Jan 29, 2023|

Chinese Spring Festival 2023 Consumption Trends: “3R” Food, Routine Shopping and More


by Vivian Yang

Among the most prominent consumption trends during this Chinese new year holiday period (from January 21-27) were the continued booming of “3R” food, diversified and routine e-shopping categories, and the vast potential in the lower-tier markets, according to a report prepared by JD.com’s Consumption and Industry Development Research Institute.

“3R” food (short for “ready-to-cook”, “ready-to-heat” and “ready-to-eat” food) saw six-fold growth in transaction volume year over year during this period.

Food is an essential element of Chinese Spring Festival celebrations. With the 3R industry thriving in China in recent years, more and more Chinese families are choosing to order 3R dishes to enrich their reunion meals, especially meaningful holiday dishes such as chicken soup with fish maw; those with complex preparations such as Sichuan-style fish filets with pickled vegetables; and those that require special cooking skills, such as the delicacy known as “Buddha jumps over the wall,” which requires hours to simmer a variety of seafood, meat, and other nutritious ingredients.

The report also noted that with the normalization of non-stop delivery service during the festival, Chinese consumers are accustomed to ordering all kinds of “routine” products during the festival period. The transaction volume of mobile phones, home appliances, and health products on JD.com all witnessed substantial increases. (This year marks the 11th year in a row that JD Logistics has offered non-stop delivery service during Chinese New Year.)

Meanwhile, after-sales services have been in hot demand during the holiday, such as mobile phone warranty service (up by 296 percent YoY), home appliance repairs (83 percent) and home cleaning (302 percent).

Consumers’ shopping preferences vary in different tiers of cities. The report found that during the spring festival period, consumers living in higher-tier markets shopped for a lot of fresh food, flowers and pet supplies on JD.com, while those from lower-tier markets bought more mobile phones, home appliances, furnishing and decoration products. This is reflective of the trickle-down effect by which young people returning to their homes from big cities during the holiday are spreading their online shopping habits to their relatives and friends in villages and towns, and enabling more people to enjoy the convenience and quality goods that e-commerce offers, according to the report.