More than 2 billion Asians qualify as members of the global middle class by 2021. In China alone, this middle class includes 670 million consumers, compared with only 150 million today.*
As emerging market economies flourish, huge new markets open up to global brands. These “next billion” consumers, however, are vastly different from those that preceded them. While many earn more than $5,000 a year, making them part of the global middle class, they are still significantly poorer than their western counterparts. As a result, companies that want to do business in these markets must completely rethink their product mix and finances to compete at a much lower price point.
*”The New Global Middle Class: A Cross-Over from West to East,” Brookings Institute, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2010/3/china%20middle%20class%20kharas/03_china_middle_class_kharas.pdf.