonstrating the on-farm environments and feeding practices for livestock.

The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2021

Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2021(external link) had an emphasis on sustainability and inclusiveness. There were 290,000 brands and over 900 million Chinese consumers participating in the festival with the main event happening on 11 November. The result from the two shopping windows of this year’s festival was a staggering 84.54 billion USD in gross sales.

A fresh focus on sustainability and green products at 11.11 this years’ festival

Alibaba added a new dedicated vertical for eco-friendly, low-impact products during the 11.11 sales. This helped boost the visibility of 500,000 low-impact products from over 2000 merchants spanning the food and beverage, home furnishing, electronic appliances, and mum-and-baby categories. Fuel-saving cars also featured here with Tesla selling more charging stations for its electric cars within the first minutes of 11.11 than previously sold over the entire festival in 2020.

To encourage greener consumption, Alibaba offered discounts on items in the green vertical, as well as issuing RMB100 million worth of “green vouchers” to incentivise sustainable purchases. According to Alibaba, more than 2.5 million consumers purchased green products during this year’s 11.11 Festival.

We’ve got more information and insights from this year’s events and the China market in general to share. Look for the next edition of our China Marketing Insights Series coming your way soon.

Let’s talk!

AsureQuality can support brands with claim substantiation, verification, and via co-marketing activities that build consumer confidence, engagement, and sales. We invite you to book a free 15-minute consultation(external link) to discuss how you can leverage AsureQuality's NZ Government-owned independent food assurance expertise within your China marketing mix.

Book a time with our experts now

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. 

Pam Whitfield | Assurance Marks Manager