3 small-cap shares that could win big thanks to Chinese consumers

It’s pretty obvious that Australia’s economy wouldn’t be where it is without the help of the Chinese consumer and recently an article in the Fairfax business press noted that UBS has identified the following three ASX stocks that could be big winners thanks to the Chinese consumer.

Capilano Honey Ltd (ASX: CZZ)

Capilano is a household name in Australia and the team at UBS believes the company will be able to successfully leverage its well known brand into the Chinese market according to the Fairfax media report.

Capilano currently exports around 20% of its products overseas and there could be a much bigger opportunity to target the Chinese consumer with products such as medical grade Manuka honey that Capilano is currently producing with New Zealand-based producer Comvita Honey.

The company expects to deliver earnings growth of around 18-20% for FY16 and although the share price has increased by around 180% since the start of 2015, UBS believes the shares are still attractively priced trading on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 17.8.

Capilano has also recently taken steps recently to secure its honey supply and I believe this is an important move by the company to enable it meet the future demands from export markets.

Vitaco Holdings Ltd (ASX: VIT)

Vitaco shares have struggled under the weight of unreasonably high expectations, after being unfairly, in my opinion, compared to the likes of Blackmores.

According to the team at UBS, Vitaco never had short-term plans to rapidly expand into China and the company is instead focusing on integrating its pivotal Musashi acquisition and setting up domestic manufacturing facilities to target export markets in the future.

The shares are also significantly cheaper than other companies in the sector although I expect investors to remain cautious until the company releases its full year results in a couple of months time.

Freedom Foods Group Ltd (ASX: FNP)

Freedom Foods is an Australian-based food business focused on producing gluten and allergen free foods including cereals and milk.

As Chinese consumers tend to gravitate towards Australia’s relatively stringent food standards, the company is looking to take advantage of this with milk brands such as “Australia’s Own” which is being marketed especially for toddlers.

Freedom Foods has recently upgraded its manufacturing facilities in a move that UBS believes will allow the company to meet the growing demand for specialist foods in China over the long term.

Incredibly, shares of Freedom Foods have increased by 1,165% over the past five years, although according to the Fairfax article, the team at UBS believes the company may still be able to deliver superior long-term returns for investors.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares of Vitaco Holdings. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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