A Waikato University population expert says food producers and exporters need to be aware of long-term population trends in their markets because that will influence future demand for their products.
Population studies director Natalie Jackson says China is a case in point.
China is now New Zealand's second biggest export market after Australia, and the perception is that its huge and growing population provides almost unlimited scope for increasing trade there.
But Professor Jackson points out that its population will peak in the mid-2020s, and then start to decline, largely because of the "one child per family" policy there.
She says marketers need to be aware of the changing age structure.
Professor Jackson adds, however, that beef consumption projections for China paint a different picture.