Provided by CGTN.
The Spring Festival is the time when families gather for festive meals. This year, pre-cooked meals are gaining more prominence in palates across the country.
It’s the Spring Festival season, it’s time to prepare a festive feast for the family. What Pang Ruirong might lack in cooking skills, she makes up for with her refrigerator.
Young people like Pang increasingly favor foods that are “easy to cook, easy to heat up and easy to eat.” The post-1990 generation is behind a convenience food boom.
In less than an hour, a hearty dinner of traditional Chinese cuisine is served on the table.
Data from research firm iiMedia shows that the size of the prefab kitchen market in China last year reached 346 billion yuan ($54 billion). It is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 20% by 2023.
Guolian Aquatic Products is one of the leading seafood companies that has jumped on the bandwagon, not only in domestic market, but also in more than 40 countries around the world.
When the regional comprehensive economic partnership came into effect on January 1, Guolian received the first certificate of origin for pre-cooked seafood, intended for export to Australia and Singapore.
“Pre-cooked food sales in the first three quarters of 2021 was around 600 million yuan, and it continued to grow in the fourth quarter. We mainly export to the United States, Europe and the member countries of RCEP. After the entry into force of RCEP, it is expected to see a substantial increase, especially in the first quarter of this year,” said Li Zhong, president of Guolian Aquatic Products.
The new consumer trend also allows farmers to share the value-added benefits of the industry.
Freshwater aquaculture farms in Wuchuan City harvested about 150,000 tons of farmed freshwater fish in 2021, grossing 1.5 billion yuan.
“The whole fish pond we can see is about 113 hectares. The production value last year reached 5 million kilograms, with a profit of 1 to 2 yuan per kilogram. Since Zhanjiang’s exemplary aquatic enterprises like Guolian have started selling pre-cooked meals, and Wuchuan named itself the “hometown of grilled fish”, the price of tilapia is now ideal,” said Qiu Jianzhong of Wuchuan Hongye Aquaculture Technology.
Fish is always part of the Chinese Lunar New Year dinner, as it represents abundance. As more and more precooked foods go global, Chinese farmers are expecting a prosperous year.