A guide to ordering fresh food online in Shanghai during lockdown
Ordering fresh food online is the first thing many do during their lockdown in Shanghai as the latest COVID-19 outbreak bites. This is how you can place an order successfully.
Which online platform is better?
My compound in Minhang District has already been locked down for five days. I have tried all online platforms to buy vegetables, and these five were among the better ones.
1. Freshippo app
Freshippo notifies users that it opens for online orders at 7am every day. To ensure your order is successful, you'd better get your shopping cart ready before 7am and continue refreshing the page. Delivery staff usually become fully booked around 7:10am.
2. Dingdong Maicai app
You'd better place orders between 5am and 6am, and delivery staff usually become fully booked around 6:30am.
3. Aldi WeChat mini program
English service is available. Although they notify users that online orders would be available at 8am, you can actually place your orders from 7:45am.
4. Bailian Daojia WeChat mini program
The fresh produce on Bailian Daojia is from the nearest Lianhua Supermarket. I placed an order at midnight, the product was delivered the next day (after 36 hours), notified by a text message. It just took 10 minutes to arrive.
5. Ole WeChat mini program
The products here are a little expensive, but you can place an order at any time. I got the delivery in five hours.
I bought Shanghai cabbage, oranges and pork ribs on the five platforms, and compared their price and quality.
Shanghai cabbage was sold out at Dingdong and Bailian. Freshippo's was bigger, Ole's was organic but more expensive.
The ribs at Freshippo and Bailian were in a small cut, perfect for Shanghai-style sweet-and-,sour ribs. Dingdong and Aldi's ribs were in a bigger cut, a little different in size.
The pulp of Bailian's oranges was red. Aldi and Freshippo's oranges were sweet, Dingdong's were a little sour.
My shopping list
Freshippo's vegetable box, priced at 59 yuan (US$9.25), included tomato (1kg), carrot (1kg), cucumber (1kg), Shanghai cabbage (500 grams), lettuce (500g), ginger (300g) and garlic (200g).
Maiquer Xinjiang black bread, priced at 19.9 yuan (350g), is a healthy choice for breakfast and can be kept for two months. The bread is made of rye and is full of walnuts.
I bought minced garlic-flavored crayfish (39.9 yuan/340g) from Dingdong, it tasted tender and flavorful.
The supermarket chain provides coffee, bakery products and quick dishes, as well as vegetables, fruits and milk. The fresh coffee comes at a 50 percent discount for more than two cups.
The store's highlight is German-style food – pretzel bread, roasted chicken, lunch box and sausages.
Bailian's fruits are good and affordable, apples are priced at 16 yuan (1kg) while it costs 16 yuan for a watermelon (1.2kg).