Vegetable seed buyers on Taobao grow by over 100% annually since COVID-19 outbreak in 2020
Published: Apr 15, 2022 07:06 PM
Hydroponic vegetables on a balcony Photo: VCG

Hydroponic vegetables on a balcony Photo: VCG

Vegetable seed sales have seen a continuous increase ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, with the number of vegetable seed buyers on Taobao recording annual growth of more than 100 percent for three consecutive years. 

In the first quarter of 2022, the sales of all kinds of vegetable seeds on Taobao and Tmall platforms skyrocketed on a yearly basis, according to a report from Taobao sent to the Global Times on Friday.

More and more people are taking an interest in growing their own vegetables. Beijing had the largest number of buyers, followed by Shanghai and Hangzhou, according to the report.

Some netizens said that the interest in growing plants is awakened every spring among Chinese. Some others said that planting is written in the DNA of every Chinese person.

From January to March, the best-selling seed is coriander on both the Taobao and Tmall platforms, beating former champion leek seeds for the first time. Seeds for watermelon, pepper, lettuce, green onion, tomato and cherry radish were among top 10 in terms of sales.

"If you are a novice, I suggest you try leek, lettuce, spinach, cherry radish and other fast-growing vegetables. Generally, you can harvest in half a month. To be more economic, onion, amaranth, water spinach and other vegetables can be harvested many times," a salesperson from a seed shop on Taobao, told the Global Times.

In addition to seeds, planting equipment is also hot on Taobao, such as organic nutrition soil, spades, shovels, hoes, and watering pots. An intelligent plant vegetable machine has also become popular.

Data showed that a large number of new farm tools became internet celebrities on Taobao during the first quarter, with the sales volume of twig binding machine increasing by 89 percent year-on-year and the sales volume of armyworm board increasing by 52.7 percent year-on-year. 

Multifunctional planting pots, which can save a lot of space on balconies, are also selling well. Buyers can assemble multiple layers according to the balcony area, just like building blocks.

Vegetable planting on China's balconies has become a new fashion, especially amid the new wave of COVID-19 flare-ups in China. Many people started planting hydroponic vegetables because of the shortage of vegetables due to the epidemic.

Shanghai residents, a large sum of whom remain stranded at home under epidemic prevention and control measures, joked that vegetables have become luxury goods. In a recent online meme, spinach was compared favorable to luxury brand Hermes and cabbage to Louis Vuitton. 

The topic "a Shanghai woman achieves vegetable freedom through mass hydroponics" has generated nearly 8 million views on Sina Weibo as of Friday. And topic "hydroponic vegetables make me happy" has nearly 12 million views on social media app Xiaohongshu.

Global Times