In recent years, the food industry has transformed more than any other industry. More people are interested in learning where their food comes from and how it gets to their tables. As the farm-to-table trend spreads around the world, even large, multibillion-dollar conglomerates have to bow to customer behavior and adjust their tactics.
While other companies look for easy ways to satisfy customers, JD.com started over from scratch. JD.com didn’t get its start in food but has grown into China’s largest retailer in recent years. Though JD was new to the food industry, it still wanted to give its 300 million customers better meat products.
In 2016, JD.com launched its “Running Chicken” program, which aimed to provide jobs to some of China’s most impoverished regions and offer high-quality chicken meat to urban customers. That program has been more than successful at its mission and even inspired a series of domestic and international partnerships benefiting all parties involved.
Last year, JD experienced a huge increase in sales of imported kiwifruit and small apples from New Zealand. JD’s partnership with top New Zealand-based companies like Zespri affords JD consumers the option of acquiring the freshest fruits before any other store has it available. Sales have increased by over 80 percent in the last two years.
An industry that was much needed on JD’s site was a luxury brand. For years, Chinese fashion companies struggled to get their designs into the international world of fashion. When JD.com got an opportunity to invest in a Chinese luxury fashion brand, the company invested nearly $400 million. Today, Farfetch is a major part of JD.com fashion category.
Like all partnerships and investments, being on JD.com is beneficial for all parties involved. When Tencent invested over $200 million for a 15 percent stake in JD, they agreed to promote JD.com on their social media site, WeChat. JD.com also sells many products that can be found in Walmarts, as Walmart invested over $100 million for a 12 percent stake in the company.