Battling China’s obesity problems

China’s collective waistline is getting bigger and bigger. As consumers move away from traditional diets, eat out more frequently as a result of busier lifestyles and are able to afford more luxurious foods, China’s population is increasingly suffering from weight gain and obesity. Private operators are now stepping in to address a growing demand for healthy food and wellbeing services suited to the rapidly-changing lifestyles of the urban Chinese.

Foreign chains looking to China for expansion

The number of foreign-owned food and beverage outlets in China has grown and diversified in the past five years. In a dining market that was, only decades ago, dominated by US fast-food franchises – including McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut (having all entered the market between 1987-90) – there has been an influx of foreign-owned casual and fine-dining operators. These include the likes of Hakkasan, Pret A Manger, Oreno and Wolfgang Puck. Also carving out a place at the higher end of the dining spectrum are branches from celebrity chefs, including Jason Atherton, Umberto Bombana and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.