There is a saying in China that "hunger breeds discontent," which can partly explain why food has been a paramount part of Chinese people's lives. And the 2019 annual report on the country's catering industry by Xinhuanet and the China Hotel Association gives an insight into the development of the foodservice sector.
In the report, Shandong Province achieved the highest food and beverage revenue in 2018. Netizens commented jokingly that "it shows people from Shandong eat the most." This northern province has a rich food culture and abundant products. Shandong cuisine, also known as Lu cuisine, is one of the four styles of traditional Chinese cooking.
Lu cuisine is famed for its light aroma, freshness and rich taste. Sweet potato with caramelized sugar, braised sea cucumber with onion and Dezhou stewed chicken are considered must-try dishes.
The report ranks Guangdong's food and beverage revenue second behind Shandong. The cuisine of Guangdong Province, also called "Cantonese cuisine," is the most widely served style of Chinese cuisine in the world. As one of the most influential, it is a must-taste for foodies.
Roasted goose is a famous Cantonese dish. It has a golden brown skin and succulent moist flesh marinated in a sauce containing honey and scallions and has been quite popular in Chinese restaurants around the world. People in Guangdong will wait in a long line just to have the best-roasted goose.
The catering income of the top ten provinces accounted for 66 percent of the national catering income. And the reason those provinces have high food service income may be due to the local governments, who have paid great attention to the development of the catering industry which is also facing various challenges brought by new technology and new consumption patterns.
Hotpot has become a large classification of catering segmentation since it is one of the most popular foods in China. From this report, Haidilao hot pot is the top one hotpot restaurant and the biggest brand in the market.
Food has indeed been one of the indispensable features of Chinese culture.