The Top 10 Lifestyle Trends on Chinese Social Media Platform RED in 2021

While we are already well past one-twelfth of 2021, it’s still not too late to watch out for the top lifestyle and consumption trends in China and plan for 2021 accordingly. In this article, we have translated the top 10 lifestyle trends and keywords in 2021 reported by RED (see the original report in Chinese here). Read along to find out how our ChoZan team interprets these trends and keywords.

There are over 100 million monthly active users on RED, over 70% of them are post-90’s and over 50% are post-95’s. In the year 2020, these young consumers have published close to a total of 300 million notes for the whole year and generated 100 million searches each day. With this massive data, RED has deduced and announced the top 10 lifestyle trend keywords to watch out for on their platform in 2021. 

Top 10 lifestyle trends on RED in China in 2021

Why RED drives new trends in China

RED is often the origin of new lifestyles and trends as RED users tend to have an eager pursuit of high-quality life. They are also more willing to experiment with new lifestyles and engage in new consumption scenarios. RED has evolved from a platform for product seeding to a conversion catalyst. When users share niche travel spots or restaurants on RED, other users would likely visit these recommendations in real life. They are also likely to post follow-up UGC on the platform, creating amplifying feedback for original content.

Lifestyle trend #1: Sugarless

Consumers are increasingly aware of health-related topics. More and more young consumers that are below age 35 start paying attention to health and working to establish healthy eating habits.

Lifestyle trend #2: Sweet liquor

This may seem very contradicting when compared with the last keyword, but the struggle is real. Just like how young Chinese consumers are constantly fighting the battle between improving sleeping habits and going to bed earlier, they are also struggling with establishing healthy eating habits. They want to lower their sugar intake on one hand, but also crave sweeter and lighter alcohols on the other hand. Hard liquors are usually associated with work matters as they are typically consumed over business dinners to socialize with business partners or to close deals, whereas the consumption of sweeter and lighter alcohols are more about hanging out with close friends and having a good time. 

Lifestyle trend #3: Living alone

Chinese singles are a prominent consumer group as they are more willing to spend money for themselves and seek higher quality in life. They have higher disposable incomes and can easily afford finer things in life. Along with the patterns of consumption upgrade, the future of the single economy is only going to look more promising.

Lifestyle trend #4: Winter sports

The Winter Olympics 2022 will soon be held in Beijing and people have been increasingly passionate about winter sports. Short skiing trips over the weekend are gaining popularity in China. The skiing fields in Guangzhou have the most combined check-ins and shares on RED although snow is quite rare in local winters.

Lifestyle trend #5: Unisex clothing

For young consumers, fashion may once be about gaining peer recognition, but it has now transformed into a way of expressing their personality. 

Lifestyle trend #6: The explosion of Guochao

Guochao does not simply mean adding Chinese elements to sneakers or doing trendy collaborations with local brands. Chinese consumers have a stronger than ever appreciation and recognition of Chinese culture. They also show a higher preference for local brands after the pandemic.

Lifestyle trend #7: Home workout

Home workouts experienced explosive growth on RED in 2020. The number of RED notes mentioning “Fitness Rings” and German fitness influencer “Pamela Reif” last year was over 13,000 and 260,000 respectively. 

Lifestyle trend #8: Recharging trips

With international travel bans in place, Chinese became more active in domestic travelling as soon as the pandemic went under control. Since May, all types of domestic travel, from local leisure trips, short-haul, long haul to business travel have experienced a significant rebound. RED users posted over 310,000 pictures of the sunset on the platform. 

Lifestyle trend #9: Camping

The picnic trend was especially popular across the nation last Spring. In just one month, the number of notes about picnics on RED grew 13.6 times and boosted the sales of “checkered picnic blankets” on major e-commerce platforms. Camping picked up momentum shortly after picnics as people were searching for more ways to get close to nature.

Lifestyle trend #10: Cooking at home

Home cooking has drastically increased after the pandemic. Many Chinese began learning to appreciate cooking at home. They would frequently exchange recipes and cooking tips on social media platforms; they also prefer buying semi-ready food ingredient packs so they didn’t have to prepare homemade dishes from scratch. 

RED users’ eagerness to experiment with new trends and share their experiences, which causes other users to experiment, creates feedback loops of fountains of original content.

It is exactly these feedback loops that made RED an irreplaceable platform in influencing young consumers’ spendings and generating trending topics. The above revealed top 10 lifestyle trends on RED in 2021 may very well become the next major consumption scenarios that are pivotal to consumers’ lives soon.

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