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Walmart’s First Fresh Packing Center in China Opens in Shenzhen

December 04, 2020

In the second half of this year, Walmart’s first fresh produce packing facility in China went into operation in Shenzhen. Over the past several months, the facility has been handling dozens of product lines and its coverage has grown from approximately 30 stores in Shenzhen to 100 branches throughout southern China, reaching a daily processing capacity of up to 40,000 packages.

Chinese consumers have become more inclined to purchase pre-packaged fresh food items since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic this year, as the reduced contact between people and products puts consumers more at ease. Data from Walmart indicate that sales of pre-packaged vegetables witnessed a 15% year-on-year increase in the third quarter of 2020. However, pre-packaged fresh products are generally more expensive than the corresponding bulk products. Therefore, in order to allow customers to buy pre-packaged produce items at more competitive prices, Walmart established its own fresh produce packing center.

The bulk fruits and vegetables purchased by Walmart will still undergo strict quality inspection, selection and sorting prior to packing. Thus, Walmart has essentially added the new role of processing to its logistics chain in addition to distribution and quality inspection, under the same high standards used during the rest of Walmart’s cold chain. The packing facility has also passed the global FSSC 22000 food safety system certification standard.

The bulk fruits and vegetables entering the packing facility are subjected to two quality inspections: first on receipt and again prior to shipping of the packaged products. Different products are also processed according to specific standards and packing requirements. For example, in the case of broccoli, the operator checks aspects such as the color and appearance of each piece of produce, and each stem is cut according to precise specifications.

Market demand is constantly changing with customer preferences. With the increase in orders from omnichannel customers such as Walmart Daojia and JD Daojia, especially the continuous growth of online fresh product sales, pre-packaged fruits and vegetables can also help stores reduce picking time and provide a faster and more satisfying online ordering experience.

Image: Pixabay


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