Business / Companies

Catering industry e-platform teams up with major food suppliers

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai ( Updated: 2015-05-15 16:56

China's first and largest catering industry business-to-business e-commerce platform,, announced a strategic partnership with 11 major food suppliers in the country on Thursday.

Since its soft launch at the beginning of 2014, the platform has been joined by over 1,000 restaurants and restaurant chains in China, and achieved 12 billion yuan ($1.93 billion) in turnover by October. In December, the online trading platform became officially operational.

"Despite the mammoth size of China's catering industry, it's a rather quiet and lonely business, with every player playing individually," said Wang Huimin, co-founder of the platform and president of Xiao Nan Guo Restaurants Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed catering company based in and launched in Shanghai.

Together with several other major players in the industry, Wang said that the platform could become "the Alibaba of the catering industry".

The National Statistics Bureau forecast that in 2015, the country's catering industry would "enter the era of 3,000 billion yuan in turnover". In 2014, Chinese people spent 2,786 billion yuan dining out, up 9.7 percent year-on-year.

Among the 11 suppliers who will work with the platform and its thousands of member-restaurants, South Korean company CJ Group is the only foreign enterprise.

Having entered China in 1992, the company has developed 97 branch companies and 19 factories in 34 cities around the country.

By working with, Park Keun-tae, president and CEO of CJ Group China, hoped that his team could cooperate more closely with the country's domestic restaurant chains, and gain a better understanding of Chinese diners' tastes.

"The platform also provides a good opportunity for foreign companies like us to study such a large market as China," said Park, adding that each corner of the country boasts drastically different tastes and culinary cultures.

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