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“What do you think of the development of the hot pot industry”: Trending hashtag on Chinese social media

The history of Chinese hot pot goes a long way, which can be traced back to as early as the “Three Kingdoms” period. It has later become popular nationwide and developed many regional variations. Therefore, eating by a sizzling hot pot together is a very common get-together scene among Chinese consumers especially due to the social aspect of it. This makes the hot pot market an important sector of China’s dining industry with a market size of an estimated 549.8 billion RMB in 2022.

Hot pot industry’s remarkable growth despite pandemic setbacks

On Weibo, there has been a discussion over #What do you think of the development of the hot pot industry# (如何看待火锅行业的发展) in the 2nd week of July, viewed over 15.5 million times by enthused netizens. In the past decade, China’s hot pot industry has been developing rapidly, from a market size of 281.3 billion RMB in 2013 to 529.5 billion RMB in 2019 at its peak. Although its growth was stunted by the impact of the pandemic, the hot pot industry in China is seeing a rebound. The market is expected to reach 668.9 billion RMB in 2025, according to iiMedia Research.

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Hot pot industry’s refined segmentation: form service-centric to product-focused

As China’s hot pot industry matures, its market segmentation has become increasingly more sophisticated than ever. There are mainly two types of restaurant chains. The first is service-centric brands like Haidilao (海底捞). Secondly, the product-centric restaurants, which usually focus on one or a few main ingredients, such as Zuoting Youyuan (左庭右院). It provides fresh meats daily powered by its cold chain logistics.

Source: Weibo, netizens’ comments on hotpots

“Hot pot, a fusion of the ancient and the modern.” A netizen commented.

How hot pot became China’s popular dining choice

  • The hot pot tradition in China has ancient roots and has become a popular and diverse dining choice. The industry’s market size reached approximately 549.8 billion RMB in 2022. It is projected to reach 668.9 billion RMB by 2025, despite pandemic setbacks.
  • A recent Weibo discussion on the hot pot industry’s development garnered over 15.5 million views. Over the past decade, the market has seen significant growth, from 281.3 billion RMB in 2013 to a peak of 529.5 billion RMB in 2019.
  • As the hot pot industry matures, it adopts more sophisticated market segmentation. Two main types of restaurant chains prevail: service-centric brands like Haidilao and product-centric establishments, offering specific ingredients like Zuoting Youyuan, known for its fresh meats and efficient cold chain logistics.