China’s organic food market more than tripled in size in the past decade. Consumers are skeptical towards their domestic organic produce supply chain, leaving huge potential for foreign brands.
The largest challenge for foreign organic brands entering into China lies with recognition of their organic certification. Many countries do not recognise Chinese organic products as organic, and so this is reciprocated by China, goods with organic certification (including EU Organic, UK’s Soil association organic, USDA Organic, Canadian Organic, Australian Organic) are not recognised as organic in China, and can not be marketed or labelled as so.
This leaves organic brands with a few options:
Sell through cross-border e-commerce channels as organic.
途游斗地主Selling through cross-border channels means the risk of purchase is taken on directly by the consumer. So you can market and sell the product outside of Chinese government regulation. This is by far the easiest route to start selling and test the market. and are two of the largest cross border e-commerce sites in China.
Remove or cover all organic claims on pack
Reprinting packaging and labels without the organic symbols and removing organic from the ingredients list is another option. Alternatively having these covered with stickers on import can work well too. Ella’s Kitchen covered their ‘I’m Organic’ slogan with an ‘I’m Ella’ sticker for years before completing the full organic certification.
Reformulate as non-organic for the market
途游斗地主Although this entails much more upfront work, for brands with China high on their priorities, this approach allows you to enter the market as normal and brings down ingredients costs to remain competitive.
Become Certified as organic in China.
Suitable for larger brands or brands with high sensitivity to health and safety (e.g. Dairy, kids food, Baby powder) This process for certifying as organic takes up to two years and requires you to fly Chinese officials to all your supplying farms to conduct checks. For SMEs this approach can be prohibitively expensive. Despite the barriers in tim and money to set up, once completed, being a foreign brand certified in China gives you a huge advantage in a fast growing market.