If the goal of a business partnership is to increase demand and therefore sales, the largest Chinese retailer, JD.com (Jingdong) has hit a milestone with its deal with Wu Fang Zhai Foods Co., Limited. The rising stakes of satisfying customers with an “acquired taste” for sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo, highlights the collaborative partnership between JD.com and Wu Fang Zhai.
The dish is called “zongzi” and at the start of the summer solstice, demand for the dish always increases. Families order ahead for the customary Chinese holiday, “Duanwu Jie,” translated into English, the Dragon Boat Festival. It commemorates day number five of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar.
This year’s explosive growth has thus far reached 47 tons of zongzi sold and delivered since June 1st. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect considering that June 18th, marks JD.com 18th year in business. The anniversary coincides with Wu Fang Zhai’ bringing back respect by adhering to traditional preparation standards.
JD and Wu Fang Zhai must have the inventory and the correct recipe version of the tasty dish. That means each order is made according to regional tastes. People living in the Southern regions prefer their zongzi salty and served with stewed duck meat. While those in the North, prefer to eat a milder sweeter dumpling. In order to save time, participants in annual ceremonies order the sticky rice dish in advance.
For complete satisfaction in regional tastes, JD and Wu Fang Zhai change the dumplings for each delivery sector. This means keeping customers, consumers, and retailers happy with their production. An example of the change is found within responding to customer’s purchase habits. By keeping tabs on population migration, JD.com worked with Wu Fang Zhai to introduce several modifications; as it was noted many Southern Chinese have moved into the North. To accommodate this migration, the festival, and the tastes, JD.com came up with a bamboo crate gift box, filled with flavorful zongzi. The Jingdong and Wu Fang Zhai box combine sweet and salty flavors with other traditional Chinese delicacies including stewed duck and duck eggs.
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