What you need to know

The retail market for cooking oil in China has continued to grow year on year in both volume and value over 2015-19. The growth is largely driven by the upgraded demand for healthy and premium products.

The COVID-19 outbreak which resulted in the shift from dining out to cooking at home has benefited the home consumption of cooking oil. The expanded cooking population across young generations and increase in home cooking frequency have accelerated the growth in the retail market. Although special attention to healthy eating may help consumers to keep the habit of home cooking, the rising health awareness will also change their cooking and dining habits as well as their choices of cooking oil. It’s important for brands to upgrade their product portfolio by focusing on healthy oil types and cater to the changes in cooking habits.

Covered in this Report

This Report looks at consumers’ purchase and consumption habits of cooking oils, and their general attitudes towards and perceptions of cooking oils.

Mintel defines the cooking oil market as any oils which are used in food preparation derived from plants. This market covers packaged olive, sunflower seed, soybean, rapeseed, corn/maize (germ) and other cooking and edible oils. Market size is based on retail sales; market volume is based on tonnes of consumption.


  • Unpackaged retail, Horeca and any supplies to the food/other industries

  • Prepared salad dressings

  • Totally solid and/or animal fat


For the purpose of this Report, Mintel uses the term ‘major oil type’ to refer to conventional mainstream cooking oil products including soybean oil, blended oil, rapeseed oil, corn/maize oil, peanut oil and sunflower seed oil, and ‘niche oil type’ to refer to those products that are less mainstream including but not limited to olive oil, linseed oil, walnut oil, tea seed oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.

Mintel divides consumers into three groups based on their Monthly Household Income.

  • High household income is defined as MHI above RMB18,000 in tier one cities, or above RMB16,000 in tier two cities or below;

  • Middle household income is defined as MHI of RMB10,000-18,000 in tier one cities, or RMB9,000-16,000 in tier two cities or below;

  • Low household income is defined as MHI of RMB6,000-10,000 in tier one cities, or RMB5,000-9,000 in tier two cities or below.

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