Let’s face it, parenting is serious business, but in China is definitely harder than in many other countries. Traditionally, young married couples are expected to have children by the age of 25 and are usually caught between parents eager to see their newborn grandchildren, and a job market offering the best opportunities in first-tier cities along the coast, usually far away from home. However, if we look closely to the consumers, we can see two main strains: a segment who now cherishes independence and autonomy from “family pressure”, therefore remaining single and adopting a pet; a second segment who opted for a “modern” version of parenthood, one that aims at finding a balance between family and their own passions or careers.
1. Chinese Consumers: Super Moms and Super Dads
Called Super Moms and Super Dads, those parents, usually born from mid- 80’s and early 90’s, are very careful on their children lifestyle and wellness without renouncing to their own life.
These new generations of moms and dads want to see their children prosper, and to do so they usually spend their hard-earned money on the best nutritious, toys and educational packages to provide their offspring all the care and support they can give them. By doing so, they seek to give them an edge over other kids to better prepare them for the challenges of adulthood. At the same time, these couples understand the importance of their self-independence and wellbeing, thus sticking to their hobbies, new fashions and fitness routines.
2. Consumption habits
As a recent report from Alarice pointed out, many families devote to their children around 1000 – 5000 RMB per month. If we take into consideration the average salaries of post 85’s and post 90’s moms, usually set between either 3–5K RMB and 5–10K RMB (CBNData, in Chinese), we can see that purchases for childcare products already takes up a big chunk of their incomes.
This happens because modern moms are now much more aware of the harms of low-quality products and will weigh low prices against the long-term effects of these products on their children, orienting parents towards premium brands.
At the same time, dads are also a growing segment of the market, as they are becoming more and more involved with the growth of their children compared to previous years. Super dads now participate to the purchasing journey of childcare products together with their spouses, but still want to remain “up to date” with the latest trends in fashion, and dedicate their free time to fitness activities and work-out (iResearch, in Chinese).
3. New opportunities for local and international brands
Brands should keep in mind that these 2.0 parents are also tech savvy consumers, hence social media and e-commerce are the key to open up this market. Social media, and WeChat mostly, are used to share opinions, discuss about common questions related to parenthood and children, and to gather precious intel through mostly articles and short videos.
Super moms and super dads tend to be much more prone to listen to what the net has to teach them rather than asking suggestions from their parents. Online, they usually stick to what their friends tell them, or to experts’ opinions, while also using parenting and mother & baby apps.
E-commerce is the preferred choice when it comes to purchases, as online channels allow easier access to international brands. In particular, cross-border e-commerce can help brands working in this industry to export their products to China without going through the standard procedures of general trade, such as infant formula for example.
Chinese parents are shifting their behaviors to strike a balance between kids and their own interests. One thing is certain: this new consumer group is growing and the key to their heart goes through online platforms.
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