LONDON — Already the largest market in terms of volume of baked foods and cereals consumed, China is poised to become the second most valuable by 2018, as more urban dwellers consume pick-me-up snacks on-the-go, according to new research from Canadean.

The baked foods and cereals market in China is expected to reach $47 billion in sales by 2018, the market research firm said.

“With the vast Chinese population, currently estimated at 1.35 billion, it is no surprise that China is such a huge market for bakery and cereals; however, the per capita consumption is still low and indicates room for further growth,” Canadean noted. The research firm said the average Chinese only has 92 bakery and cereals occasions per year, which is lower than in Europe. The average German, for example, has 731 bakery and cereals occasions a year.

Canadean also found the Chinese prefer cakes, pastries and sweet pies, instead of bread and bread rolls, which are popular in Europe. Cakes, pastries and sweet pies currently account for almost 44% of China’s market share.

Helping key the growth will be smaller on-the-go packaging, Canadean said.

“Growing urbanization will promote the growth of the Chinese middle class, which, in turn, will lead to a demand for a wider range of products,” said Veronika Zhupanova, an analyst at Canadean.

Canadean’s report found the busy lifestyles of new urban dwellers will push them to search for convenient and tasty products on-the-go.

“Manufacturers should take advantage of this trend and produce bakery and cereals items that serve as an energy boost for busy Chinese who skipped breakfast or need a snack break at work,” Ms. Zhupanova said. “Single-serve packed items, such as Tao Li’s red bean paste Dorayaki, will sell particularly well during office hours, whereas multipacks of ambient and individually packed items will be suitable for tired consumers who are looking for a treat after a long day of work.”