Youthful trends

"As soon as 10 o'clock arrives, the bread blind box is sold out in an instant!" This is the recent hot discussion on social networks about the rise of "leftover blind boxes". As a new way of consumption, through the Internet reservation to buy food sold every night before the restaurant closes, the "leftover blind box" not only saves money for young people, but also adds fun to their lives.


I only spent 20 yuan to buy food that usually costs 100 yuan

When you type "leftovers blind box" on social platforms, thousands of search results will appear. All kinds of bread, milk tea, dumplings, light food, etc., may be mysteriously packed into a blind box. Those Chinese pastries, cooked food or coffee worth more than 30 yuan can be purchased on the mini program at one-third of the original price. Such a preferential price has attracted many young people to squat online, like "rushing to class" to buy "leftover blind boxes".

One netizen expressed the voice of many snap-up buyers: "Since I opened a 'bread blind box' with a regular price of more than 19 yuan for 9.50 yuan, I have no motivation to buy at the original price." It can also be seen from the experience notes shared by many people that everyone chooses to buy the "leftover blind box" first because it is cheap.

"The leftover blind box accompanied me through the hardest days in the early days in Beijing." Mr. Jinxuan said he was a newcomer to the workplace who started his career shortly after graduating from college, and his low income and trivial living expenses forced him to live a frugal life.

After work one day, Jin Xuan passed by a restaurant and noticed a promotional poster outside the store that read "leftover blind box". The poster claims that the food made that day can be obtained for only three folds off the regular price. Jinxuan was attracted by this novel concept and attractive price and walked in.

"There is not much disposable income, and if you spend less on meals, you can save more." Jin Xuan also admitted that his original intention to buy the "leftover blind box" was to see the good price.

When Jin Xuan returned home after picking up the blind box, he was pleasantly surprised to find that it contained sushi rolls, salads, and various snacks and desserts. "For only 20 yuan, you can buy food that usually costs 100 yuan, which can solve the problem of food for two days." This made Jin Xuan a loyal fan of "leftover blind boxes".

Blind boxes with higher prices are more likely to prescribe more expensive regular-priced food

Although the contents of the blind box are randomly combined based on leftover food from the store that day, the store emphasizes that all food is fully edible and has undergone hygiene and quality checks. "The products in the blind box are indeed some of the foods that cannot be sold out of the day, and usually we will choose according to the price range of the blind box when packing." When asked what is the difference between blind boxes of different prices, the store said that the food in the blind box is generally discounted by three to five, and the blind box with a high price range is more likely to open more expensive regular-priced food.

In addition to being affordable, the "leftover blind box" also attracts young people because of its own mystery. When she opened the box, Xiaoman said, she was amazed by the abundance of food: silky sushi, colorful salads, and enticing aromas for the rest of the snacks and desserts. "I don't feel like I'm eating 'leftovers' at all, but I'm healed by that sense of surprise." Xiaoman, who has been unemployed for several months, said that the food surprise given by the "leftover blind box" made her feel happy, and even her life seemed to be revitalized. I saw the infinite possibilities from the "leftover blind box", and also found my own entrepreneurial direction, and started my own food sharing and environmental protection business.

"It's not just a serving of food, it's more like an adventure where you never know what you'll encounter the next time you open the blind box." And every time I calculate the total price, I feel that I have earned a lot. Yoyo is a busy Wangjing office worker who has been a part of her daily routine since she discovered the "leftover blind box".

In the second half of 2022, Yoyo was "planted" with a "leftover blind box", and since then, she has been grabbing the blind box every night, and different bread combinations have also made Yoyo develop the habit of eating breakfast, "Before, breakfast was only eaten when I thought of it, and now as long as I buy a blind box every night, I have begun to fantasize about what surprises I can eat the next morning." ”

Yoyo spends his nights flipping through platforms in search of interesting blind box combinations. "In fact, these 'leftover blind boxes' have also helped me expand the range of recipes." Yoyo said that he used to be a food "beauty party", and he first looked at which one looked good when he bought food, so he missed a lot of unpretentious food. Now she feels that while enjoying food, she can also experience the satisfaction of reducing food waste, which is a double win.


Connect users and businesses through mini programs to achieve the goal of reducing food waste

In addition to bringing the benefits of diet to young people, a blind box also adds an unknown pleasure to their lives. As the earliest batch of players in the "leftover blind box" market, "Food Wise Magic Bag" started in Changsha and has entered more than 30 cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing.

"In 2021, we launched the Food Wise Magic Bag project." The person in charge of the food-wise magic bag told the Beijing Youth Daily reporter that their original intention of making the "leftover blind box" is to connect users and merchants through mini programs, and the merchants will use the model of "food-wise merchants + food-wise + food-wise users" to jointly achieve the goal of reducing food waste with the help of the model of "food-wise merchants + food-wise + food-wise users".

It is reported that since its launch in April 2021, the "Food Wise Magic Bag" has "saved" more than 4,1500 tons of food. Through mini programs, they connect consumers, merchants and the platform itself to form a stable ecosystem.

In addition to the "Food Wise Magic Bag", there are also interesting pouches, bags and rice grain boxes and other regional platforms on the market. The emergence of more and more "leftover blind box" platforms also shows how receptive consumers are to this new business model.

For Jinxuan, the "leftover blind box" was originally a way for him to save money when he was in Beijing, his career was just starting out, and when the economy was under pressure. But over time, he gradually integrated the environmental protection concept he experienced from the "leftover blind box" into his life. He began to pay more attention to the problem of food waste, learned to arrange his diet wisely, and encouraged his friends and colleagues to join the environmental action.

Now Jinxuan has shared his "leftover blind box" experience and environmental protection views on social media, hoping to encourage more people to pay attention and reduce food waste.

Low prices attract consumers to rush to buy and even the phenomenon of "scalpers" appears

Although the rise of "leftover blind boxes" stemmed from a sense of respect and cherishing of food, as it continues to grow and promote in the market, merchants have found great commercial value. Hara Mai Hill Bakery is one of the successful testers.

The Beiqing News reporter found through browsing the comments on the social platform that many netizens said that "the bread blind box in the original Mai Hill is the most sought-after", and even need to book an alarm clock to remind the rush to buy, while most of the blind boxes in other bakeries can be purchased directly.

It is understood that in this emerging business model, merchants have investigated the psychology of young consumers. The results show that young people's love for "leftover blind boxes" is mainly based on three aspects: first, the lower price of blind boxes makes them have the psychology of "taking advantage"; Secondly, cost-effective blind boxes bring them a value-added consumer experience; Finally, brand trust is also an important factor influencing their willingness to buy.

However, the "leftover blind box" that is in short supply has also attracted questions, such as a "box" is difficult to find, which does not match the actual "leftover amount", is it just a new gimmick for merchants?

For why the "bread blind box" is difficult to grab, the person in charge of the original Mai Hill said that the lower product price has indeed attracted a large number of users to snap up, and even the phenomenon of "scalpers" has appeared. These problems need to be faced and solved by merchants, platforms and consumers in the future, especially how to rationally allocate the supply of "leftover blind boxes" to achieve the purpose of truly reducing food waste.


Can the sales strategy of limited supply "bread blind boxes" be changed?

The Beiqing News reporter learned during an interview at a European bag shop that focuses on "only selling bread of the day" that because of the uncertain flow of customers, the merchant will still have some bread left every day. Talking about the production process and quantity of blind boxes, the clerk said that every morning we will pack the bread of the previous day into the "bread blind box": "The shelf life of bread is 3 days, and we only sell bread that has not been sold out the day before." ”

The clerk of the European bag store also told the Beiqing News reporter that because there is no way to estimate how much bread will be left every day, the number of bread blind boxes cannot be determined, "but if our main new products have surpluses, they will also be put into the blind box bag."

Unlike this European bag shop, the number of "leftover blind boxes" prepared by some merchants is not equal to the number of items that were not sold out that day. Another bakery visited by the Beiqing News reporter adopted a sales strategy of limiting the supply of 8 "bread blind boxes" at 5 o'clock every night.

The clerk said, "Each magic bag blind box costs 11.9 yuan, and usually it will be filled with more than 30 yuan of bread. When asked why he didn't pack all the unsold bread into "leftover blind boxes," the clerk did not respond positively.

When the Beiqing News reporter entered the third bakery to visit, he encountered the same situation. A clerk said: "The headquarters uniformly stipulates that only three blind boxes are provided every day, but in fact, a lot of unsold bread will still be wasted. ”

It is not unusual for shops to close but still have a large amount of unsold bread in the store. "Only by genuinely contributing to the reduction of food waste can 'leftover blind boxes' have a future." An enthusiastic fan of "leftover blind box" said: "I hope that leftover blind box can really solve the problem of food waste under the condition of material abundance in the city." This is also the common expectation and goal of all people who pay attention to and participate in the "leftover blind box".

How to ensure food safety Splitting time periods is a good idea

In the discussion of "leftover blind boxes", other doubts come from food safety hazards, especially in summer, how to ensure the safety of "leftovers blind boxes"? The Beiqing News reporter visited a Chinese staple food restaurant, and the clerk said that they will sell "leftover blind boxes" at two times a day, namely 14:00-16:00 and 19:00-20:30, basically ensuring that the leftover food for lunch is sold at noon, and the leftover food for dinner is sold before closing.

The clerk also added that if the food that cannot be sold on the same day, the store will also do unified processing, and will not be sold the next day, "However, now the leftover blind box is still relatively niche, we are about 5 orders per time period every day, there will still be some food left, we will also engage in some offline promotions."

In another bakery, a reporter from Beiqing News saw that the blind box is usually sealed an hour before the customer picks up the meal, and the packaging process will be carried out in the background, and then the blind box bag is placed behind the counter and waiting for the customer to pick it up. When asked if the food will spoil during the waiting period, the clerk said: "We will also choose some products that are easy to store and not easy to spoil, and products that need to be stored in the refrigerator, such as half-cooked cheese, will be avoided in blind boxes."

Some netizens believe that the promotion of "leftover blind boxes" is a process full of challenges and opportunities, which requires the joint efforts of businesses, consumers and all parties in society. There are also "leftover blind boxes" Netizens said, "Only by truly understanding and solving these problems can the leftover blind box change from a gimmick to a sustainable consumption model and make a tangible contribution to reducing food waste." ”

Text/Reporter Zhang Zhiyi Intern Zhang Yujia (Source: Beijing Youth Daily)