Since it became profitable in 2018, China’s third specialist food E-platform has increased direct investments in production and new hybrid business model ‘Fresh Plus Store’.
With seven years’ experience in online sales of fresh products in China, Benlai has taken a leading role in process management and implementation in the supply chain. Among its 300+ brands, Benlai has enjoyed great success with partnerships such as with Chu orange, Hongqipo 100 apple, Liyushuang organic rice, Pujiang orange, and Yu San hairy crab.
Benlai.com supplies fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, aquatic products, cooked foods, grains, oils and other groceries. Over the past three years, annual sales have grown by more than 300% across China. It delivers fresh products to 109 cities across the country using cold-chain solutions and to 300 cities by regular delivery. At present, there are nearly 700 offline stores in China, having entered the Shanghai market in January 2019.
New hybrid business model
The ‘Fresh Plus Store’ is the new O2O (Offline-to-Online) retail model developed by Benlai.com, in order to better target the mass markets. The concept is to integrate offline shopping with online sales. Door-to-door delivery is offered for consumers located within 300 metres. Belai.com has opened stores in China’s major cities, like Wuhan, Chengdu, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Tianjin, and Shanghai. Benlai has enjoyed great success since 2018 with its two brands, Fresh Plus, for the O2O model, and Benlai.com, for the B2C model, both of which have become competitive and attractive for investors. In October 2019, Benlai received a US$200 million investment fund to accelerate its development.
A strategic agreement with SGS
At the 2019 China Agricultural Forum, Benlai signed a strategic agreement with SGS (the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company) that will see the two parties cooperate closely in the areas of supplier management, fresh product testing, and own-product services to build a traceability quality control system for fresh products and improve product quality. During the 3rd China Fresh Produce Conference, organised by Eurofresh Distribution & the 23rd FHC CHINA expo in Shanghai (SNIEC), Bian Ning, general operating manager of Benlai.com said, “2019 is an unprecedented year for China’s fruit market because of the large planting area, good harvest and varieties.” As the Spring Festival will take place earlier in 2020, this will mean a short season of fruit demand in China, and risks causing a sharp reduction in fruit prices in the first half of 2020. Therefore, Benlai has launched a fast combat strategy to offset the upcoming risks.