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Prepared food supplier raises 80 million yuan

COLDSKY.CN – Shicai56.com, a provider of frozen food supply platform, raised 80 million yuan ($11 million) from Qingsong Fund(青松基金) and 01VC(零一创投), iyiou.com reported.

Prepared food market size is about 300 billion yuan, less than 10 percent of the food ingredients market in China, and it’s expected to rise quickly if compared with the higher percentage of ready meals in Japan, said Lu Chunlong, founder of the start-up.

The platform launched in 2019 entered into partnership with over 500 suppliers and the monthly gross merchandise volume (GMV) reached over 70 million yuan. It currently mainly serves restaurants and help them cut cost and improve standards. 

The company has opened six city-based hubs, expanded business to 102 counties, and connected with 8,000+ food material delivers, according to the report.

I think the prospect is dim if the company wants to deliver food to individual customers in big cities, simply because the usually large frozen food vehicle is impossible to move smoothly and cost effectively. 

Chinese like to share meals in large groups. Even you have a good cookbook, the cuisine really depends on the skills of the chef, so many people prefer to go to restaurants. But the coronavirus lockdown and the busy lifestyle can drive changes in the dining habit. 

Major Chinese frozen food producer Sanquan Food reached into a franchise agreement with convenience store giant 7-Eleven last year to open stores in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province this year, with a clear goal to put more ready meals on the shelf. When I lived in Beijing two years ago, I remembered the hot meals prepared by in-house cooks is a key reason to visit 7-Eleven outlet.

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