Food delivery is a huge market in China but most of that is focused on individual consumers; logistics business SF Holdings has come at this from a different angle, launching FengShi, a WeChat Mini Program which aims to deliver meals to corporate employees.
When it first appeared in February, FengShi (丰食 means well-fed in English) was designed to feed SF’s own employees and reduce the risks of them contracting COVID-19.
A month later the service had been extended to other companies; there are currently 52 brands listed on FengShi, including Dicos, Pizza Hut, and Yoshinoya, according to media reports.
While the coronavirus and lockdown were the spur to the birth of FengShi, the logistics background of SF Holdings was clearly crucial. And in fact, the SF Express sub-division already takes care of food delivery for brands like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Luckin Coffee.
FengShi gained a much higher profile in May 2020, when SF Holdings pushed it into the public spotlight to divert attention from a separate part of its business.
As the major shareholder in Hive Box, a smart delivery locker present in many residential where couriers can deliver packages for temporary storage before receivers can collect them, SF ran into adverse publicity when a decision was made to start charging for use of the lockers which had previously been a free service.
Amid much adverse sentiment and a growing consumer boycott, the “official introduction” of FengShi could draw attention elsewhere. But that also suggests a rushed development which may test FengShi’s online service capabilities.
There is future potential in the consumer market (and individuals can already order via FengShi as long as their employer is registered for the service), although this will be significantly more difficult to break into as many people have preferred food-ordering platforms, with some even buying memberships to those.
Sourced from WeChat