Fresh food e-commerce is disrupting the retail landscape in China by making it easier for consumers to purchase fresh, healthy, and imported food products. According to iResearch, in 2017 the approximate Gross Market Value of China’s fresh food e-commerce market reached RMB 140 billion, a nearly 60-percent increase from 2016. Leading the change are e-commerce giants using their experience in online retail, logistics, and deep pockets to invest in ‘new retail’ business models, cold food chain, and the supply chain.
New retail businesses, such as 7Fresh and HEMA, which are backed by JD.com and Alibaba, respectively, operate integrated online and offline supermarkets. While offline consumers are treated to experiential shopping and in-market restaurants, online customers can purchase fresh foods and in some cases expect them to be delivered within 30-minutes. Currently, these instant online services are mostly limited to tier-1 and tier-2 Chinese cities because of the cold food chain infrastructure. Recognizing the importance of cold chain logistics, SIAL China, Asia’s largest food innovation exhibition, scheduled for May 16 to May 18 in Shanghai, will again cooperate with Cold Chain Logistic Committee (CCLC) of China Logistics and Purchasing Federation (CFLP) , the leading cold chain governmental association of China, and dedicate Hall W5 to International Cold Chain Logistics.