Pufferfish popularity: Tmall reveals three booming choices for Chinese New Year reunion dinner

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tmall and CBN published a consumer report which details the consumer trends for Chinese New Year.
Tmall and CBN published a consumer report which details the consumer trends for Chinese New Year.

Related tags: pufferfish, Chinese new year, tmall

Sales of semi-cooked dishes, pufferfishes, and gift boxes containing fresh products boomed in Tmall as the Chinese New Year (CNY) draws near, according to a consumer report.

Compiled by CBN Data and Tmall, the report studied the best-selling items, including food, clothes, and electronics, sold across the entire China via Tmall from January 1 to 15.  

While nuts, sweet dates, and puffed snacks remained the most commonly bought food products, the report also highlighted emerging trends for reunion dinner.

The most noticeable growth was seen in the sales of half-processed dishes, where more than 800,000 units were sold in two weeks’ time.

The sales of fresh food gift boxes also grew by 10 times, while 12,000 pufferfishes were sold. 

The report noted that consumers are becoming more health conscious, as the search for “low fat”, “no sugar”, and “low calories” food have increased by 153%, 137%, and 88% respectively.

Consumers in their 30s are the major buyers of health foods, consisting 39% of the total number of consumers, with each person spending RMB$236(US$34) on average.

Demands in different cities

Consumer spending grew in all cities, with the greatest percentage growth seen in 3rd​ and 4th​ tier cities.

Both 3rd​ and 4th​ tier cities saw a growth of 55%, followed by 2nd​ tier cities (54%), 5th​ tier cities (53%), and 1st​ tier cities (51%).

Amongst the 3rd​ to 5th​ tier cities, the highest amount of CNY spending per consumer went to Zhoushan, a prefecture-level city in Zhejiang province.

Spending per consumer was RMB$495 (US$73), followed by Shannan city in Tibet at RMB$471 (US$69), and Ningde prefecture-level city in Fujian at RMB$454 (US$67).

As for growth in per consumer spending, Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous region, saw the highest growth. This is followed by Yangquan, a prefecture-level city in the east of Shanxi province, and Liuzhou, also a prefecture-level city in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region.

In terms of product types, fresh products and meat were sought after in coastal cities, while the inland consumers preferred seafood.

For instance, hairy crab was popular in both Yunnan and Guizhou, while Shanxi preferred Sri Lankan crab, and hairtail fish was in demand in Henan.

Amongst the coastal cities, the preference for meat could be seen in Shandong, where oxtail was in demand.

Elsewhere in Shanghai and Guangdong, lamb spine hot pot and lamb steak were preferred.  

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