Shanghai Global Gourmet Festival kicks off
As a key event of the city's annual shopping festival, the Shanghai Global Gourmet Festival kicked off on Friday.
On-site activities are being held at LuOne CapitaLand Plaza (268 Xujiahui Road) over three days, while various online and offline promotional events for hundreds of restaurants will last until the end of October.
Meituan, a Chinese e-commerce platform that provides life services and one of the co-organizers of the gourmet festival, said that more than 5,000 restaurants serving global cuisine will offer discounts and promotions on the Meituan platform until late September.
As an increasing number of people are spending more time at home, especially during the pandemic, convenient food delivery and takeout are in greater demand, boosting the online ordering and delivery industry as well as ready-made food.
At the launch ceremony, Meituan released a report on Shanghai residents' consumption of global gourmet items, showing the number of food businesses offering online ordering and delivery services between March and July rose 5 percent from the same period last year.
Also, Shanghai's consumption of foreign food accounted for more than 18 percent of total food consumption in 2021, the highest level in China.
Notably, 85 percent of global gourmet restaurants now offer online services, more than twice the level in 2019.
"The pandemic has made more Shanghai catering businesses see the importance of online delivery and takeout services," said Xu Qiao, head of Meituan Delivery's Shanghai business.
Even many restaurants with "Black Pearl" titles, which historically only served food on site, have begun offering takeout and delivery this year, Xu said.
The gourmet festival is directed by the city's commission of commerce, hosted by the Shanghai Food and Beverage Industry Association and Shanghai Business Information Centre, and co-organized by LuOne CapitaLand Plaza and Meituan.