Interview with Epermarket – Better Quality, Better Life
In an attempt to discover more and better food providers in Shanghai, my interview serial goes on. Today is the time of Epermarket, which is also celebrating its 4th year anniversary with special promotions (50% to 30% off) on many items.
Here is what I have discovered about them!
- Can you introduce us to Epermarket?
Epermarket is your online expat supermarket; a place to buy food and products you can trust. We cater to our customers’ needs with diverse product offerings, affordable prices, as well as high expectations of service and quality. We constantly strive to deliver only the best when it comes to selection, safety, and freshness, simplifying your life.
- When was Epermarket founded and what was the reason behind this project?
Epermarket was founded in 2011 by JeanYvesLu. When he returned to China after 20 years in France, he became genuinely concerned about foodquality and safety in China. Having worked for several years in the food and beverage industry, he felt he had to do something about this—and the idea of Epermarket was born.
- Since the beginning Epermarket has marked itself as the “supermarket for expats”, why this choice to focus on the expat market?
While many companies target the Chinese market and provide auxiliary services to attract the expat market, there is always a gap because Chinese consumer needs and foreigner consumer needs are not the same. It still can be very hard for expats in Shanghai to find many of the products know and love from their home countries, and it is even harder to find these products in a language they can understand and with the level customer service they expect. Also, while cost is still a factor to expats in Shanghai, quality and safety are just as important (if not more so)!
- Do you also have Chinese clients?
We do offer a Chinese language version of our website, and we do have several Chinese clients. That being said, we find that most of our Chinese clients have lived overseas or are married to foreigners. The typical Chinese consumer would not be familiar with many of the kinds of imported products that make Epermarket unique.
- You have recently launched an organic line of vegetables, where do they come from and how do you guarantee their quality?
In the last year, we have worked really hard to increase the number of available organic vegetables on our website. Up until recently, they were either imported or sourced from certified, rigorously checked (and periodically rechecked) local suppliers. However, we now have a new organic initiative, Eperfarm, our very own organic farm. Produce from this farm will be some of the safest and highest quality in China—completely guaranteed because we are operating it! Not only are we using no GMOs, pesticides or chemical fertilizers, we are taking that extra step by using filtered water, air pollution minimizing greenhouses, clean and healthy soil, and a variety of environmentally-friendly farming practices. We welcome anyone interested in learning more to come and visit, and if you are more interested in tasting the difference, sign up for our Premium Vegetable Eperbox!
- Are organic products more popular among the expat community or local community? Why do you think it’s so?
It is hard to say. Organic products are popular amongst the expat community because they are more familiar with the concept and its benefits. Additionally, expats tend to have a slightly higher buying power, and typically make food purchases more based on quality and less about price point. Nevertheless, large (and rapidly growing) numbers of Chinese consumers care about the quality and safety of food, and as they become aware of these options so the popularity of buying organic also increases.
- Any upcoming future projects Epermarket is working on?
Our biggest project is our expanded product selection at the moment. Over the summer, we added around 200 more American products, and over the next few months, we will be importing many new products from Europe and America for which we will be the provider in all of China.