更 正 启 事[11-12]


What would be the development of the Chinese aquatic market in future from the view of a foreign businessman.
Ladies and gentlemen,

Just a brief introduction of myself:
I have worked 35 year in the international aquarium industry for Tetra GmbH Germany
In different positions in marketing and sales. I build up the Tetra business in West and East Europe as well as established Tetra companies in UK, France, Italy, Singapore and supported the build up of  Tetra’s own business in Japan. Since 3 years I now live here in Guangzhou, where we have a Representative office and try together with my colleagues
to support a healthy development of the aquarium business in China.

Actually it is a good question: What will be the development of the Chinese Aquatic Market in future? From my experience in the other parts of the world I can say:
Basically there are no limits for growth, if we and when I say we, I mean the manufacturers of aquatic products , but also the wholesale and retail trade here in China do the right things. I will revert to this subject later on and explain what I mean.

Let us look at our actual environment and trends that will support my growth theory for the aquatic industry and trade in China in the years to come.

1st: We see a clear and strong positive attitude of consumers towards nature. An aquarium
Is a small biotope  and a clear part of nature.  This is an important message to consumers
And we should try to transport this message to them via different medias. Our individual websites can strongly support this message.

In this context with nature we should not overlook another, more bigger biotope: a garden pond. Specially in suburbs of big cities, where you have individual family houses with gardens and this is a rowing trend in China, you will recognize that people like to keep fish in garden ponds. I can report to you that almost five percent of German households maintain a garden pond nowadays compared to may be  1%  fifteen years ago.

2nd:  In the century of computers and game boys many families are concerned about this “computer fever” where young children play hours and hours with these “instruments”.
An aquarium or a turtle offers for the individual child a lot of  pleasure  and at the same time  also responsibility by regular feeding of the fish and cleaning the aquarium . In addition they learn something about water chemistry and breeding of fish. For many parents a welcomed hobby for their kids, if the parents know that something like this exists and if we as an industry make the aquarium keeping more easy, which brings me to the third point.
第二:在这个计算机和“game boy”的游戏年代,许多家庭都非常关注这个“计算机发烧”问题,小孩子整天沉迷在游戏之中。而水族箱或一个小乌龟能给小孩带来非常多的快乐,同时也培养他们定期喂食和清洗鱼缸的责任感。另外还可以学到一些水生物化学和饲养鱼类的知识。家长是非常欢迎小孩这个爱好的,如果家长了解这个东西,而我们作为从业者能够使饲养更容易,这是我下面要谈的第3点。

3rd: I figure out that there is probably an annual 30% drop out rate from keeping the aquarium. We don’t feel it, because an over proportional amount of people start at the same time with the aquarium.  But: if we can stop respectively decrease the drop out rate we will see even better growth. There are numerous reasons for this drop out rate, but one main reason is that fish die constantly.  We as an industry  have the responsibility to produce products that help the consumer to maintain the aquarium properly and also to support their knowledge  by seminars, aquarium books and other educational activities.
 The  aquatic trade on the other hand has to give professional advise to consumers and sell healthy fish. I can say that I do observe a positive development in the trade to assist consumer in the right way  how to keep an aquarium.

4th:  The aquatic retail trade  shows a strong up trading in certain parts of China. The shops are spotless clean, excellent  shop layout with a wide variety of value added products and a good assortment of  healthy tropical fish as well as personal to give correct advise to consumers. These shop owners have recognized that the consumer today is already different from the consumer 10 years ago. The consumer demand is not only increasing when it comes to product quality but also when it comes to the environment in which he is shopping.  This trend of up trading hopefully continues  and will create a solid base for future growth in our industry.

5th: Most of our people live in apartment houses where sometimes dogs and cats are not liked so much by the neighbor and therefore in many apartment houses it is not allowed to keep these pets. Nobody probably objects to keep fish either as a real hobby, because of fungshui or because one considers an aquarium an addition to a pleasant living environment with a touch “close to nature”. So also here we have a positive trend when it comes to keeping an aquarium.

6th: and this is a difficult prediction for me.  I could imagine that over a longer period of time aquarium shops will open in different locations in a city, rather than all concentrated in one aquarium market as t is now in most cases. We need to consider the aspect of consumer convenience.  I wonder , if people are prepared  in the long run to spend several hours in heavy traffic to go and buy new fish or other aquarium products. Therefore the trade might consider this consumer convenience aspect and it might lead to a decentralization of aquarium shops, which might in turn contribute to new consumers keeping an aquarium.

7th: I would like to congratulate many public aquariums in China. Whenever I am travelling I visit one of these public aquariums. They are an important multiplier to bring people  to an aquarium at home. They create appetite to keep fish. I have seen hundreds of school classes visiting these public aquariums. A very good support to get new people to the aquarium hobby.

Finally I am pretty convinced that proper marketing at industry and trade level will play an important role for the market development in future. Where today the price is the main factor in the marketing mix, I am sure it will be tomorrow  a professional marketing in our aquarium industry, not different from what happens already today in the professional consumer goods industry. Marketing expenses at industry level, but also at trade level
might easily be 10% of sales. This expenditure will of course support that the market shows a constant healthy growth.
And the result of all of this:  A  very positive outlook for the future of the Chinese aquarium trade and aquarium industry of a foreign busy aquarium businessman.



BHH 20.10.2008