SHANGHAI, Jan. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- While this year's celebrations officially kick off on January 27th and last until February 2nd, demand for lobster has skyrocketed with companies going to great lengths to cash in on high prices.
With so many Chinese citizens leaving their rural homes to work in larger cities, this is usually the one time of year when families reunite to splurge and break bread. Or, more specifically, crack some lobster tail.
It is in this spirit of reunion and abundance that no cost nor effort to obtain the best (and the most) is spared. And with more families than ever enjoying in increase in disposable income, demand for luxury delicacies is at an all time high.
To gain exposure for their online seafood marketplace, Gfresh hired a well-known streaming celebrity to deliver lobster orders by limousine to unsuspecting buyers, while streaming the whole experience on the celebs channel, which has over 100,000 viewers per day.
The live streaming of your life has quickly become an $11 billion dollar industry in China. Young men and women have become superstars for simply talking about their day, or drinking tea in front of a webcam. And it's now a great way for businesses to get exposure to tens of millions of streaming fans.
But that's not the only new thing on the block. Wholesale buyers in China are now using wholesale cross-border ecommerce platforms to circumvent the antiquated business model of emails, faxes, letters of credit, etc. that make it difficult and risky to purchase wholesale internationally.
"For Chinese New Year, we wanted to roll out the red carpet for our buyers, while also making a statement: traditional model of wholesale trade is changing fast," says Anthony Wan, Gfresh co-founder.
Ok, the limo and webcam are neat, but why lobster?
Of all the elements that go into creating the Lunar New Year dinner, lobster is perhaps the most anticipated. The bright red crustacean evokes thoughts of good luck; and what was once reserved for coastal families and wealthy citizens, lobster is now sought after by more families every year.
Up and up and up
The cost fluctuates year upon year, and is affected by not only demand but a number of factors, including weather conditions and freight forwarding costs. This year the cost of almost all types of seafood has increased, in some cases between 50-100 percent.
In September 2016, Americans were paying $9 to $11 per pound for a live lobster, which is already higher than the year before. Now, a few months later, consumers can expect to pay around $13 per pound, with prices set to continue to rise until the end of January.
Sales volumes tracked by Gfresh show just how much wholesale seafood demand the company has seen during the high demand month of January. The volume of lobster shipped in December to January 2016 saw over a 50 percent increase.
Demand is rising all around
Lobster isn't the only seafood commodity that sees an increase in demand and cost in January due to Chinese New Year. Geoduck, salmon and Dungeness crab are all making their way onto more tables throughout the country, reaching further inland every year.
With Chinese New Year just around the corner and a billion wallets opened wide, companies around the world are going to great lengths to stand out from the crowd.
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