business

Chinese young people become main consumer force of food close to expiring

A consumer buys drinks at a supermarket in Haizhou District of Lianyungang, East China’s Jiangsu province, on Aug 10, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Young people in China have emerged as the main consumer force of food that is still perfectly safe to eat but nearing its expiration date.

Wang Xuan, a post-90s girl in Beijing, stumbled on an online store only selling soon-to-expire food when she was about to buy coconut water on an online shopping platform. She couldn’t help but make orders as the store offered a 70-90 percent discount on a wide variety of snacks. Surprisingly, these snacks still tasted good.

Wang recently found an online store selling imported chocolates that are near their expiration date. “With a discount, a box of chocolate was sold at 23 yuan, which was very appealing to me,” she said.

As the market has continued to grow in recent years, Wang is only one of many young people who like to buy food close to expiring in China. Reports surfaced that the value of the market hit 10 billion yuan. On e-commerce platforms dozens of stores are selling food in this way, some of which have run for nine years.

In addition to online channels, supermarkets and convenience stores also provide discounts on soon-to-expire food including snacks and beverages, as well as daily chemicals near their sell-by date.

Some young people have also opened their own store selling food near the sell-by date. In February this year, Wu Yang, an internet professional, opened a store selling best-before products on an e-commerce platform. The first batch of food, close to 2,000 yuan, sold out in less than two weeks. In a few months, about 30 percent of consumers repurchased food from his shop.

Selling food products before their expiration date is an effective way to cut down on food waste.

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