New Urban Chinese Consumers on Shift in Demographical Structure

August 28, 2017
Industry News
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Kantar TNS
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Shift in Demographical Structure

Moreover, the shift in demographical structure has pushed new generations of consumers into the market place, with characteristics uniquely defined by this age of time.

1. A different kind of youth

The uniqueness of this generation of youth (90s/00s) is reflected by the following characteristics:

First, Diversified view of life and desire to pursuit bolder dream. As the only child in the family, 90s/00s enjoyed material comfort and sole parental and grandparental attention. Their parents are better equipped financially than the previous generations to extend their financial support to the children even after their time of self-establishment.

Second, there is no single authority. They grew up in a time where different opinions are more tolerated. As self-absorbed as they are, they don’t want to be told – authority is not won by claim or to be obeyed. Choices must be given and they will explore and make their own decisions.

Third, without much hardship experience, delayed gratification is not their belief. Everyday moments are equally meaningful as the grand dream of tomorrow.

Fourth, digital is native. Their views and knowledge are greatly shaped by the internet world. They have developed a natural filtering scheme in face of huge amount of fragmented digital information.

How can brands leverage this trend?

  • “Brand value claims need to echo with the values that are aspirational to youth (Refer Picture9)

VANS, Encourage amateur spirit (really work on your hobby)

  • “Brand communication should take the tone of “a friend who knows you” instead of “authority who comes to educate”. (Refer Picture10)

Dove Men Show understanding & sympathy

  • Engage as much as possible.
  • Brand needs creative strategies to generate impact in youth’s digital world.

2. Single nobles

Modern lifestyle, rising individual earning, and open social views foster the growing number of single nobles in higher tier cities. The average first marital age has risen from 23.6 to 26 y.o. in the past 20 years. It is estimated that 2 in 10 of 25-40 y.o. are currently single. Happily ‘unmarried’, most single nobles enjoy their newfound individuality. To them being "single" equals to "freedom to choose for my own and choose as I want. Curbing one’s shopping desire to put aside money for the family is not their thing. They will therefore be the potential segment with strong spending powers for pricey clothes, upscale meals, exciting vacations and premium services.

How can brands leverage this trend?

  • Product/service innovations that accommodate one person’s consumption.
  • Activities to kill time: self-improving programs, e.g. cooking class, makeup class (offered by cosmetic brands), etc. (Refer Picture11)
  • Services to help them better manage daily life.
  • Brands acting as platforms for dating or socializing will boom to make them feel always connected.

3. New definition of “aging”

In the future 10 years, the 60+ y.o. population will account for more than 1/5 of total China (compared with 15% today). People who were born in the 60s are about to enter their retirement age. This cohort of consumers are different from earlier generations in the sense that although they grew up in a time of material scarcity, they are also the first beneficiaries of China’s economic take off – jobs were plenty, income rose fast, houses were cheap, and prospects optimistic. By the time they retire, they tend to have a greater level of confidence, financially, physically and psychologically.

Sound physical condition enabled by better nutrition and modern medical care further inspires their desire for a healthy and enjoyable retirement age. With high spending power and great willingness to spend, this new aging generation is too promising for any brands to overlook.

However, they are also more sophisticated and more demanding than the previous generations of older consumers. They are willing to pay premium for products that truly answer their needs. As their taste mature, quality and substance often weigh more than fancy design.

How can brands leverage this new trend?

  • Brands need to look into their unique needs and offer true value to win their hearts, facilitating an active lifestyle in an older age (Refer Picture12)
  • Premium product opportunities targeting the new aging consumers.
  • Opportunities in antiaging and rejuvenating products and services.

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