Workers work on a luosifen production line. [Photo/Chinanews.com]
Convenience foods have become increasingly popular and seen a huge increase in sales as restaurants continue to be shuttered amid the coronavirus epidemic.
On e-commerce platform Jingdong, sales of convenience foods rose 3.5 times from Jan 24 to Feb 2.
Products such as river snail rice noodles, instant noodles and instant hot pot were among the top 10 most purchased food items on e-commerce giant Taobao from Feb 3 to 17.
Instant food sales on Three Squirrels, an online snacks retailer, were double that in 2019, said Yin Xiang, chief public relations officer with the brand, adding that most of the consumers are young and middle-aged people.
Several famous brands of river snail rice noodles, also known as luosifen, were out of stock on Taobao, with some products only ready for shipment as late as April 4.
While hugely popular among consumers, luosifen manufacturers are unable to meet the surge in demand as many employees have not been able to resume work and the supplies of ingredients can't be guaranteed, said Ni Diaoyang, president of the luosifen association of Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
The government in the Yufeng district of Liuzhou has called on nearly 200 volunteers to help seven local luosifen companies get back to normal production. Huang Xiyue, one of the volunteers, said that four of them could paste waybills on 400 products for shipment within half an hour.