Summary of What’s Behind the Growing Popularity of Spicy Foods in China?

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What’s Behind the Growing Popularity of Spicy Foods in China? summary
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Spicy and hot dishes have become so popular in China that spicy street food and snacks are now a multibillion-dollar industry. In their article on, Cyan Capital Research Group analyzes the psychological and social reasons for Chinese people’s new appetite for strong flavors.

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Cyanhill Capital is a venture capital investment firm focused on consumer upgrades, tech, media, telecom and entertainment.



Spicy crayfish, duck necks, chicken feet and tofu strips have become the most popular snacks in China. Companies such as snack company Weilong and Sichuan hot pot chain HaiDiLao are cashing in on people’s new appetite for piquant treats. The former rakes in ¥2 billion ($288 million) in annual revenue, selling more than 10 billion spicy snacks a year; the latter just went public with a valuation of nearly $1 billion.

While spicy flavors have always been popular in some parts of China, the love of spice is a more recent phenomenon on a national level. The taste of spicy flavors is mildly addictive, which is one reason for its rise in popularity. Spice is actually not one of the five basic flavors (sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, sourness and umami). A person...

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