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Zhejiang rural snack bars generate 53b yuan in annual sales

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: September 28, 2021 L M S

Rural residents of East China's Zhejiang province currently run more than 50,000 snack bars, which gross more than 53 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) in annual sales and employ more than 500,000 people, the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs recently revealed.

Wu Li, an official at the big data center of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, told reporters that Zhejiang issued a provincial-level guideline to develop the rural snack industry at the end of 2018, becoming the first Chinese province to do so.

According to Wu, Zhejiang authorities have viewed the rural snack industry as an integral part of their efforts to revitalize the province's rural regions. Over the past three years, they have promoted rural snack brands at more than 500 expos and festivals, as well as trained industry practitioners through about 500 training sessions.

Currently, the rural snack industry has become a significant contributor to the province's drive to achieve common prosperity.

One of Zhejiang's recipes for the industry's success is to accelerate the rollout of rural snack bars outside the province. For example, fried niangao (glutinous rice cakes) is a well-known rural snack in Xinchang county, but was once largely served only in the county. With the support of local authorities, a large number of Xinchang natives have managed to sell fried niangao outside the county. At present, they have opened over 400 niangao snack bars all over the country, forming a 1.02-billion-yuan industrial chain.

With an emphasis on maintaining the authentic flavor of rural Zhejiang snacks, provincial authorities have been encouraging intensive training and strict standard-setting in the rural snack industry. For instance, Jinhua's Pan'an county has carried out a number of online culinary skill training programs, as well as formulated local technical standards for six kinds of snacks.

Several Zhejiang localities have integrated its local rural snacks with tourism. Lishui's Jinyun county has been holding a "baked roll festival" in late October for 10 consecutive years, with the culinary favorite and the rural scenery attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists to the festival each year. In 2020, Jinyun's baked roll industry generated 2.4 billion yuan in revenue and employed 21,000 people.


A Jinyun baked roll snack bar inside a shopping mall in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]

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A close-up view of Jinyun baked rolls. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]