Hong Kong food service sector recorded healthy growth in 2011, with restaurant receipts reaching US$11.5 billion.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: HK1208
Food Service - Hotel Restaurant Institutional
HRI Food Service Sector
Hong Kong food service sector recorded healthy growth in 2011, with restaurant receipts reaching
US$11.5 billion, an increase of 6.4% over 2010. Hong Kong imports of high value food products
from the U.S. reached US$3.3 billion in 2011, consolidating its position as the leading food supplier
to Hong Kong. It is expected that Hong Kong will maintain its position as one of the top 5 markets
for U.S. consumer ready food products in 2012 as it continues to be a major buying center and
transshipment point for other markets in the region. Economic growth in Hong Kong is forecast to
be 2% in 2012. Post expects that U.S. products will continue to fair well due to competitive prices
and consumer confidence in the quality and safety of U.S. products.
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SECTION I. HONG KONG MARKET PROFILE
HRI Food Service Sector
Hong Kong restaurant industry?s purchases of over US$4.2 billion in foods and beverages
generated sales of over US$11.5 billion in 2011. This represented an increase of 10.9% and
6.4%respectively over 2010. It is expected that restaurant purchases and receipts will continue to
grow in 2012.
Table 1 ? Hong Kong Restaurants Receipts and Purchases (US$ Billion)
2010 2011 Growth (11 vs 10)
Restaurant Receipts 10.8 11.5 6.4%
Restaurant Purchases 3.7 4.2 10.9%
(Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department)
As Asia?s most cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong boasts around 13,910 restaurants serving a wide
range of world cuisines. These restaurants are comprised of 37% Chinese, 55% non-Chinese
restaurants, and 8% fast food outlets. In addition, there are over 1,000 bars, pubs and other
eating and drinking establishments.
Chinese restaurants: Chinese restaurants are popular among local citizens and tourists.
There are a variety of Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong serving different regional cuisines:
Canton, Shanghai, Beijing, Sichuan?etc. A typical lunch at a nice Chinese restaurant costs
around HK$150-300 (US$19.23-38.46) per person and a typical dinner costs around
HK$200-450 (US$25.64-57.69) per person.
Non-Chinese restaurants: Many Hong Kong consumers enjoy western food, as do the
over 41 million tourists (in 2011). 5-Star and other high-end western restaurants are as
likely to be patronized by locals as tourists/visitors. Japanese food, fast food chains, coffee
houses and casual dining establishments are also increasing their presence. A typical lunch
at a western restaurant costs around HK$150-350 (US$19.23-44.87) per person and a
typical dinner costs around HK$250-500 (US$32.05-64.10) per person.
Fast food outlets: Fast food outlets are popular among Hong Kong consumers. The most
popular fast food chains in Hong Kong are McDonald?s, KFC and Pizza Hut. There are also
some large local fast food chains such as Café De Coral, Maxim?s and Fairwood that serve
both Chinese and western foods. Competition among fast food chains is intense, as they
each try to keep meal prices competitive. The average cost is around HK$30 (US$3.85) for
breakfast, HK$50 (US$6.41) for lunch, HK$25 (US$3.21) for afternoon tea and HK$70
(US$8.97) for dinner. To further meet competition, many fast food operators have
renovated their outlets to make them look more modern, spacious and attractive. To meet
the demand of a growing number of health-conscious customers, fast food chains have also
introduced more new ingredients and developed healthy-food options such as salads, fruits,
and fresh juices.
Coffee Shops: The coffee shop market continues to grow in Hong Kong?s commercial
areas. The two largest coffee house outlets are Starbucks ? operating 115 outlets and
Pacific Coffee 110 outlets. Most shops also offer basic menus consisting of muffins,
pastries, cakes, sandwiches, and bottled beverages (juices and water). McDonald?s has
also vigorously expanded its McCafe in order to gain share in this growing market. Of its
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232 outlets, 77 include a McCafe inside their shops.
Growing Trend ? Healthy Eating: Hong Kong?s food culture is ?fresh?. Consumer
preference for fresh and live products is due to tradition, as well as concern about food
safety. Hong Kong consumers are increasingly health conscious. Hong Kong has over 50
small to medium size health food stores. The two leading supermarket chains (Wellcome
and ParknShop) and drug store chains (Manning?s and Watson?s) also sell natural/organic
products at their outlets. The growth of ?Mix? ? a juice bar that also serves food is a good
example of a successful ?healthy? restaurant chain. Organic foods are also gaining
popularity as evidenced by the growth of specialized retail outlets for organic foods. There
is increasing opportunity for U.S. products and ingredients in this sector.
Table 2 ? Hotels, Hostels and Guesthouses in Hong Kong
2010 2011 Growth
Number of hotels/guesthouses 794 826 +4%
Number of rooms 66,354 68,404 +3%
Room occupancy rate 87% 89% -
(Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department)
According to latest Hong Kong Tourism Board statistics, tourists spent more than US$1.9
billion on food and beverages in 2010 and it is expected the spending in 2011 was in the
region of US$2.5 billion.
Many five-star hotels serve U.S. beef, chicken, turkey, pork, eggs, fish and seafood
products, fruits and vegetables, processed products and beverages.
The Hong Kong Government (HKG) provides a searchable list of licensed Hotels & Guest
A list of Hong Kong hotels are available at:
Institutions like schools, hospitals, and airlines are served by a small number of large
catering groups who are generally affiliated with the restaurant sector. These caterers
mainly source their ingredients from China where supplies are cheaper and more
abundant. They also use ingredients from other countries such as the U.S. when they
cannot find the same products in China, or when they want to use products with better
quality and taste.
Schools: School regulators prohibit primary and lower secondary students from eating out.
Students therefore either pack their lunch boxes or subscribe to a school lunch box
program. According to the latest statistics (academic year 2010/2011) of the Education
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Bureau, there are 572 primary schools and 533 secondary schools. The total number of
primary students and lower secondary students amounted to 331,112 and 223,177
respectively. About 70 percent of students buy lunch at schools. A typical lunch box
consists of meat, rice and some cooked vegetables. The annual turnover is estimated at
US$250 million. Healthy eating programs are underway to encourage a change in eating
trends for schools. Caterers have to register with the Hong Kong Food and Environmental
Hygiene Department (FEHD) before they are eligible to bid tenders provided by individual
schools. ATO Hong Kong can provide U.S. exporters with the list of registered caterers for
school lunch boxes.
Hospitals: The Hospital Authority operates 41 hospitals and medical centers, with a total of
over 27,000 beds and staff size of 59,000. The catering services for hospitals are
outsourced on a tender basis. The hospitals are served by catering groups, many of which
also operate restaurants, fast food chains or school lunch catering services.
Airlines: There are three aircraft catering franchisees at the Hong Kong International
Airport, each with a 15-year term:
- Cathay Pacific Catering Services
- Lufthansa Service Hong Kong Ltd
- Gate Gourmet Hong Kong Ltd
The three airline caterers have a combined capacity of 135,000 meals per day, providing a
whole range of in-flight catering services, from preparation and assembly of in-flight dishes
to logistics of food delivery and storage of catering utensils.
Hong Kong?s economy continued to grow in 2011 helped by the continued influx of
investment, particularly from Mainland China. GDP and per capita GDP grew by 8.6% and
8%, and reached US$242 billion and US$34,106 respectively in 2011.
Table 3 ? Hong Kong: Gross Domestic Product and GDP per capita
2010 2011 Growth
11 vs 10
GDP US$223 billion US$242 billion +8.6%
GDP per capita US$31,593 US$34,106 +8.0%
(Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department)
Hong Kong?s population was around 7.1 million in 2011. 1.79 million, or 48% of the total
labor force, are women. The large number of employed women is an important influence
on the demand in the restaurant business.
Table 4 ? Hong Kong: Labor Force Participation
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2010 % of Total 2011 % of Total
Labor Force-Men 1.94 million 53% 1.96 million 52%
Labor Force-Women 1.71 million 47% 1.79 million 48%
Total 3.65 million 100% 3.75 million 100%
(Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department)
Imported Foods vs. Domestic Products
Due to limited land resources and having a population of 7.1 million, Hong Kong relies on
imports for over 95% of it food supply. According to the latest statistics (for 2010) of the
Agricultural Fisheries and Conservation Department, the local agricultural industry produced
US$79 million worth of products. It is comprised of US$30 million in crop production
(mainly vegetables), US$23 million in livestock production, and US$27 million in poultry
production. Local production accounted for 2.5 percent of fresh vegetables, 56.2 percent of
live poultry and 6.4 percent of live pigs consumed in the territory.
Due to its central location, free port status and position as a regional purchasing and
distribution center, a significant amount of Hong Kong imports are re-exported.
Table 5 ? Hong Kong Imports (2007-2011) of Consumer Oriented Agricultural Products
(COAP) & Seafood
Share % of Re-
Growth in exports
(in US$ of Gross
Country Million) 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 11 v 10 2011 Imports
World Gross Imports 9,098 11,544 12,826 15,270 18,306 20% 100%
Re-exports 2,435 3,409 3,824 4,427 5,158 17% 100% 28%
Imports 6,663 8,135 9,001 10,843 13,148 21% 100%
United Gross Imports 1,042 1,615 1,972 2,766 3,354 21% 18%
States Re-exports 328 609 752 1,155 1,619 40% 31% 48%
Imports 715 1,006 1,220 1,611 1,735 8% 13%
China Gross Imports 2,007 2,215 2,446 2,735 3,203 17% 17%
Re-exports 309 356 334 392 503 28% 10% 16%
Imports 1,698 1,859 2,112 2,344 2,700 15% 21%
Brazil Gross Imports 989 1,441 1,575 1,415 1,649 16% 9%
Re-exports 491 630 737 658 551 -16% 11% 33%
Imports 498 811 838 757 1,098 45% 8%
France Gross Imports 251 385 446 688 997 45% 5%
Re-exports 88 111 115 162 216 33% 4% 22%
Imports 164 274 331 526 782 49% 6%
Japan Gross Imports 573 603 709 971 954 -2% 5%
Re-exports 36 41 43 51 51 0% 1% 5%
Imports 536 562 665 920 903 -2% 7%
Australia Gross Imports 529 613 682 659 755 15% 4%
Re-exports 58 59 91 83 78 -6% 2% 10%
Imports 470 553 591 576 677 18% 5%
Netherlands Gross Imports 211 306 323 386 666 72% 4%
Re-exports 60 100 95 91 111 22% 2% 17%
Imports 151 206 228 295 554 88% 4%
Thailand Gross Imports 410 486 590 527 583 11% 3%
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Re-exports 226 267 350 288 312 8% 6% 54%
Imports 184 219 240 239 271 13% 2%
Germany Gross Imports 148 302 287 307 435 42% 2%
Re-exports 73 180 168 166 146 -12% 3% 34%
Imports 76 122 118 141 289 105% 2%
Canada Gross Imports 217 342 312 394 403 2% 2%
Re-exports 43 133 104 133 97 -27% 2% 24%
Imports 173 209 207 261 306 17% 2%
Total of Gross Imports 6,378 8,307 9,341 10,849 12,999 20% 71%
Top 10 Re-exports 1,712 2,486 2,790 3,179 3,684 16% 71% 28%
Suppliers Imports 4,666 5,821 6,551 7,670 9,316 21% 71%
Total of Gross Imports 2,721 3,237 3,484 4,421 5,307 20% 29%
Rest of Re-exports 723 923 1,034 1,248 1,475 18% 29% 28%
World Imports 1,998 2,314 2,450 3,173 3,832 21% 29%
(Source: Calculations based on World Trade Atlas data)
(Retained Imports = Gross Imports into Hong Kong ? Re-exports out of Hong Kong)
Thanks to the fast-growing economy and consumer affluence, total retained imports of
consumer-oriented agricultural products (COAP) and Seafood products in Hong Kong grew
by 21% in 2011.
The U.S. consolidated its position as the largest supplier of COAP and Seafood products to
Hong Kong in 2011. Retained imports of these products from China and the U.S. in 2011
reached US$2.7 billion and US$1.7 billion, representing market shares of 21% and 13%
Hong Kong?s status as a gateway for trade with other markets in the region is increasingly
opening up greater avenues for U.S. high value food products. In 2011, Hong Kong
imported over US$18 billion COAP and Seafood from the world and re-exported 28% of
these products. (Source: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department).
Outlook of the HRI Sector in 2012
The outlook for spending on food is slightly less optimistic as the Hong Kong economy is not
currently expected to grow at the same pace as in both 2010 (7 percent) and 2011 (8
percent). Growth in food imports is expected in 2012 but at a slightly less robust pace.
However, U.S. agricultural products are well known in the market for their good taste and
quality. In addition, the peg between U.S. dollar and HK dollar will provide much needed
foreign exchange stability which will make buying U.S. products more advantageous.
Moreover, Hong Kong will continue to be a major tourist destination where tourists spend
significantly on food and beverage.
With the exception of spirits, all food and beverage products can be imported to Hong Kong duty
Page 6 of 24
Certificates & Permits
In Hong Kong, the legal framework for food safety control is defined in part V of the Public Health
and Municipal Services Ordinance and the Food Safety Ordinance. The basic tenet is that no food
intended for sale should be unfit for human consumption. Technical requirements for imports vary
significantly according to the product. Products which require import permits/health certificates
include meat, milk and frozen confections. The Hong Kong Government (HKG) also plans to
implement a health certification requirement for eggs and seafood products. The HKG accepts
import applications from Hong Kong importers. In other words, local importers and not U.S.
exporters are required to apply for import permits. U.S. exporters need to supply their
agents/importers with necessary documentation such as health certificates from the U.S.
All prepackaged food products in Hong Kong have to comply with Hong Kong?s labeling regulation.
There are also labeling requirements for allergens and nutrients. U.S. labels may not be able to
meet with Hong Kong labeling requirements particularly for products with nutritional claims.
However, the Hong Kong government allows stick-on food labels, which could be arranged by Hong
Kong importers with the permission of the manufacturers.
The marking or labeling of prepackaged food can be in either the English or the Chinese language
or in both languages. If both languages are used in the marking and labeling of prepackaged food,
the name of the food, ingredient lists and nutrition information have to be provided in both
Labeling for Biotech Food
The HKG does not have any specific biotechnology regulations with regard to the labeling of
biotech food products. It makes no distinction between conventional and biotech foods. All are
subject to the same food safety regulation. The HKG continues to promote voluntary labeling of
GMO products as a viable alternative for the trade. The guidelines on labeling for biotech foods,
released in 2006, are advisory in nature and do not have any legal effect. The threshold level
applied in the guidelines for labeling purpose is 5 percent, in respect of individual food ingredient.
Negative labeling is not recommended.
While the Hong Kong Organic Center provides organic certification for local produce, Hong Kong
does not have a law regulating organic food products. U.S. organic products can be sold in Hong
Kong with the USDA organic logo.
Under the food ordinances, there are regulations governing the use of sweeteners, preservatives,
coloring matters, and metallic contaminants. The Hong Kong government enforces its food safety
control according to Hong Kong?s food regulations. In the absence of a particular provision in Hong
Kong food regulations, the HKG would draw reference from Codex and/or conduct risk assessments
to determine whether a food meets the food safety standard.
The Hong Kong government is planning to introduce a regulation governing the residue limit of
pesticide in foods in April 2012. Its framework is largely built on Codex?s standard, supplemented
by standards adopted in China, Thailand the U.S.
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For details on Hong Kong?s general import regulations for food products, please refer to GAIN
Report #1145. (This report is available at:
Table 6 ? Hong Kong:
Summary of the Key Strengths and Challenges for the Market
Hong Kong is one of the top markets in the U.S. food products are not always price
world for food and beverages, processed, fresh competitive. China is the largest competitor of
and frozen gourmet products. U.S. exports of U.S. food products.
high value food and beverage (HVFB) products
to Hong Kong reached US$2.56 billion,
consolidating Hong Kong?s position as the 5th
largest market for the U.S. in 2011.
Hong Kong is a major trading hub where buyers Lengthy transportation time and availability of
make purchasing decisions for hundreds of product due to seasonality (e.g. fresh produce)
millions of dollars of consumer oriented products associated to importing U.S. food and beverage
that are transshipped to China and other parts products to Hong Kong can make them less
of Asia. competitive than products available in the
region or from China, Australia New Zealand
(favorable in terms of location).
U.S. food products enjoy an excellent reputation The importance of Hong Kong as a
among Hong Kong consumers, as they are transshipment point and buying center for
renowned for high quality and food safety China and elsewhere is not widely known to
standards. U.S. exporters.
The U.S. is the 2nd largest supplier of Hong Kong labeling and residue standards differ
agricultural, fisheries and forestry products to in some cases, which can impede trade.
Hong Kong. For HVFB products, the U.S.
remained as the largest supplier to Hong Kong
Technical barriers to imports of U.S. products Numerous HK food regulations are not in line
are generally very low. with Codex, which can complicate import
There is a wide variety of U.S. products While Hong Kong has one of the busiest
available to Hong Kong consumers (over 30,000 container terminals in the world, it also has the
different items). most expensive port handling charges.
The link between the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) to Hong Kong?s top supermarkets are a duopoly
the U.S. Dollar help insulate the HKD from that often request slotting fees.
In general, implementation and application of Inflation is on the rise in Hong Kong. The
regulations is transparent and open. increase in food prices may cause some
consumers to turn to more lower-price lower-
quality food products where U.S. products do
not enjoy strong competitive advantage.
Hong Kong exporters choose to work with Hong
Page 8 of 24
Kong importers and distributers to get their
products to Mainland China because of Hong
Kong?s dependable legal system, financial
system and rule of law.
Most trans-shipments to Macau are purchased,
consolidated and shipped via Hong Kong.
Demand is increasing most rapidly for ?healthy?
and gourmet foods, market segments where the
U.S. is especially strong.
Hong Kong concerns over food safety have
made U.S. food products as a top choice for
quality and safety.
Hong Kong?s modern and efficient port terminal
and free port status make it an attractive
destination and for re-exports.
Hong Kong is a ?quality? and trend driven
market so price is not always the most
important factor for food and beverage
Hong Kong is a dynamic market with a
sophisticated international community where
new high quality products are readily accepted.
Hong Kong is dependent on imports for meeting
its food needs. With continued economic growth,
U.S. high value food & beverage (HVFB) exports
to Hong Kong grew by 21% in 2011 compared
to 2010 and consolidated Hong Kong?s position
as our 5th largest market for HVFB products in
Biotech products are freely imported and
products containing biotech ingredients are
generally not controversial.
Lack of local production means virtually no
protectionist pressures for food and agricultural
Hong Kong is in an economically vibrant region
and its economy is expected to grow by 2% in
Hong Kong?s duopolistic supermarkets have a
wide distribution network. Cold chain and
distribution channels for food products are
generally efficient and dependable, as is the
customs clearance process.
SECTION II. ROAD MAP FOR MARKET ENTRY
Page 9 of 24
Exporting and Selling
Since very few hotels, restaurants or institutions import directly from exporters, most
suppliers sell to importers for further distribution to the HRI sector in this market.
Establishing a Business in Hong Kong
If U.S. restaurant chains or caterers want to establish a stronger foothold in Hong Kong, they are
allowed to incorporate freely. However, there are two market entry channels that U.S. companies
may consider in their attempt to establish a presence in Hong Kong?s HRI sector.
The concept of franchising has been growing in Hong Kong for the past decade. Nearly 80
% of the franchise operations in Hong Kong are of U.S. origin. Home-grown franchises
have also developed, especially in catering.
2. Joint Ventures
Joint ventures or strategic alliances can be very helpful in entering the market, and are
particularly important in competing for major catering projects.
In order to attract foreign investment, the HKG set up a special department called ?Invest
Hong Kong? to help overseas companies establish a presence in Hong Kong by providing all
the support needed to establish and expand their operations (www.investhk.gov.hk).
Entering the Hong Kong market with products suitable for the HRI trade can be handled in a
number of ways. Certainly the end customer, the hotel, restaurant, institution or caterer
has an influence on the selection of products or ingredients but the choice is all very much
guided by a network of reliable and trusted suppliers.
3. Setting up a Representative Office
One of the most effective but costly means that U.S. companies can use to sell their
products to this market is to set up a representative office in Hong Kong. Information on
how to set up a new business in Hong Kong can be found at:
4. Appointing Agents
U.S. exporters may consider hiring a local agent. A key consideration is whether the
prospective agent has a good marketing record and widespread distribution network. The
advantage of having an agent is that it can help with marketing and distribution. Some
companies may secure a very competitive price package with TV, magazine and radio for
advertisements. In addition, well-established companies have extensive distribution
networks not limited to the HRI sector but also to retail outlets.
Importers and distributors tend to focus on specific categories of products and end
markets. Research should be carried out to ensure the importer/distributor selected is
appropriate for your products.
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Identify key players for the products - ATO Hong Kong can provide lists of importers,
distributors, commodity cooperators and regional business groups.
Test marketing maybe required prior to establishing a presence in the market.
Communicate product benefits to end-users - although distributors maintain the
relationships with their customers, end users assert influence over the buying decisions. It
is important to directly educate all stakeholders as to the features and benefits of your
Participate in or visit trade shows ? Hong Kong has an excellent reputation of hosting
international trade shows. In cooperation with cooperators and regional groups, the shows
will demonstrate the versatility and safety of U.S. food products. Some major shows
Table 7 - Hong Kong:
Trade Shows Featuring Food & Agricultural Products
Date Name of Show Website
May 29-31, Vinexpo Asia Pacific http://www.vinexpo.com/en/
Aug 16-20, HKTDC Food Expo http://www.hktdc.com/fair/hkfoodexpo-en/HKTDC-Food-
Aug 23-25, Natural Products Expo Asia http://www.naturalproductsasia.com
Sep 5-7, 2012 Asia Fruit Logistica* http://www.asiafruitlogistica.com/en
Sep 11-13, Restaurant and Bar http://www.restaurantandbarhk.com
Sep 11-13, Asian Seafood Exposition http://www.asianseafoodexpo.com
Sep 11-13, Frozen Food Asia http://www.frozenfoodasia.com
Nov 8-10, 2012 5th Hong Kong Int?l Wine & Spirits http://hkwinefair.hktdc.com
Dec 5-7, 2012 Agri-Pro Expo Asia http://www.AgriProAsia.com
(* USDA-endorsed trade shows, more information on USDA-endorsed trade shows can be found at:
Stage menu promotions with major restaurant chains - Menu promotion dollars will be
maximized if spent on promotion events held with the major restaurant chains. With the
restaurant chains? announced intention to have an image overhaul, this provides for an
opportunity to introduce new U.S. foods.
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Invite restaurant owners/chefs to seminars and/or to the U.S. - ATO Hong Kong/
cooperators organize seminars and trade missions to the U.S. with an intention to introduce
U.S. products, meet U.S. exporters, and share with them food service operations in the U.S.
Small to medium sized U.S. food companies wishing to export their products can get funding
assistance from the USDA Market Access Program (MAP). The reimbursement rates for branded
promotions are equal to the percentage of U.S. origin content of the promoted agricultural
commodity or a rate of 50 percent, whichever is the lesser. If you are a producer or exporter and
want to participate in the MAP, please contact a trade association that represents your specific
product. If no trade association is applicable, please contact one of the four State regional trade
groups: Food Export USA - Northeast (FEUSA), Food Export Association of the Midwest USA (FEA),
Southern US Trade Association (SUSTA), and Western US Agricultural Trade Association
(WUSATA). For details of the MAP program and a list of trade associations, please contact our
office or visit the website: http://www.fas.usda.gov/mos/programs/maptoc.html
Importer / Distributor / Wholesaler
Hong Kong HRI Trade
The market structure for Hong Kong typically involves a dedicated importer/distributor who
deals with the U.S. exporter and maintains relationships with local resellers. Some special
items are imported directly by large hotels, restaurant chains and institutions but most tend
to outsource the import burden.
Hong Kong is a mature trading port and as such has developed an effective network of
importers, distributors and wholesalers that support the HRI trade.
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Most major importers/distributors service multiple reseller sectors including HRI/food
service, retail and wet markets.
ATO Hong Kong has a resourceful database of Hong Kong importers servicing the HRI
trade. For information regarding specific category suppliers, the ATO Hong Kong can
provide additional information.
Given below is a partial list of catering franchises in Hong Kong
Name of Franchise No. of Outlets
Ajisen-Ramen (catering - Japanese noodles restaurant) 29
Double Star (catering - coffee shop) 2
Genki Sushi (catering - Japanese restaurant/takeaway 43
Grappa's Ristorante (catering - Italian restaurant) 4 (+ 1 wine bar)
Hui Lau Shan (catering - herbal tea house and health food) 47
Hung Fook Tong (catering - herbal tea house) 89
Jollibee (catering ? restaurant) 1
Kentucky Fried Chicken (catering - fast food restaurant) 62
Kung Wo Tong (catering - herbal tea house) 10
Kung Wo Beancurd Products (catering - beancurd drinks and products) 14
Magic House Superstore Ltd (catering - ice cream and snacks) 58
McDonald's (catering - fast food restaurant) 232
Mian Cafe (catering - cafe) 8
Mrs. Fields Cookies (catering ? bakery) 14
Pie & Tart Specialists (catering - pie and tart) 15
Pizza Box (catering - pizza delivery) 15
Pizza Hut Restaurants (catering - restaurants) 66
Saint?s Alp (catering ? Taiwanese tea house) 6
Strawberry Forever (catering - western dessert house) 1
TGI Friday's (catering - restaurant) 1
Yoshinoya (catering - Japanese restaurant) 55
Given below is a partial list of restaurants in Hong Kong
Company Name Type of Food No. of Outlets
Maxims Chinese Restaurants /fast food / Max Concepts / 376
McDonalds Fast Food - Burgers 232 (77 McCafe)
Café de Coral Chinese fast food / lunch boxes 151
Fairwood Chinese Fast food 107
KFC Fast Food - Chicken 62
Starbucks Coffee & snacks 115
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Pizza Hut Pizza, local menu 66 (32
Pacific Coffee Coffee & Snacks 110
Deli France Bakery, Fast Food Sandwiches 34
Steak Expert Steak house 24
Spaghetti House International 24
Epicurean International 15
Café Deco Group International 43
Lan Kwai Fong International 4
Oliver?s Super Sandwich Fast Food Sandwiches / Salads 18
Mix California Smoothies & Wraps 5
Pret a Manger Fast Food Sandwiches / Salads 12
Chiram Restaurants Ltd International 5
Eclipse Management International 11
Outback Steakhouse Australian / American style Steak House 7
Red Ant Chinese 7
Elite Concepts International 8
California Pizza Kitchen American style pizza 4
Dan Ryan?s American Style dining 3
Ruby Tuesday?s American Style dining 5
Burger King Fast Food - Burgers 15
Jimmy?s Kitchen International 2
Ruth?s Chris Steakhouse American Style Steak House 2
Bubba Gump American Style dining 1
Harlan?s International 1
Lawry?s The Prime Rib American Steak House 1
Morton?s the Steakhouse American Steak House 1
TGI Fridays American Style dining 1
Tony Roma?s American Style dining 2
SECTION III. COMPETITION
Note: Trade Statistics for 2011; Market Share in terms of Gross Import Value
Source: World Trade Atlas ? Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department
Table 8 ? Major Product Categories of Hong Kong?s
Imports of COAP and Seafood Products And Competition
Product Category Major Strengths of Key Supply Advantages and
Supply Countries Disadvantages of Local
Red Meats, 1. Brazil ? Products from Brazil and China Local production is largely
Page 14 of 24
chilled/frozen 31% are price competitive, but they on freshly slaughtered
are of different market segments meats.
Imports 2. U.S. ? from U.S. products.
US$3 billion 13%
1,170,850 MT U.S. market share dropped from
3. China ? 21% in 2003 to 3% in 2005 as a
Retained Imports 10% result of the ban on U.S. bone-in
US$2.2 billion beef. Market share of U.S. beef
610,002 MT 4. Germany gradually picked up following
? 10% Hong Kong?s opening to U.S.
beef since the beginning of
2006. Hong Kong currently
allows U.S. boneless beef
derived from animals less than
30 months of age.
Bone-in beef and offals from the
U.S. are not yet allowed entry
into Hong Kong. Hong Kong
Government adopts zero
tolerance on bone fragments.
U.S. beef is highly regarded in
Hong Kong. It is always the top
choice for high-end restaurants
and sophisticated consumers.
U.S. beef is largely for the high-
Red Meats, 1. China ? Chinese supplies dominate the Local production is
Prepared/preserved 25% market because there is a big insignificant.
demand for price competitive
Imports 2. U.S. ? prepared/preserved meatballs
US$919 million 12% and other products typical in
436,259 MT Chinese dishes in Chinese
3. Spain ? restaurants and processing in
Retained Imports 11% China is cost effective.
Poultry Meat 1. U.S. ? Brazil took over as the leading Local production is on
(Fresh, chilled & 38% supplier of poultry for Hong freshly slaughtered
frozen) Kong market in 2004, when meats.
2. Brazil ? Hong Kong banned entry of U.S.
Imports 32% poultry products (between HRI sector tends to use
US$1.99 billion February 11, 2004 and April 30, chilled and frozen chicken
1,293,268 MT 3. China ? 2004) due to outbreaks of Avian products rather than
13% Influenza cases in the U.S. freshly slaughtered
Retained Imports Though the ban was then lifted, chickens because the
US$1.09 billion Brazil continued to be the latter are far more
490,221 MT largest supplier due to price expensive.
competitiveness of its products
and established business
relationship between Brazilian
Page 15 of 24
exporters and Hong Kong
The depreciation of U.S. dollar
attracted more imports of U.S.
products to Hong Kong and
market share of the U.S. grew
more significantly & resumed the
leading position with a market
share of 38% in 2011.
Dairy Products 1. Netherlands is strong in dairy Local companies supply
Netherlands product supplies and it has fresh milk drinks, which
Imports ? 37% established position in Hong are processed in Hong
US$918 million Kong. Kong with milk originated
200,164 MT 2. Ireland ? from farmlands in the
12% Dairy products from major southern part of China.
Retained Imports supplying countries primarily
US$805 million 3. New include concentrated dairy and Local companies can
181,215 MT Zealand ? cream. easily fulfill local milk
10% registration requirements.
Melamine was found in eggs and
dairy products from China and
U.S. ? 1% that has led consumers to pay
more attention to food safety
and seek high quality products
from other supplying countries.
Eggs 1. China ? Eggs from China are price Local production is
58% competitive. However, since insignificant.
Imports 2006, when some Chinese eggs
US$156 million 2. U.S. ? were found tainted with Sudan
2.06 billion eggs 21% red (which is a dye for industrial
use), Hong Kong consumers
Retained Imports 3. Malaysia lost confidence in the safety of
US$155 million ? 6% all Chinese eggs.
2.04 billion eggs
U.S. dominates the white egg
Melamine was found in eggs and
dairy products from China and
that has led consumers to pay
more attention to food safety
and seek high quality products
from other supplying countries.
Fresh Fruit 1. U.S. ? U.S. fresh fruits are highly No local production.
28% regarded as having good quality.
US$1.56 billion 2. Thailand Thai Trade commission in Hong
1,500,084 MT ? 18% Kong aggressively sponsors
trade promotion activities.
Retained Imports 3. Chile ? Thai?s tropical fruits are very
Page 16 of 24
US$761 million 18% popular in Hong Kong.
Chile?s biggest fruit item to Hong
Kong is grapes. The supplying
season is different from the U.S.
Fresh Vegetables 1. China ? Products from China are very Local production is about
72% price competitive. Due to 5 % of total demand.
Imports expensive operation costs in Production costs, both in
US$250 million 2. U.S. ? Hong Kong, some farmers in terms of land and labor,
693,805 MT 9% Hong Kong move their in Hong Kong are high.
operations to China and sell The Hong Kong
Retained Imports 3. Australia their products back to Hong Government has
US$245 million ? 3% Kong. encouraged organic
688,698 MT farming so as to find the
High-end restaurants and five- niche market for local
star hotels prefer to use high vegetables.
quality U.S. products. A lower
U.S. dollar value helps U.S.
exports to Hong Kong.
Processed Fruit & 1. China ? Supplies from China are price Local production is
Vegetables 31% competitive. Besides, some insignificant.
international brands have
Imports 2. U.S. ? operations in China and their
US$455 million 26% exports to Hong Kong are
243,521 MT considered as imports from
3. Thailand China.
Retained Imports ? 10%
Tree Nuts 1. U.S. ? The U.S. is very strong in No local production
72% supplying almonds, walnuts,
Imports hazelnuts and pistachios.
US$1.29 billion 2. Iran ?
282,690 MT 16% Some of the imports are re-
exported to China for
Retained Imports 3. S. Africa processing.
US$445 million ? 3%
Wine 1. France ? France is the major supplier for Hong Kong has
62% wine. French wine is highly insignificant wine
Imports regarded in Hong Kong though production.
US$1.2 billion 2. U.K. ? expensive.
45.5 million liters 13%
Hong Kong people are becoming
Retained Imports 3. Australia more familiar with California
US$971 million ? 6% wine.
28.5 million liters
4. U.S. ? The Hong Kong Government
6% abolished the tax on wine in
February 2008. The new policy
has attracted more wine imports
Page 17 of 24
into Hong Kong.
SECTION IV. BEST CONSUMER ORIENTED PRODUCT PROSPECTS
1 95% of Hong Kong food supplies are imported. Since Hong Kong?s domestic
production is nominal the market size in the following table is equal to retained imports
without taking into account local production. U.S. exports to Hong Kong are also
based on imports minus exports.
2 Import tariff rates for all food and beverage products in the tables are zero except for
spirits with alcohol content greater than 30%, which is 100%.
3 Products listed below are either enjoying a large market import value or a significant
growth rate for the last 5 years (2007-2011).
Table 9 ? Hong Kong: Top 10 Prospects
Product 2011 2011 2007 ? Key Constraints Over Market
Category Retained Retained 2011 Market Development Attractiveness
Imports Imports Average For USA
(MT) (US$ Annual
Fish & Volume US$3 +12.9% Major suppliers of fish and U.S. fish and seafood
Seafood statistics billion (value) seafood products are products are
Products not China (20%), Japan perceived as high
available (16%), quality and safe.
Australia (8%) and the US
(6%). Many 5-star hotels in
Hong Kong are
such as king salmon,
king crab, snow crab,
black cod and
halibut. It is
anticipated that these
seafood products will
continue to be
popular among HRI
sector in Hong Kong.
Fresh Fruit 586,274 MT US$761 +2.8% Hong Kong consumers U.S. fresh fruit are
million (volume) prefer fresh fruit to frozen well known for their
fruit. Competition from large variety, good
+9.3% Thailand and China is quality and tastes.
(value) keen as these countries
supply tropical fresh fruit U.S. was the largest
at competitive prices. The supplier (28%) of
Page 18 of 24
shorter travel time for fresh fruit to Hong
shipments from these Kong, followed by
countries to Hong Kong Chile (18%) and
also render their products Thailand (18%).
?fresh? to Hong Kong
consumers. The top U.S. fruit
exports to Hong Kong
were citrus products
million), plums &
sloes (US$22 million)
Poultry 490,221 MT US$1.09 +16% Brazil moved in as the no. U.S. exported
Products billion (volume) 1 poultry exporter to US$755 million worth
Hong Kong when U.S. of chicken products
poultry imports were to Hong Kong,
+23.6% temporarily banned during accounting for 38%
(value) February 11 to April 30, of the market share.
2004 due to Avian
Influenza cases in the U.S. products are
United States. Though highly regarded in
the ban was later lifted, food quality and food
Brazil continued to be the safety.
largest supplier due to its More popular U.S.
price advantage and its chicken products
exporters? relationships include chicken wing
with Hong Kong mid joints and
importers. chicken legs because
of their sizes and
The depreciation of U.S. quality. These two
dollar attracted more products are
imports of U.S. products particularly popularly
to Hong Kong and the among Hong Kong
U.S. regained its leading style cafes.
position with a market
share of 38% in 2011.
Pork 179,637 MT US$613 +3.9% China and Brazil are the U.S. exported US$49
million (volume) top suppliers of pork to million worth of pork
Hong Kong because their to Hong Kong,
products are very price accounting for 7% of
+19.1% competitive. the market share.
There is a big demand for U.S. products are
price competitive highly regarded for
prepared/preserved quality and food
meatballs and other safety.
products typical in
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Chinese dishes in Chinese
restaurants, which are
made from pork. China
enjoys the advantage of
low processing cost.
Processed 156,138 MT US$260 -2.1% China is the largest U.S. processed fruit
Fruit & million (volume) supplier (31%), closely and vegetables are
Vegetables followed by the U.S. well known of their
+3.8% (26%). superior quality and
(value) tastes. U.S.
Some international brands processed fruit and
have operations in China vegetables such as
and their exports to Hong potatoes, nuts, sweet
Kong are considered as corn, mushrooms,
imports from China. peaches and
continue to be in
large demand in
Beef, 70,541 US$449 +8.6% Because of BSE cases in U.S. exported
Frozen MT million (volume) the U.S., Hong Kong US$162 million worth
currently allows boneless of frozen beef to
+31% beef derived from cattle Hong Kong in 2011,
(value) under 30 months of age accounting for 30%
from U.S. E.V (Export market share.
Verification) approved Although U.S. beef
plants. was banned in Hong
Kong in 2004 and
Bone-in beef and variety 2005, Hong Kong
beef from the U.S. are not consumers still have
yet allowed in. high regards for U.S.
beef in terms of
Short U.S. beef supplies quality and safety.
make U.S. beef very
Brazil beef took the
opportunity to gain
market share. Brazil beef
imports grew from US$49
million in 2004 to US$177
million in 2011.
Wine 28.5 US$971 +14% Competition is keen in U.S. exported US$70
million liters million (volume) Hong Kong. Major million of wine to
competitors come from Hong Kong in 2011,
+70% France and Australia. accounting for 6% of
(value) French wine is the market share.
traditionally more popular
in Hong Kong. The HKG abolished
the import tax on
wine and beer in
Page 20 of 24
The HRI sector in
Macau is growing,
making it an
for U.S. wine traders
to expand their
consumers are more
and more receptive
to wine. The total
elimination of the
excise tax on wine
would probably help
nurture wine drinking
culture in Hong Kong.
Tree Nuts 18,605 US$445 -22% The U.S. is very strong in No local production
MT million (volume) supplying almonds,
hazelnuts and pistachios.
(value) Some of the imports are
re-exported to Vietnam
and China for processing.
Fruit & 17,206 US$29 -2.4% The U.S. is still the Given the high
Vegetable MT million (volume) market leader, exported quality of U.S. fruit &
Juices US$13 million worth of vegetable juices, U.S.
+2% fresh fruit juices to Hong fruit and vegetable
(value) Kong, accounting for a juices such as orange
market share of 43%. juices, apple juices,
tomato juices and
pineapple juices are
expected to continue
to be very popular in
Organic Statistics Statistics Statistics Organic F&B products are As Hong Kong
Food and not not not generally 20-40% higher consumers are
Beverage available available available in prices compared to becoming more
non-organic products. health-conscious, the
(The size of demand for organic
the Hong There are many organic products will continue
Kong standards in the market to grow in 2012.
organic food and the poor quality of a
and country?s organic products USDA Organic enjoys
beverage may negatively affect the an excellent
market is image of organic products reputation among
estimated at from all supplying consumers in Hong
US$500 countries. Kong. Consumers
Page 21 of 24
million, with generally have more
an annual confidence on USDA
growth of Organic standards
10-15%) than other countries?.
oats, noodles?etc are
in good demand.
Other products such
as organic meat
(beef and pork),
eggs etc are starting
to have more interest
in the market.
There is also a strong
demand for organic
vegetables and fruits,
organic coffee and
SECTION V. KEY CONTACTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
Home Page: http://www.fas.usda.gov
Agricultural Trade Office
American Consulate General
18th Floor, St. John?s Building
33 Garden Road, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2841-2350
Fax: (852) 2845-0943
Web site: http://www.usconsulate.org.hk
Department to Implement Food Safety Control Policy
Food & Environmental Hygiene Department
43/F., Queensway Govt Offices
66 Queensway, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2868-0000
Fax: (852) 2834-8467
Web site: http://www.fehd.gov.hk
Department to Control the Importation of Plants & Live Animals
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Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department
5-8/F., Cheung Sha Wan Govt Offices
303, Cheung Sha Wan Rd
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2708-8885
Fax: (852) 2311-3731
Web site: http://www.afcd.gov.hk
Department to Issue License for Imported Reserved Commodities
Trade & Industry Department
18/F., Trade Department Tower
700 Nathan Road
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2392-2922
Fax: (852) 2789-2491
Web site: http://www.tid.gov.hk
Department to Register Health Foods Containing Medicine Ingredients
Department of Health
Import & Export Control Section
18th Floor, Wu Chung House
213 Queen?s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2961-8754
Fax: (852) 2834-5117
Web site: http://www.dh.gov.hk
Department to Issue License for Imported Dutiable Commodities
Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department
Office of Dutiable Commodities Administration
6-9th floors, Harbor Building
38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2815-7711
Fax: (852) 2581-0218
Web site: http://www.customs.gov.hk
Department for Trade Mark Registration
Intellectual Property Department
Trade Marks Registry
24th and 25th Floors, Wu Chung House
213 Queen?s Road East
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2803-5860
Fax: (852) 2838-6082
Web site: http://www.ipd.gov.hk
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Semi-Government Organization Providing Travel Information
Hong Kong Tourist Board
9th - 11th floors, Citicorp Center,
18 Whitfield Road, North Point, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2807-6543
Fax: (852) 2806-0303
Home Page: www.hktourismboard.com
Semi-Government Organization Providing Hong Kong Trade Information
Hong Kong Trade Development Council
38th Floor, Office Tower, Convention Plaza
1 Harbor Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2584-4188
Fax: (852) 2824-0249
Home Page: http://www.tdctrade.com
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