China’s singletons ignite food business growth

A man is enjoying individual meal at a hotpot restaurant. (Photo/

Thanks to China’s large base of single adults, the country’s “single economy” is now enjoying huge growth, and the catering industry is one of the largest beneficiaries.

Currently, individual meals are very much in vogue in China, as Chinese singletons chase after a new type of lifestyle.

A popular restaurant in Hangzhou, eastern China’s Zhejiang province, once sold 100,000 meals-for-one in just 30 days, with the most bought in one day hitting 6,000.

A hotpot brand is also targeting China’s surging single economy. Sheng Xiaohua, the founder of the brand, said that he has already opened four stores exclusively for the single consumer group in Hangzhou, one of which earns up to 10,000 yuan per day.

The steady growth of this type of business could be attributed to the rising number of single people in China. A report from Sinolink Securities, a financial institution, showed that China had 220 million single people in 2017, making up 15 percent of the country’s population.

Self-heating hotpot (Photo/

The positive attitude of single people has also played a part in driving business growth. Instead of just filling stomachs, they lay greater emphasis on food quality. For this reason, restaurants are working hard to attract more single consumers.

In January 2019, Chinese e-commerce giant released an annual food ranking list of its online supermarket. The index showed that the sales of meals-for-one grew by over 60 percent compared with the same period last year. Self-heating hotpots were the best seller.

Industry insiders believe that the single economy will upgrade consumption by generating more business sectors.