Leftover blind boxes quietly rise "advent food" will you buy?

Industry practitioner: Leftover blind boxes must consider food safety

■ In today's "everything can be blind box", even leftovers have joined the ranks. The term "blind box" has gone from the "unknown fun" of luck to the "living blind box".

■ Recently, Chengdu has set off the trend of "leftover blind boxes". Leftover blind boxes, obviously cannot be the real "eaten leftovers", in fact, refers to the food that the merchant fails to sell during the shelf life, with a large amount of discount price advantage, packaged into a "blind box" to accelerate sales, in order to achieve the purpose of "reducing food waste", to a certain extent, but also to help the merchant recover the "cost of raw materials".


The original price was 38 yuan

Dessert blind box 11.8 yuan

On the "After 11 o'clock" mini program, the reporter randomly selected a coffee dessert shop and bought a dessert blind box at a price of 8.7 yuan, and after payment, the platform showed that the order needed to be confirmed at 7 p.m. at the merchant, and the self-pickup time was from 9 p.m. to <> p.m.

At 6 p.m. that day, the reporter received a reminder from the merchant to confirm the order, and arrived at the store on time at 7 p.m. to pick it up. After showing the "pickup code", the owner packed a "strawberry Basque" dessert directly from the freezer. The reporter noticed that the dessert was priced at 38 yuan in the freezer. The reporter noticed that the simple carton packaging did not indicate the date of production, shelf life and other information, but the store owner also reminded that it is best to eat it on the same day, or refrigerate it, otherwise it will affect the taste.

The owner of the coffee dessert shop told reporters that the store has participated in the "leftover blind box" platform to deal with the desserts that were not sold out on that day, and it will be on multiple platforms at the same time. "What we couldn't sell before, either we ate it ourselves or throw it away, which was quite wasteful." It is uncertain how many desserts are sold at a discount in the form of 'blind boxes' each day, but based on the day's sales, there are about five or six servings, and the inventory is counted every day. ”

It just so happened that a lady at the scene also bought a dessert at the same store through another "blind box" platform. "Recommended by a friend, I bought it two or three times (blind box)." The woman told reporters that she lives nearby, and when she comes home, she can stop by to eat something, which is convenient and cheap. "But once the experience (was not good), obviously there were no other guests, but I waited for more than 20 minutes."


Baked goods mainly Blind box = advent food?

It is understood that at present, Chengdu mainly has three "leftover blind box" platforms, namely "ZFW after eight o'clock", "rice grain box" and "food magic bag", which are mainly in the form of WeChat mini programs.

The mini program purchase interface of the three platforms is similar to the takeaway platform, after placing an order and paying, it will be picked up in the store within the specified time, most of the pickup time is from 7 pm to 9 pm, and there are a few "morning markets" and "lunch markets", or business hours can be self-picked. Delivery is also supported, but additional shipping fees apply.

Another similarity is that when buying a blind box on the platform, you cannot choose independently, and the merchant sells it according to a three-to-five discount of the listed food, "what you buy depends on luck", which is also the "selling point" other than the low price of the blind box.

The reporter noticed that the three blind box platforms accounted for the majority of baked desserts, in addition to some coffee drinks, cooked food, convenient fast food, etc., among which "rice grain box" has cooperation with a number of large supermarkets/convenience stores of different brands. The biggest "feature" of "after eight o'clock" is the "blind box" of a five-star hotel buffet.

Selling foods with a short expiry date at a lower price, although the new bottle with the "blind box" is crowned, still sounds similar to the concept of "advent food" in the previous fire.

The reporter found that the dessert "blind box" product that he tested and experienced, the merchant also has "second-sale products" on the "Meituan" platform, but the price is slightly more expensive, 14.8 yuan. In large supermarket chains, there is also a "night market" practice of selling expired food on the day at a discount. The reporter noticed that the rise of "leftover blind boxes" is mainly based on social networking platforms such as Xiaohongshu, netizens are keen to share "experiential check-in" experience, "follow the trend", "evaluation", "saving tips" and other keywords have become "traffic passwords", and some popular blind boxes even "slow hands can't grab".

Netizen "Xixi" has been keen on "blind box" check-ins since May, and has continuously released 5 notes on "food blind box" so far, "scoring" blind box products, which are also based on baking products, covering a small amount of milk tea and Chinese food. Most of the "blind boxes" are more satisfied, but there are also "thunders", such as a bread blind box with insufficient quantity and similar products, "I really feel that it is not worth it".

Netizens "Fengyun" also commented that the blind box purchased in a bakery has only a 3-hour shelf life, which has collapsed and poor quality, and the customer service said that "freezing and rebaking does not affect consumption", but netizens still questioned that "businesses sell food that is about to be scrapped under the banner of avoiding waste".

The reporter also noticed that many netizens reported that when purchasing some "blind box" products, the packaging did not indicate the shelf life, production date and other information.

The owner of the coffee dessert shop who evaluated the experience of the above-mentioned reporter said that some peers are not willing to participate in this sales method, and the food would rather expire and throw away than sell it at a discount, "because I am worried that some people will deliberately wait to buy discounted products, there is a bad demonstration effect, I think that I have to discount anyway, why buy the regular price." The boss also said that before choosing a blind box, it is best to read the reviews, and it is not ruled out that some merchants are "shoddy".

Industry insiders:

Whether it's advent food or a "blind box"

Security issues should be taken seriously

Yuan Xiaoran, executive president and secretary general of the Chengdu Catering Association, is "cautious" about the market development prospects of food sales as "blind boxes".

On the one hand, the temporary food is sold at a discount, and it does have its consumer market, so we must see the good side. But on the other hand, advent food is fundamentally different from out-of-season clothes, shoes and hats, and food safety issues must be considered.

Yuan Xiaoran said that when the industry inspected first-tier cities, it learned that some companies collected temporary food from large supermarkets and lowered the market to communities for discounted sales, which is actually a change in "business model". "It is a temporary food itself, can the transportation link meet some of the food preservation conditions that require cold chain transportation?" Could there be an unlawful way to change labels privately to 'extend'? Yuan Xiaoran said that these are all risk points.

In response to the problem that some "leftover blind boxes" strongly reflected in the purchase experience of netizens do not have price tags, food production dates, shelf life and other information, Yuan Xiaoran said that regarding food safety production, relevant laws and regulations have clear requirements, such as Article 5 of Chapter II "Food Production and Operation" of the Sichuan Provincial Food Safety Regulations revised and passed on May 25 this year and will be implemented on September 9: Food business operators selling bulk food shall set up special areas or counters, and set up special areas or counters in bulk food containers. The outer packaging indicates the name, production date or production batch number, shelf life, and the name of the producer, the food production license or filing number, address, contact information, etc. The production date indicated shall be consistent with the production date marked in the factory; For food sold without zero, the original packaging shall be kept until the sale is completed.

"For operators, as the first responsible person for food safety production and operation, it is necessary to clearly mark the product name, production date, shelf life and other elements." Yuan Xiaoran said that operators also need to fulfill their obligation to inform and fully protect consumers' right to know. As a consumer, it is recommended to purchase with caution when facing foods that are not clearly marked with the above information.

From the perspective of the industry, Yuan Xiaoran said that as early as 2018, according to the different catering categories, Chengdu refined the operation requirements and compiled identification examples from five aspects: Chinese food, hot pot, snacks, drinks and services, and produced the "Chengdu Catering Industry Clearly Marked Price Reference Template". In March this year, under the leadership of the Provincial Administration for Market Regulation and industry associations, the content of group standards such as the Code of Conduct for Anti-Food Waste in the Chengdu Catering Industry (Draft for Comments) and the Management Code for the Refined and Standardized Labeling of the Menu Label of the Chengdu Catering Industry (Draft for Comments) were discussed, revised and improved.

Chengdu Business Daily - Red Star News reporter Yu Zunsu