Across China: China's Chongqing develops hotpot industry chain
CHONGQING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- As the fiery hotpot gains global fame, several districts in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality are riding on this success in nurturing hotpot-related industry clusters.
In the Qijiang District, a food industrial park has attracted over 30 enterprises that specialize in various aspects of the hotpot industry, including hotpot soup base, ingredient processing, quality control, and waste disposal.
"Qijiang seeks to develop the entire hotpot industrial chain," said district head Luo Cheng.
The food industrial park boasts a monthly production of more than 7,000 tonnes of hotpot soup bases, which will find their way to various Chinese provinces and several countries, including Thailand and Cambodia, according to Luo.
Chongqing Gaolaojiu Hotpot, a renowned brand with over 60 restaurants across China, has established Chongqing Laziyuan Food Co., Ltd in the park to produce hotpot soup base, which is often considered the soul of hotpot.
Qin Xiaohang, deputy general manager of Laziyuan, revealed that approximately 2,000 tonnes of soup bases are produced annually, with the company achieving an output value of 50 million yuan (about 6.8 million U.S. dollars) last year.
In addition to its focus on hotpot soup bases, Qijiang also seeks to develop prefabricated hotpot-style meals.
Chongqing Qijiang Yihe Food Co., Ltd. began producing prefabricated food, including hotpot meals, at the end of 2022. In the first half of this year, the company achieved a remarkable output value of 30 million yuan, said Qian Hongqiu, who is in charge of the ready-made-dishes division.
The success of these endeavors necessitates a substantial influx of raw materials.
Qijiang District boasts 100,000 mu (about 6,667 hectares) of turnips, 70,000 mu of chili peppers, 100,000 black goats, and 10,000 mu of aquafarms.
Additionally, this year Qijiang secured a deal with enterprises in Laos to import beef worth 4 million U.S. dollars annually.
In Chongqing's Hechuan District, a massive hotpot ingredients industrial park spanning 10 square km was established in May 2022. The district also accommodates more than 1,500 enterprises engaged in plantation and livestock farming, along with 300-plus processing companies and over 70 renowned hotpot brands.
In recent years, Hechuan has delved deeper into hotpot culture to boost tourism. Efforts are underway to establish the Chongqing hotpot museum and create a range of culturally inspired hotpot-related products.
In the first three quarters of this year, the entire industry chain in Hechuan generated an output value of 23 billion yuan, up 24 percent year on year.
Hotpot has emerged as a symbol of Chongqing and a driving force for the city's economic progress.
Data from the Chongqing Hotpot Association shows that Chongqing alone is home to more than 32,000 hotpot restaurants and over 16,000 hotpot-related enterprises, which together yield an annual revenue of 60 billion yuan.