Chinese animal product consumption behaviour was analysed for both urban and rural households using a complete regional consumption dataset that was augmented to include away‐from‐home consumption. Seven animal product expenditure share equations were estimated with an extended Almost Ideal Demand System model. The results suggest that Chinese consumers will continue to increase their consumption of animal products, but that consumption patterns have changed in the 1990s. A large percentage of household animal product expenditure is still on pork. However, the shares for aquatic and poultry products consumption will increase substantially. As a consequence, the pork expenditure share will be gradually reduced as incomes grow and diet preferences change in both urban and rural households. There are significant differences in animal product consumption preferences across regions of China. As a result, studies that omit regional dummy variables in their demand systems can produce different expenditure and price parameters. The present paper also found that many of the estimates of elasticities and marginal expenditure shares would be rather different if the data ignored consumption away from home.