Rapid rise of Asian middle class to revamp global food systems | U.S. Grains Council

The sophisticated food demands of newly affluent consumers in China and other developing nations are likely to cause major change in U.S. farming and food production, Asian food policy and world trade, according to Food 2040, a new study of emerging food trends in Asia by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

  • Friday, February 24, 2012 7:41pm
  • Business

The sophisticated food demands of newly affluent consumers in China and other developing nations are likely to cause major change in U.S. farming and food production, Asian food policy and world trade, according to Food 2040, a new study of emerging food trends in Asia by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

USGC President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas C. Dorr presented a preview of Food 2040 today at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum.

“Growing affluence in China could change people’s diets and the global food system. Consumers will expect more choice, quality, convenience and safety in their food purchases,” Dorr said.

Food 2040 also reveals important implications for agricultural trade policy between the United States and Asian nations. “We are seeing China become more open to acceptance of new technology, such as agricultural biotechnology, which can help meet the needs of the Asian middle class in a sustainable manner through trade,” Dorr said.

U.S. attitudes about feeding the world are likely to change too. “Many of the agribusinesses and agricultural organizations that comprise the U.S. Grains Council are starting to review possibilities for meeting the needs and capturing the economic value that ascendency of the Asian middle class represents,” said USGC Chairman Dr. Wendell Shauman, an Illinois corn farmer and member of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. “Working together with trading partners around the world to understand emerging trends, we can use a convergence of science, technology and policy reform to meet changing food demands and capture the economic potential of new Asian consumers.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is assisting the Council with the launch of Food 2040 in Japan. “Japan and the United States are longstanding trading partners, and we understand each other well. Now, our two nations must learn more about China and develop an understanding of how this emerging mega-market will influence the global food system and our two nations’ participation in it,” said Geoffrey Wiggin, USDA’s FAS Minister-Counselor in Tokyo.

Food 2040 outlines the following possibilities for significant change in the global food system.

GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEMS RESTRUCTURED TO SUIT CHINA’S MIDDLE CLASS

China is the world’s fastest growing economy, and because of the sheer size of its population, Chinese demand will reshape the global food industry over the next 20 years. Although India is expected to surpass China in population numbers, China is likely to remain the dominant economy within the timeframe of Food 2040.

CHINA AS WORLD BIOSCIENCE LEADER

Agricultural biotechnology may no longer be dominated by U.S. technology. China is on a path to global bioscience leadership, driven by major central government investments to meet its own food needs and a desire to be an export leader.

NEW ASIAN SYSTEM OF FOOD SAFETY

Asia does not yet have a well-developed food safety and inspection system, but this could change through use of 21st-century nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and logistics systems.

FOOD AS A SERVICE

By 2040, 70 percent of consumer food expenditures in Japan will go toward foods prepared outside the home, and China is likely to adopt Japan’s rapid acceptance of foods prepared outside the home.

FOOD AS A SERVICE

Food 2040 envisions a proliferation of specialty markets and product differentiation in Asia. This is not a new concept for the United States, where the average U.S. supermarket carries almost 40,000 items, but when four billion people around the world with very different cultures and diets begin to enjoy that degree of consumer choice it will significantly affect global food production, processing and distribution systems.

 

[flipp]

More in Business

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Page Carson Foster. Photo credit Washington State Legislative Support Services
Carson Foster serves as page in Washington State House

The following was submitted to the Reporter: Carson Foster, a student at… Continue reading

Microsoft has expanded their AccountGuard service to 12 new European Countries. Yellow: European countries already protected. Blue: European countries now protected. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Microsoft warns of hacking ahead of elections

Launching defense services in Europe.

Praerit Garg joins Smartsheet as CTO

Bellevue-based company employs 760 people

OfferUp founder Nick Huzar makes customer safety a core pillar

Bellevue-based CEO wanted a simpler solution to his own problems

Photo by Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr
Puget Sound companies join to create middle-income housing

Several are the same companies that opposed Seattle’s head tax last year.

Washington to begin collecting sales tax from out-of-state sellers

On Aug. 3 the Washington Department of Revenue said it will require some out-of-state retailers to begin collecting sales tax.

Seattle’s Misstep highlights need for new approach

Last week, Seattle’s City Council did an “about face” revoking the onerous… Continue reading

Hotel Interurban is now open

This is Tukwila’s first boutique hotel in over 20 years and offers 185 hotel rooms.

PCC Community Markets brings first certified organic grocery to Burien

The grand opening for the new market in is May 23 and is the first PCC store south of Seattle.

The exterior of Hotel Interurban. Courtesy photo.
Hotel Interurban is accepting reservations for spring 2018

Tukwila’s first boutique hotel in over 20 years will feature local artists, dynamic meeting and event spaces.

Boeing held an event to celebrate the production of the 10,000th 737 jetliner. The Southwest airplane was displayed at the Renton plant on March 13. Leah Abraham, Renton Reporter
Celebrating the 10,000th 737

Boeing has reached a significant milestone — its 10,000th 737 jetliner. Hundreds… Continue reading

Raina Labrum plays with her dog, Riven, right, as well as Daisy, center, and Poby, left, at Piper’s Playground indoor dog park in Federal Way. Heidi Sanders, the Mirror
Piper’s Playground offers indoor play space for dogs

The first Federal Way indoor dog park opened Jan. 18.