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Controversial 'Spartans' add muscle to salad promotion

By Jiang Wanjuan | China Daily | Updated: 2015-09-29 08:16

About two months ago, images of foreign male models dressed up as bare-chested "Spartans" delivering food on Beijing streets made media headlines. The publicity stunt generated even more attention when police detained some of the models for disturbing public order.

Although most people remembered the Spartans instead of the food they were holding, it certainly gave a boost to Sweetie Salad, the Beijing-based startup specializing in salad delivery.

"The promotion generated more publicity for us than we expected. Within one day, the event was reported by over 300 media all over the world in different languages," says Wu Jingran, a Sweetie Salad cofounder. "Many companies and brands approached us for cooperation, bringing more opportunities to us. Within 24 hours, our WeChat followers increased by about 50,000."

Today, the brand can sell up to 10,000 jars of salad online per day in the capital, Wu tells China Daily website.

Wu and her partner Yu Wenlu, who were both experts in online marketing in their previous jobs, started the brand last July to introduce a food-delivery concept that would satisfy people's eagerness to eat healthy, and give them a way to order such food online.

Sweetie Salad's colorful meals all come in large portions in transparent jars. The 10 salad options come in three categories: beauty, muscle and BMI (body-mass index), with calorie and protein amounts marked for each product.

Customers can also choose from a wide range of dressings to go with their salads. Upon receiving the food, they are directed to pour on the dressing, close the jar and do a bit of fun exercise by shaking the salad well before eating.

A single salad ranges in price from 25 to 55 yuan ($4-9), and customers must order it at least one day in advance, either through its website or official WeChat account.

"Salad is a Western food, but we have introduced Asian culture to our products," says Yu. "For example, our beef udon salad is very oriental. We also refer to the 24 Chinese solar terms in choosing seasonal local fruits and vegetables."

The bilingual website is helping the brand attract an expatriate clientele in Beijing as well as Chinese customers, Yu says. Sweetie Salad is planning to launch its delivery service in Shanghai in October.

Controversial 'Spartans' add muscle to salad promotion

Sweetie Salad’s meals in transparent jars.Provided To China Daily

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