Consumers Lured by Promise of Safe Groceries Online
Reuters reports that food has become one of the fastest-growing segments of e-commerce in China, with online sales of produce expected to climb as consumers react to recent food safety scandals:
The trend is adding momentum to a Chinese online retail boom driven by a rapidly expanding middle class, with companies such as COFCO Ltd and Shunfeng Express betting that a decent slice of a 1.3 billion population will pay for the peace of mind they say their services offer.
“I think people are willing to pay a higher premium than in the West. 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, a partner at consultancy McKinsey.
But convincing some skeptical Chinese consumers on food quality will remain a battle. Shanghai-based Zhang Lei expressed doubt on the credentials of some products being touted as organic.
See more on food safety in China via CDT.