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NW China’s Ningxia revives wolfberry industry by attracting young consumers

(People's Daily Online)    15:07, February 05, 2021

Working creatively to help the wolfberry products win the favor with young consumers, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has turned the products into a cash cow, Chinanews.com has reported.

During the "Double 11" shopping festival in November 2020, the online marketplace Tmall opened a sales channel linking wolfberries with the ancient Chinese classic "Shan Hai Jing" (Classic of Mountains and Seas), making wolfberries and derivative products a hit among young consumers.

A wolfberry collector works in the current harvest season in Hongsipu District of Wuzhong city, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, June 11, 2019. (Xinhua/Feng Kaihua)

According to statistics, young people accounted for 70 percent of the buyers of wolfberry products on the platform.

"The Chinese–style design and young people's increasing care about their health have contributed to the popularity of wolfberries," said Hao Xiangfeng, chairman of the wolfberry association of Ningxia and president of a wolfberry company.

"Wolfberry is an ingredient of Chinese medicine as well as a symbol of the Chinese culture and history. Therefore, it's a perfect thing to showcase the beauty of the Orient," said Hao, who always thinks about how to revitalize wolfberries.

To leave a deep impression on consumers, the company's over 100 physical stores across the country are painted in red and decorated with ink-and-wash paintings, and its online shops use similar decorations.

Last year, the sales volume of wolfberries and derivative products ranked first under the category of health products, reporting a year-on-year increase in the transaction volume of 19.4 percent, said Hao, citing Tmall statistics.

The wolfberry industrial chain has been constantly improving, represented by processed products such as primary pulp, juice and skin care products, said He Jianbo, county magistrate of Zhongning county, Zhongwei city, Ningxia, in explaining the reason why wolfberries have become a hit among young people.

According to a five-year plan of Ningxia, the region plans to increase the planting area of wolfberries to 700,000 mu, or 46,700 hectares, by 2025, lift the yield of fresh wolfberries to 700,000 tons, and achieve a comprehensive output value of 50 billion yuan ($7.75 billion).

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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