The Westernization of the Asian Diet

In emerging countries, the economic growth results in the rise of a new middle class. A change of diet is the first change that takes place when the standard of living increases. Rapid economic and income growth in Asia, along with urbanization and globalization, have led to a dramatic shift of Asian diets away from affordable staples to animal protein, dairy, fruit and vegetables.


Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ study on Agriculture towards the year 2015/2030 indicates that the trends in international trade of food, which have seen developing countries turn from net exporters to net importers of food commodities, are expected to continue in the future.

The dietary pattern of the Chinese population has changed (over the last twenty years). People’s diets have become more westernized, especially in larger and medium sized cities. The rapid increase in China’s consumption of both corn and soybeans is due, in part, to a growing middle class that is already larger than the entire U.S. population. Greater disposable wealth has resulted in more animal protein in the Chinese diet, meaning larger livestock herds that require a lot more feed grain.

The U.S. a longstanding global corn exporter, and in the past 10 years has also become a major meat exporter. Whether China ultimately chooses to import more corn, more fresh meat, or balance the two – U.S. agriculture will be poised to capitalize on the increase in these exports. As an example, Port Miami has a number of infrastructure projects in development, to serve as a transshipment hub when Asian trade is dropped at Port Miami and then quickly trans-loaded. The infrastructure changes being made at the port with Florida East Coast Railway will increase the flow of goods up North (as stated in an earlier PIERS blog).

Port Miami is actively working with the largest exporters to China, to re-fill Asia-bound containers filled with many different kinds of products. Some include:

  • Soybeans
  • Grain
  • Scrap metal
  • Paper
  • Resins
  • Frozen poultry
  • U.S.-manufactured automobiles
  • Raw-baled cotton
  • Alternative fuels

How do you plan to keep an eye on new trade developments to China? PIERS offers comprehensive coverage of U.S. waterborne exports to China.  Register for a free demo and a solutions expert will show you how PIERS trade intelligence can assist your business.


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One Response to “The Westernization of the Asian Diet”

  1. Preserve Perishables in Reefer Containers | PIERS Says:

    […] stated in an earlier PIERS blog, the world is experiencing global economic growth. Regions with emerging economies (such as Asia, […]

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