I n t e g r at e d M a r k e t I n g C o M M u n I C at I o n s , n o rt h w e s t e r n u n I v e r s I t y You Are WHY You Eat A look into the lifestyle, attitudes and snacking behavior of young adults in China Presented to Draft FCB and Kraft August 24, 2009 RepoRt wRitten and pRepaRed by: shaydon arMstrong raChel han andrea kIbler ChunqIng lu elIzabeth wortley instRuctoR: toM hayden
INTRODUCTIONPeople Regard Food as Their HeavenAncient Chinese Proverbsince the days of ancient China, food has been a very important part of life for the Chinesepeople. For centuries meals have created an occasion for families and friends to bondand share their finest foods. the food and ingredients are cut small and they share frommultiple dishes placed in the center of the table. although it is the food that is literallyshared, laughter, toasts and, most importantly, love are also shared in this cherishedbonding experience.In the past, Chinese people only regarded regular meals as food, and the attitude towardsnacking was negative. It has only been within recent years that snacking outside of mealshas become acceptable and part of many Chinese young adults’ lifestyles.young adults emulate a family relationship with their friends through sharing snacks. It isno surprise that Chinese youth, raised in single-child homes, emulate this familial bondingexperience with their friends during social gatherings. to young adults, friends are familyand are literally referred to as “xiong di” and “jie mei”, or brothers and sisters. snackingsituations provide an opportunity for them to care for their “brothers and sisters” as well asto be cared about in return. they are building bonds, bite by bite. Just as food for a family meal is cut small to share, food for snacking must also be shareable. young adults love their “brothers and sisters” and want to share with them the best tastes, packaging and brands available. and although chopsticks and a table may not be present, young adults still pass around their snacks and enjoy the conversation as everyone eats freely. we think the ancient Chinese proverb “People regard Food as their heaven” doesn’t literally mean that food is heaven—but rather the experience of sharing time with loved ones is a form of heaven. recently this “heaven” of sharing time with loved ones has extended into the online world through social networks and chatting programs. young adults are constantly connected with their “brothers and sisters” throughout the day, forging their bonds further. during these online connection times, it is also common for young adults to “munch” (mindless eating) because it reminds them of the times when they are eating with friends and family. i | intRoduction we were asked to explore in depth this munching behavior (mindless eating) of young adults. and what we learned wasn’t just about food, flavors and munching—we learned how vital bonding with and caring for “brothers and sisters” is in a young adults life, and how snacks are a channel for them do this. the report you are about to read details our findings from interviews with 239 young adults in China during July 2009.
You Are WHY You Eat – Some Personal Storiesafter interviewing 239 young adults in China, we think the phrase “you are what you eat”should be changed to “you are why you eat.” eating is so much more than the actual food,time of day or even what the person is doing. what it all boils down to is why young adultsare eating. the following stories came directly out of the research we conducted and arerepresentative of 239 interviews with young adults in China.(Note: Not all interviewees spoke fluent English. The following stories are their true storieswith proper English translation.) sophia the social snacker hi, my name is sophia. I am a 22 year-old english major. My favorite part of campus life is staying up late with my roommates and eating snacks before we go to bed. after a long day of studying, I get together with my friends at 10:00 to eat some freshly cooked Chinese dishes from a local vendor that visits our dorm. we also share fruit, chocolate or tea before we go to bed because it helps us fall asleep. after our late-night snack, it is time for bed and we always turn on the radio and listen to an english channel so that I can learn english better. even though my roommates and I planned to go to bed, we always end up staying up late chatting about what we heard on the radio … did you know that men in america don’t pay for dates? I think men should always pay. In-a-hurry hannah hi, I’m hannah. I am 19 years old and am a finance major. I am very busy with my studies and don’t have a lot of time to eat breakfast, so I have to eat between classes. My classrooms are located throughout campus, so all day long I rush from one building to another. as soon as one class ends, I grab a bag of biscuits from my backpack and eat as fast as I can while running to the next class, and I only have 10 minutes! I buy my biscuits once a week at wal-mart and bring them to class with me because the campus you aRe wHy you eat – some peRsonal stoRies stores are too busy between classes. I barely have time to run to class, let alone time to stop and buy a snack. some of my friends like to stop at the campus store to buy warm, fresh tea eggs and corn and have to wait more than 15 minutes. they are often late to class but think it is worth it to have fresh food. once they are in class, everyone knows they have eaten fresh food because of the delicious smells they bring in with them. sometimes I stop for the fresh food too, but I don’t want to be late to class. I prefer to have the small packages in my backpack so I can just throw it away when I am done. |
won’t-admit-it adamhi, my name is adam and I just started my first year of college. there are three meals aday and snacks aren’t necessary. why eat when you are not hungry?I think girls like to snack because they are afraid of the sun and stay inside all day withnothing better to do. but boys don’t like to eat outside of meals because we are too busyplaying basketball or hanging out with friends. we like to hang out at small Chineserestaurants and eat while we are there—but that is not snacking.at night I like to play world of warcraft on my computer. sometimes I get hungry, but Iam too busy concentrating to do anything about it. If my roommates decide to go to thestore, I always ask them to buy me whatever they are buying. but I will never go and buyit myself. then I will eat whatever they bring back and put near my hand. so I guess thatreally, I only snack when I am lonely or playing on my computer. Pan lu the Pressure releaser hey, my name is Pan lu. I am 16 and am in my junior year of high school. you know, high school life is always filled with text books, homework and endless tests. sometimes I get really bored from hanging out in the same classroom from 7a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. usually after two classes in the morning, I am already tired and kind of hungry. then there is always somebody saying: “let’s eat something!” everybody gets excited and passes around snacks to share. you have to bring something otherwise you will not be invited again. small biscuits, individual packaged chocolate, chips and want want’s salty beans are all welcome. we always try to grab as many as possible. It’s like robbing from our classmates and it’s really fun. the ten minute break is really not long enough so sometimes I will finish the snacks during the first several minutes of the class. It’s probably disrespectful to our teachers but it’s kind of challenging and exciting. after eating snacks, I feel that I can hang on for another two classes. | You Are WHY You Eat – Some Personal Stories binging blair hi, I am blair and am a first year high school student. I commute to school every day. usually I rush to school with my breakfast in my hand in the morning. but the way back home is totally relaxing. I enjoy myself by checking out small shops and eating snacks on the way. along the road there are lots of convenience stores and vendors who sell fresh cooked food. I love eating qq gummies, hao duo yu, spicy bbq meat, smelly tofu, boiled vegetables dipped with sesame and pepper sauce and more on my way home. the way seems shorter when you have something in your mouth. My parents are also cool with me eating after school because they will not be back from work around 7 or 8 and they know I will be hungry. after I go back home, I dive into my homework ocean. Music is on and snacks are in my hand. I eat with my left hand and write with the other. My parents think it is distracting, but I have to have some taste in my mouth. It helps me concentrate.
Connecting Coco My name is Coco. I am 25 and work in finance for a foreign company in shanghai. My work requires me to face the computer all day long. so every night after work I do not want to get online again. but during the weekend I like to chat online with my friends, go shopping to adore myself and huddle in my sofa and watch american tv series such as gossip girl and grey’s anatomy. I like chips, milk tea, seeds and fruits to go with my favorite tv show. It’s really relaxing! during the work days, my colleagues and I love to order delivery in the late morning or late afternoon, usually around 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. we order kFC delivery and the great smell wakes the whole office up! It’s like everybody crawling outside from our caves and joining in the social life. we also share our small snacks with each other. snacking together can easily bridge the gap between colleagues and the snacks can be an easy topic to start the conversation. It’s kind of an office social survival tip.Customary Cui Pinghey, my name is Cui Ping and I am in my final year of life science studies at myuniversity. I think it is bad for your health to snack. when I was little I loved sweet snacks,but now I know it is bad for your teeth and eyes. Instead I eat fruit or drink tea when I amhungry because it is good for your skin.the food in the dining hall isn’t very good so my roommates and I usually eat someinstant noodles or other warm traditional Chinese food at night. Instant noodles are kind | You Are WHY You Eat – Some Personal Storiesof a poison, but we eat it anyway because there is nothing better.Fat young girls like chocolate, but I don’t. hamburgers and chips will turn you into a fatamerican or english person. I don’t like western fast food like Mcdonalds, Pizza hut orkFC and will stick to my traditional Chinese snacks like rice crackers, spicy duck’s neckand sunflower seeds.
The Research Frameworkthe stories you just read clearly demonstrate what is going on in the most commonsnacking situations. there are no real news flashes in these stories, but the goal was touncover insight…insight that would take us deeper into the needs for munching. what we did Context before arriving in shanghai, we started with a global analysis of the snack food industry and consumer trends. we also reviewed relevant existing research and information to guide our work. this helped us to develop hypotheses and questions that we explored while we were in shanghai. Immersion once we arrived in shanghai, we immersed ourselves into the world of young adult snacking and munching. we went to several retail locations to observe the variety of products available and to see who was purchasing them. after we had a good understanding of the market, we targeted several locations throughout shanghai where young adults could be found: • Fudan university • huaihai road • nanjing road • shanghai Museum • People’s square • oriental Pearl • yu yuan garden throughout these locations, we interviewed 239 young adults who gave us their stories. we discussed their lives, values, what makes them happy and how eating is a part of their life. the learning and insights from these interviews will be discussed in the following sections. tHe ReseaRcH FRamewoRk “Chips are for teenagers who want to share the taste with friends; biscuits are for teenagers who easily get hungry to share with their hungry friends.” – Lonn, female, 16, high school student |
Munching Dynamicsto learn more about munching behavior (mindless eating for taste), our team wanted tofirst understand snacking (eating to satisfy hunger). our initial hypothesis was that therewould be a distinct and separate set of foods for munching and snacking in China.From our research, we learned that indeed both of these behaviors clearly exist, butthere is little difference in the foods that are consumed for munching and snacking (seesection “Foods for Munching and/or snacking”). this led us to the question: If the foodsfor munching and snacking are similar, then what is the difference between munching andsnacking?there are three distinguishing characteristics that helped us differentiate munching andsnacking that are centered on the consumer. First we will take a look at the consumerby segment and then the distinguishing factors of daily life, emotional needs andrelationships. these three characteristics by consumer segment determine whether thebehavior is munching or snacking. the Consumer young adults ages 15-28 fall into different phases of life and have different lifestyles. they can’t be treated as one target. a closer look must be taken into each phase of a young adult’s life and how it affects their snacking and munching behavior: • High School Students Munching behavior is very different for high school students (ages 15-18) than for other young adults. high school students in China are under a lot of pressure to prepare for college entrance examinations and spend most of their day at school or at home studying. let’s take a look at their daily life and the emotional need that eating satisfies: day Part daily life emotional need relationships behavior on the way to • hungry • alone • snacking early Morning school • Pressure • share with • Munching release friends • snacking Morning between class • social acceptance • hungry • hungry • share with • snacking | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s afternoon on the way home friends • alone • Concentration • alone • Munching before dinner doing homework • Pressure release watching tv or • bored • alone • Munching after dinner online • lonely
• University Students Munching behavior for university students (18-24) is heavily focused on sharing with classmates, friends and roommates. university students spend most of their day rushing to classes and studying, but enjoy the social life of dormitories and use this moment to connect with their friends. let’s take a look at their daily life and the emotional need that eating satisfies: day Part daily life emotional need relationships behavior • hungry • alone • snackingearly Morning between class • share with friends • Concentration • share with • Munching friends • Pressure • snackingafternoon studying release • alone • hungry • social • share with • Munching watching tv or connections friendsevening online • bored • hungry • share with • snackinglate night before bed friends • Young Professionals Munching behavior for young professionals (22-28) is centered on connecting with colleagues. young professionals spend the majority of their day on their computers and eating with colleagues is a way for them to take a break from work and to socialize. let’s take a look at their daily life and the emotional need that eating satisfies: day Part daily life emotional need relationships behavior Meal replacement • hungry • alone • snacking early Morning for skipped breakfast • social • share with • Munching connections colleagues • snacking late Morning break from work • Pressure release • hungry • social • share with • Munching connections colleagues • snacking late break from work • Pressure | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s afternoon release • hungry • bored • alone • Munching evening watching tv • lonely • share with friends
sharing vs. alonesharing food with friends and colleagues is a large part of Chinese young adults’ lifestylesregardless of their phase of life. the need for relationship building and connecting is acommon thread among all young adults and we wanted to investigate further if there is adifference between the foods that are eaten alone or shared. we found that there is nodifference between the foods that are eaten alone and shared. but young adults like theirshared food to have good presentation. good presentation to young adults means highquality brand, good packaging, food that is not messy and food that is easy to share.“when I am eating alone, a bag will be okay. but when I am sharing with my friends, Iwant it to be in a box so it looks nice.” Purchasing the purchasing of food by young adults (or their parents) is planned in advance and well thought out. although the actual munching behavior is “mindless”, young adults are planning for this moment to occur in advance and purchase the foods that they want for their “munching moments” out of habit or from the recommendation of friends. as discussed above, the consumers’ daily life, emotional needs and relationships will determine whether young adults are munching or snacking. these three factors also determine the purchasing behavior of the food. High School Students . Parents purchase packaged food for high school students in big super markets once a week so their student can bring the food to school Parents know what to buy because: • their child makes a list of snack foods they like. • their child shops with them and tells them what he/she wants. • they buy what they think their child would like out of habit. . High school students purchase: • Fresh cooked food on their way to school as a breakfast replacement. • Packaged food during the class break from school convenient stores. • either packaged food or fresh cooked food (i.e. bbq meat) on their way home from school at local vendors. | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s “I may be interested in several small (individual packs) for on-the-go lifestyle and to share with friends”. “Minis (25 gram pack) are too small to share with my friends.” – RaNae, female, 21
University Students University students purchase: • Packaged food for themselves in big super markets once a week or once every other week and store them in their dorms. • Fresh cooked food or small packaged food on their way to class. • Packaged food in convenience stores inside or around campus. • Fresh cooked food from the vendors waiting outside their dorms late at night.Young ProfessionalsYoung professionals purchase: • Packaged food and fresh munching food such as fruits and vegetables in super markets once a week. • Fresh cooked food on their way to work as breakfast replacement. • order delivery during the late morning or late afternoon. | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s “This size is okay for one, but when my friends are there I would want bigger. I don’t really finish snacks, while my friends finish all of the food!” – Luna, female, 27, Anhui Province
diversity of Munching/snacking FoodsChinese young adults showed a surprisingly diverse preference for snacks throughoutthe interviews. More than 24 different types of snacks were mentioned. It is important tounderstand the diversity of munching/snacking foods as well as the most popular itemsamong Chinese young adults.the chart below shows the different food categories for munching and snacking bypopularity. as you can see, there is a large variety of foods for snacking and munching.Please see the section “Foods for Munching and/or snacking” for more detailedinformation about the top 10 food categories. | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s
Munching DynamicsInsights: The Storiesour team spent hours talking with 239 young adults from all over China. not only did welearn about what they eat, but we learned who they truly were as individuals. and eventhough we heard many different stories, the same themes began to jump out at us storyafter story: relationship building Chinese culture places a lot of emphasis on communities. during each interview, the young adults never talked just about themselves. they always talked about their relationships with parents, friends, classmates, roommates, colleagues and more. the need for relationships and connecting was the common thread among all young adults munching behavior. even though our conversations were directed at what, when and why they eat, all of the young adults chose to focus on the relationships in their lives and how eating together relieves stress and provides social acceptance. and while there are times that young adults do munch alone, it is because they are lonely and bored. they want that social connection that munching and eating reminds them of and provides. need to give and receive attention young adults want to be noticed and cared about. eating situations provide an opportunity for them to care for friends and for them to be cared about in return. this need to give and receive attention also extends into the online and virtual world. the section “how to reach young adults” provides deeper understanding on this insight and discusses the ways that young adults are connecting with each other. “I remember when I was in high school and time was limited for me, so I usually brought snacks like biscuits to class to share with friends and eat during the class break.” “It is so boring to be without Facebook, because I am addicted. We’re addicted because we are glad that we’re paid attention to by someone else.” | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s “I am a graduate student and rarely have any free time. But whenever I have free time I want to hang out with my friends and chat.” – Catherine Zhou, female, 23, graduate student in Life Science 0
western Culture adoption young adults who are more accepting of western culture (kFC, Pizza hut, etc.) are also more likely to prefer sweet foods. For example, we interviewed several young adults who studied abroad in the u.k. or u.s. and they preferred to eat chocolate, ice cream and cakes for their snacks. we also interviewed young adults from shanxi and hubei Provinces in western China, and they preferred traditional spicy or salty Chinese snacks. they also thought western food and snacks were unhealthy and fattening. “I don’t like sweet snacks. But if it’s combined with sour or spicy taste, then it’s okay. I prefer Chicken claws and potatoes rather than processed snacks.” “Chips are for Western (lifestyle) people and young kids who like McDonald’s.”sweet = Fatyoung adults believe that anything sweet will make them fat. Most female young adultswere highly concerned about their weight and said they avoided anything sweet.however, once questioned further they did admit to eating and enjoying sweet snacks likebiscuits and chocolate.“Sometimes I will also eat sweets, but not often because sweet makes you fat.”“Chocolates are for fat people—Americans and English.”“Chocolate and ice cream are for people who are fat.”Males say they don’t snackall males that we interviewed said that they don’t eat outside of meals. however, aswe questioned further they did admit to eating if something was put in front of them orprovided by a friend. they also believed that snacking and munching was for females.“Girls often don’t like sports and just eat snacks to kill time. They are also afraidof the sunshine and prefer to stay inside and just eat them while they are inside.”“There is not motivation for me; I just don’t like to snack.” | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s“Snacking is not healthy or nutritious.”“I don’t snack between lunch and dinner because snacks are for ladies. Men liketo smoke instead.”
regional differences and seasonalitythroughout the interviews, regional differences and the weather patterns played a strongrole in snack choices. young adults from western China preferred spicy and salty snacks,while those from eastern Coastal China were more open to different flavored snacks aswell as foreign snacks.snacks choices are also different during the winter and summer. Many young adultsthought chips and biscuits were too dry for the summer, but would eat them during thewinter. Fruit and ice cream are consumed more during the summer, while seeds andchocolate are consumed more during the winter and Chinese new year.“In my hometown, we have spicy food because of the wet weather in the mountains.”“I eat a lot of fruits during the summer, especially watermelon.”“I eat chocolate during the winter.”“In Chinese new year, seeds will have more consumption.” | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s “I like to switch to different flavors because I get bored with same flavor. After I eat sweets, I want something spicy.” – Guihua Liu, female, 21
Munching DynamicsInsights: The Foods for Munching and/or SnackingMunching and snacking is not as clean cut and differentiated as our original hypothesissuggested. the following list is the top 10 snack foods for young adults, which wascreated by analyzing all interview responses with the use of excel. you will see that thereis much overlap of the actual foods that are eaten for munching and snacking. this listincludes when, where and why each snack food is consumed as well as what categorythe food falls into for munching and/or snacking. top 10 snack Foods in China . Chips: Munching Chips are the most popular snack food among young adults in China and are eaten in the afternoon and evening. young adults watch tv and movies, play games on the computer or are online when they eat chips. Most young adults said they would share chips with their friends. Chips are eaten because they taste good, out of habit and because they are craved not because young adults are hungry. Chips make young adults feel happy and give their mouth some exercise. . Chocolate: Munching and Snacking Chocolate is the second most popular snack food and is eaten after lunch, in the afternoon or after dinner. Chocolate is eaten when young adults are bored, sad or when they are hungry. Chocolate makes young adults feel happy, relaxed and satisfied. . Fruit: Munching and Snacking Fruit is the third most popular snack food in China and is eaten throughout the entire day (morning, afternoon and evening). Fruit is eaten in a variety of situations; while watching tv, with friends, alone, online and in the summer time. Fruit makes young adults feel happy and healthy. Fruit is eaten when young adults are hungry or when they want the taste. . Seeds and Nuts: Munching and Snacking seeds are eaten after dinner while young adults watch tv and movies, play games, surf the Internet, when they are on-the-go or when they are bored. young adults crave seeds out of habit and like them because seeds don’t affect their regular meals. nuts are eaten throughout the entire day (morning, afternoon and evening) because they are healthy and provide energy. nuts are not eaten for hunger but when young adults are bored or are doing homework. | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s . Biscuits: Munching and Snacking biscuits are the fifth most popular snack food among young adults in China. biscuits are primarily eaten in the morning, between classes or in the afternoon when they are hungry or as a meal replacement. biscuits are often shared with friends or eaten alone on-the-go to provide energy. biscuits make young adults feel happy. sometimes biscuits are also eaten in the evening while young adults are watching tv, doing homework or when they are lonely and bored.
. Ice Cream: Munching and SnackingIce cream is the sixth most popular snack food among Chinese young adults(note: seasonality should be considered as interviews took place during thesummer of 2009). Ice cream is consumed usually during the afternoon andevening. young adults eat it for its taste and the happy feeling afterwards;however, it is sometimes eaten as a meal replacement. they also share icecream with their friends.. Salty and Spicy Snacks: Munchingsalty and spicy snacks are the seventh most popular snack foodsin China and are consumed during the afternoon and night.salty and spicy snacks include dried meat, dried fruit and spicyrice crackers. young adults eat salty and/or spicy snacks whilewatching tv, playing games online and after eating sweet snacks.young adults eat salty and spicy snacks for its taste or just asmouth exercise. another reason young adults enjoy salty andspicy snacks is because it will not make their tongue numb evenafter eating a lot.. Traditional Chinese Food: Munching and Snackingtraditional Chinese food such as bao, dumplings, instantnoodles and tea eggs are ranked as the eighth most popularsnacks among Chinese young adults. they are consumed duringany time of the day for hunger and taste. they are loved because they are tasty, warm,freshly cooked and healthy. traditional Chinese foods are easily accessible on or nearcampus enabling young adults to purchase them.. Cakes: Munching and SnackingCakes, such as cheesecake and chocolate, are the ninth most popular snack food amongChinese young adults. Cakes are commonly consumed during the night for taste andhunger.0. Drinks: Munching and Snackingdrinks, including milk tea, bottled ice tea, coffee and milk, are the tenth mostpopular snack food among young adults in China. they are consumed mostly inthe afternoon but also in the morning, evening or between classes. young adultsconsume drinks for the taste or hunger, as a habit or to go with some other snacks. | m u n c H i n g dy n a m i c s
Reaching Young AdultsInternet, tv, word of mouth, magazine, newspaper, radio and mobile are the mostwidely used information sources for young adults. additionally, celebrities from China,taiwan, hong kong and korea and american tv shows are also an important part ofyoung adults’ life. where, when and how young adults get their information and whatbehavior they show while receiving information will influence their munching behavior.below we will discuss each information source, how young adults use them and what rolecelebrities play in young adults’ life.Internetthe different life stage young adults are in also determines their usage of Internet. highschool students use the Internet after school for fun or to study. university students usethe Internet in no-class-daytime and largely during the night. the Internet is their mostimportant source for information and channel of indulgence. young professionals use theInternet during the day for work, in the evening and weekend for fun. • Chatting young adults interviewed showed similar patterns of Internet usage regardless of what stage of life they were in. Chatting with friends in qq and/or Msn is the most common behavior mentioned. young adults in their earlier life stages (i.e. high school) use qq more than Msn. as they get into the more professional life stages (i.e. university students and young professionals), young adults prefer Msn more than qq because it is allowed in the work place. however they will keep qq to get in touch with old friends and classmates. “I use both because some of my friends are using either QQ and others are using MSN and I want to get in touch with all of them.” “I use MSN because QQ is banned in my working place, but MSN is not.” • Movies and TV watching movies and/or tv programs online is also popular among young adults, especially with university students. the dorms in campus are usually not furnished with tv sets so university students watch movies and tv online instead. some free programs, such as PPstream and PPlive, and some video watching web sites, such astoudou.com and yuku.com, allow audiences to watch shows for free. young adults usually watch movies and tv programs online during the night and weekends. | R e a c H i n g y o u n g a d u lt s “While watching TV or on the computer I eat all kinds of things. Some chips because I am bored and want some movement of the mouth. There isn’t a reason why, it is just my habit. Also, when I find something that tastes good I continue to eat it.”
• Social Networks online social networking is also a very important part of young adults’ life. Xiaonei.com, Facebook.com, kaixin.com and qq space are commonly used among Chinese young adults. Chinese young adults pay great attention to friends and communities. they share their pictures, articles and videos, play interactive games with friends and check their friends’ status throughout the day. “It is so boring to be without Facebook, because I am addicted. We’re addicted because we are glad that we’re paid attention to by someone else.”• Games a lot of the time that young adults spend on the Internet is devoted to online gaming in the evening. Males spend more time playing games online than females and prefer war games such as world of warcraft and Counter strike. Females prefer games on qq and Msn such as “happy Farm” with cute graphics. “One of my friend’s mothers even plays ‘The Happy Farm’ game. But these games have a time limit on when you can collect other people’s crops. So she had to get up really early everyday to make sure the plants didn’t die. It was so funny! But it isn’t about the game itself. It is because you are playing with other people that makes it so fun. “• News gathering information such as news and gossip is the fifth most popular function of Internet among young adults. sina.com, sohu.com and Xinhua.com are some commonly mentioned news web sites and douban.com is the most popular product evaluation web site among young adults.• Study studying and research are important functions for both students and young professionals. students and young professionals use local area networks and public search engines, such as baidu.com and google.com, to research for their studies and work.• Blogs sina.com is the most commonly used web site for blogging and it contains millions of blogs not only from common citizens but also from celebrities. | R e a c H i n g y o u n g a d u lt s “If I didn’t have my computer or phone, then I would write to express my emotions. Computers help express my emotions because I can communicate with others.”• Music Music web sites such as 9sky.com allows users listen to music online and download music for free.• Shopping shopping web sites such as taobao.com and dangdang.com are widely used for online shopping among young adults.
tv and Moviestv and movies were ranked as the second most widely used information source amongChinese young adults. For high school students and some young professionals, tv setsare usually available in their home. high school students watch news at dinner timewith their parents. young professionals watch news, travel programs and entertainmentprograms during the night and weekend. For university students and young professionalswithout tv sets, laptops and computers are used as a replacement for tv.young adults watch a variety of western, korean and taiwan tv series. some popular tvseries include: Prison break, desperate housewives, gossip girl and Friends. the chartbelow shows the breakout of popular tv shows and was created using responses fromthe interviews: | R e a c H i n g y o u n g a d u lt s “The life without Internet is boring, but I could get used to it if there was TV. The life without TV is like the life without light. I would die.”
word of MouthChatting with friends, classmates, co-workers and families is the third most popularinformation source. the chat can either be face-to-face or online with qq and Msn.recent national and worldwide news, gossip about celebrities, fashion, food and clothingare discussed during chats. young adults also like to talk about popular food and drinks.Product evaluation web sites such as douban.com and dianping.com also play a channelfor word of mouth. word of mouth information from friends and web sites has a stronginfluence over young adults’ purchase behavior.MagazinesMagazines are a surprisingly large information source for Chinese young adults.Magazines related to fashion, gossip and pop stars, sports, studies, lifestyle and articlesare widely read. some of the most popular magazines include vivi, rayli, CoolMusic,slam dunk and reader. young adults buy magazines from newsstands and conveniencestores and share them with friends. Magazines are primarily read during the lateafternoon in the school library (university students) or at home (high school students).“My friends and I always buy expensive magazines and then share them. They getpassed around to so many friends that the magazines get lost and we have to buymore. Eventually we find them when we are packing to move out of our dorms!”newspapernewspapers are the fifth most popular information source among Chinese young adults.high school students read newspapers for their studies. one example is 21st Century,an english study newspaper. university and young professionals read more diversenewspapers that are related to their studies, industry or for entertainment.radioMost high school and university students listen to the radio every night before goingto bed to help them sleep with music and english channels being the most popular.high school students also like to listen to music on MP3 players while going to andfrom school each day. For young professionals, radio is primarily listened to during themorning and while commuting to and from work. | R e a c H i n g y o u n g a d u lt s “I would rather die than be without computer, TV and books! It is so important to keep yourself up to date on what is going on in the world around you.” – Bijie Li, female, 23
MobileMobile phone use is extremely popular with young adults in China. It was easy to seehow important mobile phones are to young adults because most of them had a mobile intheir hand during our interview. besides using their mobiles for calls and text messages,most young adults use their mobile to access the internet for qq and games. they alsolike to download e-books and read them on their mobile devises.“If I didn’t have my phone, it would be like I am losing my heart! It is ‘myprecious’ [Lord of the Rings]. I can’t take my PC everywhere, but I can take mycell phone.”CelebritiesCelebrities are very influential in China, particularly with high school and universitystudents. Most young adults said they would buy something or pay attention to anadvertisement if it had something to do with one of their favorite celebrities. below is alist of the most popular celebrities listed during the interviews: China/taiwan/hk korea us/uk wang Xinling dongbangshinki tom Cruise zhang shaohan lee Jun ki harry Potter Xu Jinglei kim hyun Joong wentworth Miller zhao wei super Junior Jing boran song hae kyo wang Fei liu yu Fei lunhai lin zhiyin Maggie q | R e a c H i n g y o u n g a d u lt s
advertisementsonline, magazine and tv advertisements seem to have the most influence on young adults.while many young adults say they skip or ignore advertisements, the following list detailsadvertisements that are enjoyed: • Cosmetic and Fashion Cosmetic and fashion advertisements are very appealing to all females. they enjoy reading about new trends and products. they like cosmetic advertisements to have nice colors and imagery. • Celebrities advertisements with celebrities are highly noticed by all young adults and many said that is the largest factor for them to pay attention to the advertisement. • Placement advertisements placed at the beginning or end of a magazine were said to be more noticed by young adults. • TV Advertisements It is important to young adults to see an advertisement on tv for a product. young adults associate a tv advertisement with a quality brand that can afford to advertise. “I wouldn’t buy a product if it didn’t have advertisement on TV. This is because I don’t trust it unless I know the company has the power to do advertising.” “I love to play games on my computer like Counter Strike and World of Warcraft. But there are a lot of ads on the platform that I use to access the games and I don’t like it. I never click on them.” activities young adults are extremely busy with their studies or career and have little time to pursue and enjoy hobbies. the following list details activities that young adults enjoy outside of school or work. you will notice that the majority of these activities are centered on friends and relationships and spending time with others: • shopping • ktv 0 | R e a c H i n g y o u n g a d u lt s • nba • traveling • sports (basketball, swimming, football, badminton, jogging) • hanging out with friends • Playing games • eating with friends
Summaryso let’s summarize what we’ve learned so far: 1. A clear line does not exist between munching and snacking foods. there is much overlap of the actual foods that are eaten for munching and snacking. 2. Munching and snacking behavior is determined by daily life, emotional needs and relationships. young adults are in different phases of life and can’t be treated as one target because their munching and snacking moments are different. 3. Young adults like to share snacks with friends. Sharing relieves stress and provides social acceptance. sharing moments provide an opportunity for them to care for friends and for them to be cared about. 4. Presentation of shared snacks is important. while there is little difference between the foods that are eaten alone or shared, young adults want good presentation when they share: quality brand, good packaging, food that is not messy and food that is easy to share. 5. Young adults plan for mindless munching. although the actual munching behavior is “mindless”, young adults plan for this moment to occur and purchase food out of habit or because of a friend’s recommendation. 6. Girls snack more than boys. outside of meals, boys consistently said they don’t snack. however, in the evening they may eat something that is put in front of them or provided by a friend. 7. Connecting and hanging out with friends is vital. young adults are extremely busy with their studies or career; however they use social networks, mobiles and chatting to constantly stay in touch throughout the day. additionally, they spend their rare leisure time with their friends. now that we know all about young adults, where do kraft minis fit in the munching and snacking picture? the following section “a strategy for Moving Forward with Minis” will explain how and where minis will fit with young adults’ lifestyle. “I stay at home with friends on the sofa and we watch DVDs for three hours. Everyone brings snacks to eat and we never stop! My parents buy chips for us | s u m m a R y and I offer drinks.” – Miley , female, 16, high school student
A Strategy for Moving Forward with MinisWhat do we really want to happen?we want young, female high school and university students to have a unique, fun and tastyexperience during and following their school days.What’s stopping that from happening?aside from the fact that minis do not yet exist in China, these young women may notperceive minis to be different from the regular sized products. they simply might viewminis the same way they view the original forms. In addition, there are many competitiveproducts that young women already like to eat and share.Who are we reaching out to?we are reaching out to female teens and young women, ages 15-24, who are high schoolor university students. these groups snack more than males, and expressed a higher levelof interest in the form and taste of minis. additionally, their status as students providesperfect snacking occasions every day, between and following classes.What is the insight?school life for a young woman in China is intense, with little time to relax. days are filledwith classes, exams, projects and homework. Minis are perfect for a mini break, thesharing of snacks with friends. to these young women, friends are family, and they allenjoy occasions to share with those they are close to.Food isn’t the only thing that gets shared during a mini break. gossip,laughter, fashion tips, entertainment and complaints get shared as well.BenefitMinis’ convenient packaging and bite-sized pieces provide and easy andtasty way for groups of young women to briefly escape from the pressureand demands of school.Why believe? | a s t R at e g y F o R m o v i n g F o R w a R dthe sharing of food with friends emulates a family relationship, wherepeople are trusted and loved. It is no surprise that Chinese youth, raisedin single-child homes, emulate this familial bonding experience with theirfriends during social gatherings. regular sized biscuits are too fillingto be enjoyed in many situations. they are too awkward to share sincethey must be broken into pieces, creating somewhat of a mess. Minis fitperfectly into a mini break, because they taste good, and because theirsize and form are more convenient for sharing.