joint investment by Haidilao and Xinpai Shanghai to sell instant hotpot products
Zhu Danpeng, a researcher with the China Brand Institute of Food and Beverage, said: “the production technology for instant hotpot is relatively easy, and is designed to please young consumers.”
Haidilao’s push into instant foods has inspired China’s traditional hotpot caterers to follow suit. They have launched various flavors with matching ingredients, all of which are now sold online as well as offline (at retail outlets) — a new business model called New Retail.
Such business expansion moves come in the wake of the rising popularity of takeouts and food delivery apps in China.
Traditional restaurants are feeling compelled to branch out into retail, particularly in segments like packaged food and readyto-eat food, to retain access to consumers. In doing so, they are overcoming physical space limits.
In another twist to the tale, retailers such as supermarkets are adding in-store dining services to allow consumers to buy and eat on their premises processed food and food cooked in their in-house kitchen. The idea is to increase fresh food sales.
For instance, the Lianxiangqiao store of Wumart Stores Inc in Bejing offers cooked seafood for its customers.