Alibaba’s Hema unveils ready-to-eat king crab for Chinese New Year

By Lewis Hu | Dec. 7, 2023 – 16:47 GMT

Alibaba’s innovative retail store, Hema, has unveiled a range of ready-to-eat king crab products targeting the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday in China. This holiday is one of the most significant family gathering periods of the year. The product lineup includes garlic king crab legs, Hong Kong-style king crab chunks, and black truffle cheese king crab legs, with prices ranging from CNY 188 to CNY 269 ($26.45 to $37.84).
These products offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to whole live crabs, which can be complex to prepare at home. Hema’s data indicates that over 90% of king crab buyers utilize the store’s onsite processing service. Cai Yugui, Hema’s procurement manager, explained that the ready-to-eat crab undergoes a comprehensive process, including catching, freezing, seasoning, and packaging within a cold chain system before distribution to stores. The objective is to make the traditionally large and spiny king crab more accessible for individual and family meals during the gift-giving traditions associated with the Lunar New Year on Jan. 22.

Hema also has plans to introduce future products tailored for individual diners, according to Cai. This series capitalizes on the king crab’s premium status as a holiday delicacy, six years after Hema initially introduced live king crab and positioned it as a celebratory food.

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