As the Chinese become more affluent, they are seeking new ways to find balance and enjoyment in their lives.
The need to balance their personal and professional lives is of great concern to China’s young professionals. Sixty-three percent of Chinese surveyed by CNRS said that their lives were “getting really busy” and 44 percent worried that they weren’t taking care of themselves well enough because of their busy lives. Furthermore, nearly 22 percent of China’s total population said that they believed in separating their work and leisure. All of this balance anxiety has led to an uptick in the buzz volume of “Balanced Life” on Chinese microblogs, a 42,275 percent increase between 2011 and 2013.
According to WPP’s 2014 China Consumption Trends study, the hectic modern world is driving many Chinese consumers to exercise, cultivate healthier eating habits, and worry about their carbon footprint. Cars like the new Range Rover Sport, which consumes 22 percent less fuel than its earlier model and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent, are growing in popularity.
“People are buying the concept of a balanced lifestyle,” the study says. “As the Chinese population becomes more affluent, they face ever growing pressures, from competition at work to food scandals and pollution.”
The “Rainbow Clan” lifestyle is also gaining traction in China. This concept refers to a group of people who scrupulously maintain their work-life balance; they “have a healthy diet, do physical exercises regularly, get enough sleep and work with high efficiency.” Items on the online shopping platform Tmall are now being branded for Rainbow Clan members.
China’s growing affluence has also led to the emergence of a foodie culture in China. According to data from CNRS and CIC, 56 percent of Chinese consumers like to try new foods (an increase of 9 percent between 2011 and 2012) and 41 percent of consumers “label themselves as culinary lovers.”
Technology is playing a key role in China’s culinary boom. Popular competitive cooking shows like Master Chef, an overseas sensation that DRAGON TV has reedited for China, have fed Chinese enthusiasm for cuisine, and series like A Bite of China and One City Has Its Own Flavor showcase food across the country. Cookbook and restaurant apps have also spiked in popularity, and make it easier for consumers to prepare meals or pick a good place to eat.