APR, 2023

Latvian Brands – Performance Analysis

In 2023, Litao analysed all 6 active Latvian food and beverage brands in China, providing valuable insights for new entrants and identifying successful strategies and challenges when entering the market .

China F&B Market Overview

In 2022, the China food market was valued at €1.1 trillion. Beverage and snack brands from Latvia can leverage trends in premium sector.

Previous Latvian attempts to enter China faced challenges including importer selection, Covid-related disruptions, and political instability.

As of Aug 2023, a few active players remain, while a dozen others are still preparing to enter and require a strategic approach.

Imported F&B Market

China overall has imported €148.6 billion of F&B, out of which €15.8 billion from Europe. China ranks as the third-largest destination for EU agri-food exports, and representing 7% of the EU ‘s total agri-food trade. Of this €15.8 billion, €9.8 billion corresponds to manufactured F&B products, making up 62.2% of the EU’s total agri-food exports to China.


Best Performing Category

“Snack” lead as the best-performing imported F&B category, followed by “drinks”, “fruit”, “cereal” and “functional food”, based on Tmall data (the largest e-commerce platform in China).

Overall, the “snack” category, valued at €190.6 billion in 2022, holds the largest share within China’s F&B market.

5 Best-performing Imported F&B Product Categories

% Of Tmall Global users shopped categories, under F&B

Source, Growthbox analysis

The Fastest Growing Category

In China, “Healthy/Functional Food” had the fastest growth, reaching €43.5 billion in 2022 (6.27% growth 2018-2022).

“Health supplement” dominated this category with €25.4 billion in 2022 (6.21% YoY growth).

Market size of health supplements 2017-2022(Bln, EUR)

Source, iiMedia Research

F&B Exports of Latvia: €15.2M

In 2022, food exports to China were €15.2 million, including €7.3 million in manufactured F&B products. This accounts for 7% of all Latvian exports to China, with a remarkable growth of 39% from 2018-2022.

48 Latvian producers received approval for exports to China.

F&B Exports of Latvia to China in 2022, by types

Source, Cental Statistical Bureau of Latvia

  • Crops and crop
  • Animals and animal
  • Manufactured F&B

Country Image

Latvia in Chinese 拉脱维亚 (La Tuo Wei Ya). Only 0.1% Chinese have been to Latvia.

On XiaoHongShu (the lifestyle social media), Latvia in China is mainly known for:


Latvian Brands in China

Six brands entered the market; two remain as of Aug 2023 – RIGA Black for alcoholic beverages and TAKA Botanics for soft drinks. Interestingly, many brands do not emphasise their Latvian origin.

@Pure Chocolate
@Riga black
@TAKA Botanics
Northern Europe

What do Chinese say

“ I’ve bought all the flavors. Tastes good, sour and sweet! “

-Ms Liang, post-90 young mother

‘It cured my throat pain’

-Mr Su, white collar working in Shanghai

How are brands selling

Every brand aspiring to enter the market seeks to partner with Chinese importers. However, not all have succeeded in securing experienced importers and building lasting, reliable partnerships.

A standout case is TAKA Botanics – their strategy includes:
  • Peer-to-peer representation within China
  • Sharing consumption recipes
  • Emphasizing local branding and sales points
Teach how to use- making smoothies (Translated by LITAO)
Build community e.g. yoga events
Enjoyed the insights?
Meet us in Latvia for MASTERCLASS 2023

We want to invite you to spend one day talking about food!

Sigita Gailuma (ex Truksane) China Market Entry,

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