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The vegetable market is rising and young people are sinking.
At the moment of the epidemic, looking for the sign of “coming back” of a city, we probably have to go to the local food market.
Just like July in Shanghai, it revived with the return of vegetable markets in all blocks. Mengxi restaurant, a well-known online celebrity, just resumed business a few days ago. The stall owner and customers returned at the same time. After hearing the news, many people will deliberately choose to catch the morning market on the first day.
Gourmets praise the beauty of the vegetable market. Cai Lan said that wherever you go, you should first visit the vegetable market, “mainly because you like to eat, and you will buy anything you haven’t tried.”. Chen Xiaoqing said that all urban tourism without visiting the vegetable market is equivalent to love without marriage.
The vegetable market to a city is often the soul to a physical existence, but in the past ten years, the pulse of this city has gradually drifted away from the young people.
On the one hand, the highly developed e-commerce of takeout and fresh food has made young people adapt to the convenience of door-to-door service. On the other hand, the young generation who advocates personality, freedom and freedom is obviously not in the same level of life as the kitchen with a strong flavor of fireworks.
Now, change is happening quietly.
Some young people, represented by the post-90s generation, are keen to explore the vegetable markets and restaurants near their homes. In Douban, there is a “vegetable market enthusiast” group, with 140000 members gathered to share the highlights of roaming the vegetable market; In xiaohongshu, exploring the food market is a regular option for food bloggers. Buy clothes, get a perm, and shoot blockbusters in the food market. Tiktok wanghong also loves the food market.
It is hard to deny that the epidemic has greatly changed the outlook on life and consumption of young people.
More eager to feel ordinary daily life, willing to go out of the house, buy vegetables and cook by hand, study healthy living and eating habits, know how to compare prices many times, and live a frugal life – of course, the deeper reason may be that the post-90s are no longer young.
Standing on a larger industry level, in the past two years, fresh e-commerce has been trapped in labor costs and profit models. Online product prices no longer have advantages, and gradually reduce the territory. Users can always choose better alternatives by voting with their feet. The vegetable market, in the current urban planning and design, is also increasingly moving in the direction of youth and trend.
Young people enter the vegetable market, which is also waiting for young people.
Lei Lei, who works in a large Internet factory in Beijing, has always been calm and down-to-earth on weekends in recent years.
After getting up at more than 5 o’clock, he will go for a run in the nearby park. Now he can run for 10 kilometers in a row. After that, on the way home, he can easily bring back breakfast, wake up his wife, finish the meal, and then go to the nearby vegetable market together.
It is a large farmers’ market outside the North Fifth Ring Road. It is near wholesale, and the prices of vegetables and meat are quite cheap. Lei Lei, for example, said that a fresh bass weighing one and a half kilograms can be won at a price of about 20 yuan, “which is more convenient than the online price
Once, she wanted to buy eggs, and the store happened to be sold out. The landlady told her to “come this time tomorrow, there must be”. The next day, as soon as Zhu Zhu Zhu entered the store, the landlady hurried to say, “girl, the eggs are coming.”
In a city with a population of 20 million, this is a warmth remembered by strangers.
Why is it a vegetable market
Not long ago, Zhong Shuru, an anthropologist and distinguished associate researcher of the school of tourism of Sun Yat sen University, shared his research on the vegetable market on a podium.
She mentioned that the United States began the “retail revolution” in the 1970s, and large chain supermarkets gradually replaced small markets. However, in China, even though Carrefour, Wal Mart and other giants have entered China for decades, the vegetable market has not been replaced as in the United States.
One of the most important reasons is that for a long time, the vegetable market has been a small society maintained by acquaintances, including the purchase chain of vegetable vendors and the human relations between regular customers.
“There are thousands of interesting people and things in the same furnace. Social relations and social exchanges happen all the time in the vegetable market.” Zhong Shuru said.
However, it is hard to deny that it is still an offline retail store targeting the elderly. The study mentioned that there are 360 vegetable markets in Nanjing, among which 80% are middle-aged and elderly customers, and 53% of the vegetable market turnover has decreased year by year.
Over the past ten years, fresh e-commerce has witnessed rapid development in China.
In 2005, Yiguo fresh was established, marking the emergence of fresh e-commerce. In 2014, due to capital involvement, represented by the front warehouse mode of daily excellent fresh, the track ushered in a big outbreak; Then, HEMA, jd.com, meituan, etc. joined the game one after another. Before and after the epidemic, community group buying players who bought more vegetables and orange heart preferred entered the game. In the game of crazy money distribution, young people were gradually taught to buy vegetables online.
But recently, the industry is another direction.
Ding Dong has continuously withdrawn from many cities, including prefecture level cities such as Guangdong, Anhui and Hebei, as well as Tianjin, a municipality directly under the central government. It can be predicted that it will continue to focus on the first and second tier key cities and gradually shrink.
From 2019 to 2021, the company’s annual net losses were 1.873 billion yuan, 3.177 billion yuan and 6.43 billion yuan respectively, which is a big money burner.
Daily Youxian is directly rumored to be bankrupt. At the end of July, an online conference audio in Youxian daily showed that in the name of air control, the company notified employees to work at home, but directly stopped everyone’s internal accounts, and employees were directly dismissed collectively. What’s more, someone found that the company had taken away valuables such as computers, including many employees’ personal computers.
The overall failure of community group buying came earlier, and the once ambitious platforms have long ceased, so there is no need to repeat.
Young people in first tier cities used to be their main users, but on the other side of the overall contraction of platform businesses, young people are also being driven by the general environment
In the 2021 Research Report on China’s smart vegetable market industry released by iResearch consulting, it is mentioned that from the perspective of fresh retail channels, the vegetable market is still the largest fresh retail channel. In 2020, the fresh retail in the Chinese vegetable market accounted for 56.0% of the total fresh retail.
There are nearly 40000 vegetable markets in China. The problems existing in traditional vegetable markets, such as dirty environment, low level of informatization, extensive management, food safety and so on, have become the focus of local standardization in recent years.
Creating the online red vegetable market is an epitome of the market’s re attracting young people.
Last year, the reconstruction and upgrading of Xi’an Jianguomen food market introduced art blocks, bars, exhibitions and street fairs, becoming a model of youth. The old market, formerly known as Xi’an Velveteen Factory, was constrained by the renewal and iteration. Finally, the reconstruction party integrated the cultural and creative block with it, and achieved an online hit point.
Similar to Jianguomen food market, Wuhan shahubian market and Suzhou Shuangta market were once popular.
What the new retail business review wants to express is that, admittedly, the online Hongcai market is not the mainstream after all, but more as a carrier of urban culture and a business card facing the outside world.
In other words, there is no inevitable causal link between the transformation of the vegetable market and the return of young people to ordinary life. The former is a part of urban construction planning, while the latter points more to the emotional changes of a generation.
But in any case, the vegetable market is rising and young people are sinking. There is indeed a collision between the two in a broader sense, which is enough.
The anxiety of the post-90s generation was cured by the vegetable market
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