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The Next Big Opportunity for China E-Commerce : Perishable Produce & Groceries


Chinese consumers love online shopping. From clothing and electronics to home appliance – now their interests are expanding into niche areas such as snack foods and even perishable groceries. Data shows that online purchases of perishable products in the forms of meat and produce have grown rapidly in recent years. In 2013 the e-commerce market demand for perishable products is expected to have reached 5.7 billion RMB. This represents substantial growth from just 4 billion RMB in 2012 and 1 billion in 2011.

Alibaba’s newly released white paper also reported that transaction volume for perishable produce and groceries including seafood & meat, fruit & vegetables,  and prepared food on its online shopping sites (Taobao and Tmall) increased by 195% year-on-year in 2013. Perishable products is the fastest growing sub-category within the “food product” category on Taobao and Tmall.

As Chinese consumers identify trusted sources for high-quality perishable products online, their purchases will continue to increase in frequency over the years to come. However companies operating in this niche face substantial challenges as the maturity of “cold chain” in China, is relatively low, which impacts supply chain and their ability to meet consumer demand.

China Perishable Goods E-Commerce Market Transaction Volume 2010-2013- Observer Solutions Blog

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