Hong Kong "South China Morning Post" article on May 25, original title: As Beijing stepped up anti-waste actions, temporary food...
Hong Kong "South China Morning Post" article on May 25, original title: As Beijing stepped up anti-waste actions, temporary food discount sales became the latest trend in China. Two years ago, Guangzhou student Lili bought a box of soy milk near the expiration date and sold it. The price is only 1/3 of the original price. This made her happy and told her friend, but the latter said that eating impending food would have health risks. Lily then stopped talking about such discount sales to others, worried that they might think she was too frugal. But she continued to buy low-priced impending food, although she did not want her friends to know. She also established an online community-which later grew to more than 57,000 people, who shared their tips on buying impending food every day. She said: "I have seen many people buying similar foods online, and I am sure that there is nothing wrong with this behavior."
In recent years, this has become an increasingly popular trend, especially since China passed the new Anti-Food Waste Law. A survey report in 2020 shows that China’s urban catering wastes 34 billion to 36 billion catties each year. In fact, before the implementation of relevant laws and regulations, some supermarkets in China had already set up special areas for low-priced temporary food. In a supermarket in Shenzhen, a basket is placed at the end of every food aisle, filled with noodles, tea, edible oil, seasonings, etc. that will expire within two months. The salesperson said that these products are sold at a 30% discount, "this will definitely reduce a lot of waste."
For many years, the elderly Chinese have been looking for special offers to save money, and now young people are gradually following this trend.
A popular post from Lily’s "I Love Temporary Food" online group is: Do you think it is ashamed to buy temporary food? Most people replied that it is nothing shameful to save money without wasting food. Videos of going to storage areas and shops selling impending food are also popular. In order to meet demand, many such shops and storage areas have sprung up in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. One of the chain stores has expanded rapidly since 2020, opening more than 50 stores in Shanghai alone and cooperating with more than 200 Chinese and foreign food brands.
However, since the Chinese government has not yet formulated policies to encourage such behaviors or regulate related markets, the current ad hoc food is still a niche market, but the industry is accelerating its development since the promulgation of the Anti-Food Waste Law.
Not long ago, a market supervision bureau in Nanjing discovered that a bakery was throwing away unsold bread, and determined that it violated the Anti-Food Waste Law. The media is also increasing its publicity efforts. Lily’s online group was reported as an example of an anti-food waste campaign, which increased the group’s membership by 10,000. She said: “People like us have always existed, but the relevant laws and regulations have made people pay attention to (provisional food).” (Author Phoebe Zhang, Ding Yue)