Feb 10, 2021|

Prepared Food and Ready-to-Cook a Key Trend of this Year’s CNY


by Ella Kidron

Ready-to-cook Chinese New Year specialties are receiving a fair amount of attention this year. Many Chinese consumers are preparing for an unconventional CNY celebration, having opted to spend the holiday in the cities where they work rather than traveling.

Learn more about Chinese New Year dishes: Happy Chinese New Year Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-8vMAorqLg

As data released by the JD Big Data Research Institute on Feb. 9 indicates, sales of prepared versions of Chinese New Year dinner must-haves are significantly higher than before. Sales of a one-person serving of the traditional delicacy Buddha Jumps over the Wall have increased four times. Some consumers have gone all out – sales of set meals of auspicious CNY dishes are up 3.5 times.

Learn more about Chinese New Year dishes: Happy Chinese New Year Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OVyw_k2gP0&t=73s

Since Laba Festival, searches for Chinese New Year’s Eve meals (年夜饭 in Chinese) have continued to rise, with search volume more than doubling that of last year (according to the lunar calendar). The meal enjoyed on the eve of Chinese New Year is known for including a rich abundance of dishes, each of which is meant to bring prosperity, happiness or other good fortune to the diners.

For example, large meatballs (often referred to as Four Happiness Meatballs, which signify family reunion and completeness) sold increased a whopping 17 times. Prepared pig’s feet increased 300%, as the pig represents wealth and that each year will be better and better. Prepared fish, which signifies surplus as the word for fish and surplus sound the same in Mandarin, increased 122% and eight treasure rice, which signifies a bountiful harvest, increased 148%.

Learn more about Chinese New Year dishes: Happy Chinese New Year Episode 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubtEiOLhQDc&t=6s

Interest in time-honored Chinese brands to ring in CNY has not waned. Brands including Daoxiangcun, Tianfuhao and more doubled the amount sold. In particular, products from time honored brands purchased by the post-95 generation have increased 365%.

Many consumers, even those who are going to roll up their sleeves, are opting for a bit of help in the kitchen this year. Ready-to-cook products increased 160% YOY. With less travel between cities this year than previous years, one-to-two person servings of traditional dishes have seen sales increase 3.5 times. Fish Filets in Hot Chili Oil(水煮鱼), self-heating hot pot and Buddha Jumps over the Wall are the most popular. Despite the massive increase in prepared food, there are also plenty of families eager to get creative in the kitchen. Sales of air fryers, pressure cookers and crockpots, and electric whisks increased over 150% YOY.

Learn more about Chinese New Year dishes: Happy Chinese New Year Episode 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyQANhJ7Q9s&t=46s