Digital transformation: Alibaba predicts boom in China retail digitisation and healthy foods

‘China online commerce giant Alibaba has predicted that the retail sector in China will see a boom in digitisation as well as a rise in healthy food options moving forth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak,’ writes FoodNavigator Asia’s Pearly Neo.

Alibaba’s grocery arm, Freshippo, experienced an upswing in demand and new users when the COVID-19 outbreak peaked in China early in 2020. And it seems that e-commerce food-buying among Chinese consumers is here to stay.

According to Alibaba Vice President and Freshippo CEO Hou Yi, the pandemic has catalysed growth in the online grocery sector that’s set to continue, with not just gen Y and Z, but older consumers also turning to e-commerce to buy all sorts of goods, including fresh groceries.

Another trend expected to receive a boost from the pandemic is ‘health’ foods and snacks, with food-buying preferences across China’s e-commerce markets shifting from ‘convenient, fast, often unhealthy options’ to fresh ingredients that they can cook at home as well as healthier snacks, low-fat and organic foods.

“This increased adoption of online shopping is an additional impetus for retail and service industries to integrate online and offline shopping, and digiti[s]e their supply chains,” Yi told FoodNavigator Asia. “Consumers will … appreciate the benefits and efficiencies, leading to more demand.”

Read the full article here.

In late May 2020, Neo reported on earlier industry analysis suggesting that ‘China’s fresh foods sales by e-commerce will continue to boom, after the Chinese New Year period and COVID-19 lockdowns initially caused trade to spike’.

It seems she was correct. Read the full article here.


Digital transformation: Alibaba predicts boom in China retail digitisation and healthy foods due to COVID-19 I Food Navigator Asia; ‘Consumption evolution’: Further boom predicted for China’s fresh food e-commerce platforms post-COVID-19 I Food Navigator Asia