It's Survey Week and results are out! ... but cabbages are not having a good time...
While Shanghai seems to be hitting good numbers, meaning a possible easing of the lockdown in the coming weeks, Beijing and several other major cities are now following in Shanghai's footsteps and beginning to implement restrictions.
The first signs are showing, in-person dining is suspended, and people are rushing to stock-up food. Let’s keep our fingers crossed this doesn’t lead to a full Shanghai-style lockdown for those cities.
This week seems to be Survey Week. Christopher St. Cavish, a partner in this newsletter, has recently run an interesting survey that we will go into more detail about below. Sixth Tone has polled Shanghai about what people are buying in groups. And in South East Asia, Grab has queried its customers about Mother’s Day purchases in South East Asia.
And then there are the Japanese electric chopsticks…
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1 - What are people trying to get during the Shanghai lockdown?
2 - What will happen to F&B after lockdown? Should they all add pizza to their menu? Should they remove any cabbage dish?
3 - What will people be getting for Mother's Day in South East Asia?
4 - How many mushrooms do you need to make a pair of Stan Smith in size 11?
5 - Add a pinch of electrified chopsticks to your ramen, and voila!
Now, let’s dig in!
WHAT’S NEW IN CHINA?
1 - What are Shanghai people trying to buy during lockdown?
SixthTone and The Paper conducted an online poll about group buying during the Shanghai lockdown and received a total of 1,020 valid responses (Chinese and detailed results available on The Paper). The goal was to understand how group buying is impacting people, what are they trying to buy on those platforms, and how much time they are spending looking for suppliers.
This first graph clearly shows that it requires quite a bit of time to be a hunter, something we probably already knew somewhere deep in our DNA.
In almost every community, there is a rule that says “only essentials allowed.” People are afraid that if the group purchase is not completely sterilized, the community will have more positive cases, running the risk of the 14-day quarantine starting all over again. Also, if too many group purchases arrive, the delivery volunteers will be overworked.
But what’s “essential”?
Group buying is challenging and finding 30-40 households in your building to agree on some cigarettes, hygienic products or toothbrushes is a whole other story. In the case of an emergency, bartering and exchanging products with your neighbors has become very normal.
Chinese version and full results here
2 - What are Shanghai people craving from the F&B scene?
Last week, our partner and F&B expert, Chris St.Cavish, from STCAVISH + CO, launched a survey to people in Shanghai.
“When I launched a survey last week to ask readers a few questions about home cooking, delivery, and thoughts about restaurant-going after the lockdown, I hoped a couple of you might respond.”
Available in both English and Chinese, the survey gathered 930 responses.
People are craving for the Shanghai F&B scene to get back to normal as soon as possible… they are tired of cabbage, they want to get pizzas and buy some cheese.
What is probably the most interesting takeaway is that people are willing to get back to normal, and it looks like the COVID situation won’t have an impact on the behaviors of the diners, who are looking forward to going back to a restaurant immediately after the lockdown is over, and are not expecting to get special measures inside the restaurants.
All of this is very promising, and the Food & Beverage industry will be looking forward to getting some support because as a previous article from St. Cavish revealed, restaurants have been suffering since March when the first cases were identified and some parts of Shanghai went into semi-lockdowns.
“According to the Shanghai Statistics Bureau, the total revenue of the F&B and hotel category (the Bureau groups them together) fell by 39.5% in March 2022 to 7.05 billion RMB, compared to March 2021. Many of the restaurant owners I spoke to even considered a 39.5% decline to be conservative, and possibly helped by the government's requisition of hotels for quarantine use,” said Chris St.Cavish.
With the month of April in full lockdown, bringing down all incomes to zero for most of the F&B professionals, with very little hope to get support on rents and salaries (except for specific cases and delays in payments), restaurants and bars owners will be very happy to see people back in!
WHAT’S NEW IN THE REST OF THE WORLD?
3 - What will Southeast Asians buy for Mother’s Day?
GrabAds, the advertising unit of Southeast Asia’s super-app Grab, conducted a survey with consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines to find out how consumers are planning to celebrate the occasion.
Beyond cakes and flowers, it appeared that herbs, beer, meat, and international cuisine emerge as surprise favorites on Mother’s Day.
4 - What’s your shoe size in mushrooms?
Adidas is developing a version made of Mylo material, of the iconic Adidas Stan Smith, by using the mushroom’s root structure.
“Turning a mushroom into a shoe isn’t a one-step deal, but unlike other efforts, it has the potential to reach mass-market scale. It took 4,000 samples and about a year of working with Mylo to ensure the sustainability, aesthetic, and performance standards could hold up to the process of making a sneaker.” as reported by Forbes.
The Stan Smith Mylo is expected to be available for retail later this year and the price will fall in line with other Stan Smith offerings. The ultimate goal is to bring Mylo to the performance side of Adidas.
5 - Electrified chopsticks will make your food salty
Kirin Holdings has designed the 'smart' chopsticks that make low-sodium food 1.5 times more tasty. This should bring the umami of a bowl of ramen or miso soup way up!
“The chopsticks use “very weak electricity – not enough to affect the human body – to adjust the function of ions such as sodium chloride and sodium glutamate to change the perception of taste by making food seem to taste stronger or weaker”, Kirin said in a statement.” reported by The Guardian
The root of the problem goes back to the fact that Japanese adults consume about 10 grams of salt a day, double the amount recommended by the World Health Organization.
See how it works in the video below :
Talk to me about these stories and what it means for your business!
The FoodTech Confidential Newsletter is supported in part by:
Stcavish + Co is an F&B market intelligence company, specializing in firsthand research and other data-driven information about restaurants, hotels, and more in China.
For information about their services, please contact email@example.com or see them on LinkedIn.
That’s it for now
As you can imagine, while doing my research, I am finding a lot more things that didn’t make the cut here (and some are going straight to LinkedIn). Let me know if you’d like to know more and drop me a comment, just reply to this email directly or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: I also have a little form to collect feedback and topic requests you’d like me to work on… it’s here! Take two minutes, this will help bring this newsletter to another level.