This last week I’ve been in China on an out of home, foodservice market research project.
I started in the South in Guangzhou before heading North to Hangzhou, where the G20 meeting was held this year and then across to Shanghai.
Market research in foodservice is a little more challenging than retail, especially when one is trying to find out what brands and product formats are commonly used; most operators do not openly display or advertise their suppliers. Nonetheless with the support of two experienced associates we wove a pave through a myriad of outlets and combined with some clever questioning we were able to gather a wealth of knowledge.
I learnt a lot and our client even more.
I am always surprised by how fast China changes. It was over 20 years ago that I first visited and the speed of development is breath taking. In foodservice I learnt that many outlets last a maximum of 2 or 3 years before closing and a new alternative sprouts up. I can see why many foreign companies are finding China increasingly difficult as their speed of response is just not fast enough.
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