MaI Cai – New Sales channels opening for value fruit in China

12 September 2022

The disruption of the Pandemic is affecting disposable incomes and consumer confidence in China such that shoppers are looking for value in their food purchases. This has meant e Commerce and fruit retailers looking at ways to decrease costs and reduce distribution layers in the supply chain and they have introduced a new buying model called Mai Cai.

Mai Cai in Chinese means to buy meat/vegetables for a meal. Every family needs to Mai Cai on a daily basis or every 2 or 3 days. Mai Cai purchasing is generally offered by the huge e Commerce and retail companies such as Hema, PDD, Tao Bao and Ding Dong. Consumers in cities order fruit and vegetables on an APP and the produce is delivered within a day to pick up point chosen by the customer, close to their homes. There are thousands of delivery points in communities – they could be a small local store, a tobacconist or a person’s house.

Picture: DouDuo Maicai App Fruit Promotions, August 2022

Urban consumers are offered value-for-money fruit. For example, Duo Duo Mai Cai (above) is currently selling Sichuan Lemons at RMB3.99 for 500g (AUD 1.68/Kg)(2-5 pcs), Hubei Summer Oranges at RMB8.99 (AUD 1.90) for 1kg. and Henan Water Honey Peaches for RMB 3.69 /500G (AUD 1.57/Kg).

Maicai formats gives 1-3% commission to the collection points. They have the competitive advantage they do not need to lease shops and can move large volumes without individual delevery runs. Packaging is generally basic. They are now a strong competitor to traditional wet markets.

Whilst most fruit is domestic some imported fruit is sold such as Chile cherries and Australian second grade oranges.

We bought 1 Kg of Australian oranges for 4.99 for 500g (AUD 2.10/Kg) from PDD Mai Cai. They were delivered to a local collection point, a local food store, within 18 hours of purchase. The fruit was mixed sizes with slightly soft skin. Taste was good.

Picture: Australian Navel Oranges purchased for RMB 4.99/500Gr on PDD MAi Cai App and delivered to Nanjing general food store collection point.

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