Being entrusted by Unilever Foods (China) Co., Ltd., carried out a research on China flour industry, which will be used as the basis and reference for Unilever’s operation and decision.Through the investigation and analysis of the production, supply, and market situation of China flour industry; we can understand the present situation of China flour industry and forecast the future development of this industry.Flour is a kind of farinose material grinded by wheat, which is also called wheat flour. It is also a kind of leguminous processing material for cooking.As there are various kinds of wheat, which are different in cultivation,planting places, and characters, the powder grinded by wheat also varies in quality.For Instance, water absorbability, thickness, color and luster, the quantity and quality of gluten are all different.According to the criterions of precision of wheat processing, flour can be divided into super, standard, and ordinary three grades.
Flour processing enterprises of state-owned food system, farming and cultivating system, and local system (countries, towns, villages, and individuals) consists of China flour industry with Chinese characteristics.Flour processing enterprises of state-owned food system, which have large scales, advanced technical equipment, high technological levels, are the foundation of China flour industry.Flour processing enterprises of farming and cultivating system have developed rapidly since China opening and reform. Except their scales, their comprehensive strength now can be mentioned in the same breath with that of those enterprises of food system. Furthermore, they have advantage in their high-quality material (wheat).Flour processing enterprises of local system (countries, owns, villages, and individuals) lag behind the other two kinds of enterprises in scales and technological levels. However, the number of these enterprises is large. They are scattered in many areas and develop rapidly.For example, in Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan, Hebei provinces, flour enterprises of this kind have large scale and have great advantages in labor force cost and geographical location.At present, major products of flour processing enterprises are standard flour, purificatory flour, first-grade super flour, second-grade super flour, and special flour.
Flour is the major material of food manufacturing.According to the statistics, about 5 million tons of flour was used in food manufacturing during the ninth five years.With the increase of people’s income, the consumption of flour is increasing while that of rice is decreasing. Of course, rice still holds an important place in staple food, especially in Southern countryside.China per-capita flour consumption now counts one of the most in Asia.With the improvement of people’s living standard, the direct demand of food is decreasing while the indirect demand is increasing.Therefore, the development direction of flour industry in future is not in production capacity but in product quality.