Weet-bix becomes latest Australian product to take China by storm
Australian breakfast staple Weet-Bix is the latest Australian product to attract heavy demand from consumers in China.
The cereal, produced by Sanitarium, was first introduced to the Chinese market in 2008, where it faced initial difficulty competing against traditional Chinese breakfasts.
However, the Chinese market has significantly increased its demand for Weet-Bix since then and China has now become the top export market for Weet-Bix, according to the Australian Financial Review.
Its 1.4 kilogram value packs have been selling for approximately $30 US ($40.50 AUD) on Chinese e-commerce sites at the time of writing.
The increase in demand may represent an acceptance of Weet-Bix as a wheat-based alternative to traditional Chinese breakfast foods such as congee (rice porridge).
This trend presents a significant opportunity for Sanitarium, which has also experienced strong Australian demand, although some of this may actually be from Chinese students and expatriates in Australia selling the Australian product online and supplying the buyers via Chinese e-commerce platforms.
Weet-Bix has also been featured in a popular Chinese drama, which helped provide it with celebrity status.
So far, there have not been issues about privateers causing shortages in Australia, as was the case for infant formula, when retailers in Australia needed to impose their own quantity restrictions on their customers.
Sanitarium believes it is able to meet foreign and domestic demand for Weet-bix, and this may help keep the price stable in Australia.