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Chinese buying more food online

Chinese are now embracing the web to shop for safe, quality food following several food scandals plaguing the nation.

“In other markets, like the UK, food e-commerce is about convenience. Here, there’s going to be a higher quality and safety premium,” said Chen Yougang of McKinsey.

“Before people thought the Internet wasn’t suitable for selling clothes. But now it’s the most suitable channel. I think food will follow this trend,” adds Yougang.

Benefiting from this trend are Cofco and Shunfeng, one of the biggest players in food retailing.

“We go directly to the farms to pick the produce, and then using our own logistics, deliver straight to the consumer. So from the tree to the consumer’s dining table, we’ll remove all the sectors in between,” said sales and marketing director Yang Jun of Shunfeng.

Online retailer Fields said chicken products saw a rise in sales after bird flu outbreak in China and Taiwan.

Zhou Wen Quan, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness, predicts online sales of fresh produce in China could hit 40 billion renminbi ($6.5 billion) in five years.

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