Industry Prospects

The pursuit of health with the consumption of functional and health foods have become increasingly popular worldwide. This is also the fundamental reason for the rapid development of the health foods market.

Results from a study conducted by the Development Strategy and Regional Economy Research Department of the State Council Development Research Centre show that on the global level, total revenue for the health foods market was in excess of CNY 480 billion in 2005 and was just a tad shy of CNY 800 billion by the year 2010. In China, the health foods market is growing at a rapid clip. In the year 2005 the Chinese health foods market achieved revenue of more than CNY 60 billion. Experts forecast that in the Chinese health foods market will continue to grow at more than 20% a year in the future. This is tremendously re-assuring and exciting news for industry players.

Experts studying developments in the Chinese food industry have stated that the key trend for health foods in the 21st century lies in natural, safe and effective products. Bird's nest is one such food. At the same time, it has therapeutic, health-boosting, anti-ageing and beautifying properties and has become the prime choice for health foods for a growing number of consumers.

Statistics show that the annual global production of bird's nest is approximately 800 tonnes. On the other hand, the Hong Kong market consumes 150 tonnes of bird's nest per year while at least 80% of pregnant women in Singapore consume bird's nest; in Taiwan, more than 100 tonnes of bird's nest is sold annually. Consumers spend as much as NTD 1.1 billion on the product a year.

China is a vast country with a large population. In 2004 alone the Chinese health foods market -- of which bird's nest is a significant product -- achieved revenues of as much as CNY 50 billion, becoming one of the eight emerging industries of the 21st century in the process. Since 2003, the bird's nest market has been growing at a rate of 32% in terms of turnover every year and the product is a rising star in China's health foods market. Four main groups of consumers drive the growing demand for bird's nest in the Chinese market.