Chinese consumers in 2021: how priorities in lifestyle consumption are changing

The world’s economic environment has gone through many changes over the past years. As of now, China’s consumer market has become second only to the US and is considered a key factor towards bringing success to both domestic and international brands. The buying habits of Chinese consumers have been consistently documented, however, Covid -19 and its variants have shifted consumer preferences into mostly unknown territory. Our study ‘Chinese consumers in 2021: how priorities in lifestyle consumption are changing’ aims to highlight the new trends these consumers have developed ever past year. To show their shift away from material goods towards more experiential spending. With 2022 just starting, knowing these habits can be important for those wanting a piece of the Chinese consumer market.

Published in partnership with Accor, Bulgari, Maserati, Remy Cointreau, and Noblesse, we examine consumer lifestyle preferences among men and women across generations and cities and reveal some new trends that will define the Chinese consumer market in the coming years. 

From having to being: how China’s consumers are shifting their priorities to align with personal development goals

Upon completing our original research, the findings show the emergence of new growth categories along with new opportunities. The aftermath of the post-pandemic economic environment made urban Chinese consumers focus more on experiences rather than material goods. The most consumptions were fine dining, cultural events, sport, or further education – to enhance their lives.

Emerging from the pandemic with a new attitude towards spending

Our data showed that three-quarters of survey respondents say their lifestyle consumption has changed since the outbreak of Covid-19. As the first country to economically recover from the pandemic during 2021, China experienced a domestic tourism and food and beverage bounce back in a wave of pent-up demand. Our study asked just what were the consumers spending their money on the most and just how different were their habits compared to the pre-pandemic era? Another relevant question was to know what can consumer brands do to evolve with the changing needs of their target audiences?

Embracing the intangible

The studies show that experience and wellness spending are taking precedence over luxury goods. Consumers from all genders, generations, and cities are shifting their spending habits on the intangible. However, every respondent has shown to adopt their own preferences. We aim to discover how this re-evaluation of lifestyle spending managed to influence each consumer profile? What products and services are the most coveted for each respondent and what spending trends are going to become consistent in the following years?

Read our new report to discover the latest trends in consumer spending and learn what brands can do to keep up with these shifting priorities. 


Mazars Chinese Consumers PDF Document 2021