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Period: April 1, 2017 to June 1, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Watsons Kiosk In Shanghai Features YouCam Makeup App, Allows Customers To Virtually Try On Cosmetics

Retailer Watsons' flagship store in Shanghai features a kiosk that comes with augmented-reality-powered facial detection technology. Developed by Perfect Corporation, the YouCam makeup app allows customers to try on more than 30 products from leading makeup brands, such as MaxFactor, Maybelline, and Kate Cosmetics.

"YouCam Makeup App Becomes an Interactive Makeup Consultant in Watsons Shanghai", Business Wire, February 24, 2017

Researchers Find Strong Link Between Healthy Bones And Green Tea

A Chinese analysis of data from 15 studies found that green tea (Camellia sinensis) and a key compound known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) tend to increase bone mineral density. However, the analysis of data from nearly 139,000 people stopped short of saying drinking green tea was linked to a reduced risk of fractures. The researchers suggest that the benefit of green tea regarding osteoporosis derives from its polyphenol content: as much as 40 percent of water-extractable polyphenols. Other teas contain much less. The researchers also suggest that green tea may act by boosting the creation of cells responsible for bone formation (osteoblasts) or suppressing cells that weaken bones (osteoclasts).

"Tea consumption may decrease the risk of osteoporosis: an updated meta-analysis of observational studies", Nutrition Research, March 28, 2017

Chinese Restaurant Chain Sees Big Opportunity In U.S., U.K.

A spicy soup chain based in Beijing plans to open 80 new restaurants this year, at least 10 of which will be outside China. Sichuan HaiDiLao, which offers free massages and manicures to customers waiting for service, already has an outlet in Los Angeles. It hopes to acquaint American and British diners with its specialty hotpots featuring steaming broths flavored with meat, vegetables and noodles. The idea is to introduce the world to genuine Chinese cuisine in much the same way U.S. food companies spread American eating styles. Because of prohibitive labor and other costs in the U.S., however, duplicating the company’s successful business model won’t be a simple task. But, says company chairman Zhang Yong, “As the Chinese economy grows and the world starts to put more focus on China, I believe there’s a chance for Chinese restaurants.” 

"This Restaurant Chain Wants to Bring Chinese Hotpot to the World", Bloomberg Pursuits, April 27, 2017

Chinese Dairy Market Is Fluid As Consumers Move Away From Milk

Competition among Chinese dairies is fierce in the $55.2 billion market as consumers expand their choices from milk – where the market is flatlining – to yogurt, cheese and plant-based milk. The head of R&D for China’s Want Want processed foods company expects the market for plant-based – i.e., soy, milk, etc. – to double to $8 billion this year as families choose healthier foods. Not surprisingly, the company will be introducing its own line of plant-based milks this year.  Meanwhile, domestic and foreign companies are buying into Chinese dairy farms and developing new dairy products to drive consumer interest.

"China's Dairies Rush to Plant-Based Milk as Latest Health Trend", Bloomberg Markets, April 28, 2017

China's FMCG Market Grew Slowly In 1Q 2017, Report Says

In China, spending on fast moving consumer goods grew slightly by 1.7 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2017, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Compared with the previous year, the country's GDP grew 6.9 percent, boosted by a government infrastructure focus and a hot housing market. Of the country's top 5 retailers, Sun Art, Vanguard, and Walmart were able to maintain their market ranking during the year. While Carrefour saw its market share drop by 0.1 point, local retailer Yonghui's share grew from 2.6 percent to 3 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

"FMCG growth remained challenging in the first quarter, while local retailers outpaced the market by opening more stores", Kantar Worldpanel, May 04, 2017

PepsiCo Expands E-Commerce Relationship With China’s Alibaba Platform

PepsiCo’s China unit has extended its marketing relationship with giant online and mobile commerce company Alibaba with a new strategic agreement. The company said the pact is an effort to expand its own e-commerce capabilities while enhancing customer online experiences. PepsiCo will take full advantage of Alibaba's platform and data “to carry out more innovative experiments” and “perfect PepsiCo's products and services.” Cooperation with Alibaba began five years ago in the e-commerce segment when PepsiCo established a flagship store on Tmall  It has launched several online marketing campaigns, including the 2016 Super Brand Day, Quaker's co-branded campaign with Tmall, and Kumamon-branded Lay's gift campaign during Chinese New Year.

"PepsiCo Signs Strategic Agreement with Alibaba Group", News release, PepsiCo, May 11, 2017

Opportunities For Confectioners In Asia’s Functional Candy Market

Concerns about health among Chinese consumers have both helped and hindered the country’s confectionery industry, according to Mintel data. On the one hand, there is growing anxiety that the Chinese diet contains far too much sugar. This is reflected in a decline in volume candy sales beginning in 2015, a trend not helped by a general economic slowdown. However, Chinese consumers are buying more functional candy, for example throat-soothing or vitamin C candies. This presents a product development and marketing opportunity for confectionery firms, especially those that analyze the demands of demographic segments in Asian countries. One functional ingredient in candy is collagen, an anti-aging protein. Another is iron, already available in candy in Japan and Taiwan. Associated with good health and energy, iron is beneficial for skin complexions, and often taken to prevent anemia. ]

"China’s Sugar Confectionery Market Declines While Functional Candy Grows", News release, Mintel, May 18, 2017

Lidl Opens Online Store In China

Germany-based retailer Lidl launched its China-focused online store on Alibaba's online platform Tmall Global. According to the company, the website will offer several of its private labels. With European products being popular in China, Lidl wants to launch its Combino, Bellarom, and Sondey brands in the country.

"Lidl launches Chinese web shop", RetailDetail, May 22, 2017

Walmart Opens Flagship Online Store For China Market On JD.com

Walmart opened its flagship online store on China-based shopping portal JD.com. Aimed at providing same-day and next-day deliveries to more than 600 million consumers in the country, the opening came almost a year after Walmart and JD.com formed a strategic alliance for the China market. In October 2016, Walmart invested $50 million in New Dada, JD.com's joint venture with delivery services firm Dada.

"US retail giant Walmart launches flagship online store on JD.com", South China Morning Post, May 25, 2017

Companies, Organizations  

L'Oreal Haircare Brand Partners With TerraCycle For Chinese Recycling Program

Ultra Doux, L'Oreal's natural hair care brand in China, signed a partnership deal with recycling company TerraCycle. Started in the US in 2011, the recycling partnership makes Ultra Doux China's first brand to offer consumers a complete recycling solution for haircare packaging waste. Consumers or communities, by signing up for the program, can collect and send haircare packaging to TerraCycle for free.

"L’Oreal’s Ultra Doux Goes Green with TerraCycle", Marketing-Interactive, May 11, 2017

Lidl launches Chinese web shop

RetailDetail, May 22, 2017

Beauty sector seeing continued strong growth

Kantar Worldpanel, May 30, 2017

Market News  

Coca-Cola Edges Into China’s Premium Sparkling Water Market

Coca-Cola will soon see whether it can compete successfully in China’s premium sparkling water market, currently ruled by Evian, Perrier, and San Benedetto. Looking to expand beyond sagging soft drink and juice brands, company has introduced expensive – $9.29 per 750 ml bottle – Valser brand on Tmall online platform. Company already offers low- and mid-range mineral water brands in China.

"Coca-Cola launches US$9 premium bottled water in China", Marketing Interactive, May 05, 2017

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