Chinese New Year Foods: Dishes you cannot miss!

Shrimp, 虾 in Chinese, is a dish which can hardly be left out during Chinese New Year meals, according to our panel members. This is because the pronunciation sounds like laughter in Cantonese, a Chinese dialect. It is especially popular among Malaysian (80% selected shrimp), Thai (79%), Vietnamese (78%).

The next popular Chinese New Year items on the dining table is Yu Sheng. It goes by names such as: Lo Hei and Prosperity Toss. This festive dish comprises of finely cut colourful vegetable and raw fish is very much look forward to by Singaporean (89% selected Yu Sheng), Malaysian (77%), and Chinese (75%).

The most surprising is from Taiwan which has 65% who will purchase Western dishes for their Chinese New Year meals.

Almost all Vietnamese (98%) indicated that they will enjoy Chinese New Year meals at home, and this is closely followed by Taiwanese (90%). About half of the respondents from China (52%) and Hong Kong (50%) will be dining out at restaurants.

Majority of those who are preparing their meal(s) at home will make their purchase from 2 weeks prior, for example Singaporean (56%) will start shopping for the food items 1-2 weeks before the first day of Chinese New Year.

On the other hand, Thai (77%) and Vietnamese (60%) seemingly chose to leave their Chinese New Year shopping late, which is 1 week or less prior.

This may be because 97% of Vietnamese stated that Freshness of the food item is important for the meal preparation. It is also the top key factor for all.

The second important factor is Cost of the food, especially among Vietnamese (84%), Malaysian (79%), and Singaporean (78%). Thirdly, will be Food portion. This factor is second most important factor for Chinese (69%) and Hong Kong (67%) respondents.

And this brings us to where are the main channels which food items is being purchased. Supermarket is the top venue which has an average of picks of 80% among all respondents. This is an interesting finding evidently for China, as even with its advance e-commerce platforms, only 44% mentioned they will order food items for the Chinese New Year online. Overall, 22% indicated they will purchase for Chinese New Year food items online.

■Survey Details
Markets: Age 16+ in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Sample Size: 100 per country
Methodology: Online Survey using Rakuten Insight proprietary panels
Timing: Jan 21 – Jan 22, 2019

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