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Business trends

Crawfish craze sweeps China as market doubles in 5 years

Millennials and online food delivery services help feed $38bn industry

Chinese love their crawfish, as the edible crustaceans have become a popular snack served in about 100,000 restaurants nationwide.

BEIJING -- On most weekends, long lines can be seen outside Huda Restaurant in Beijing as hungry diners wait their turn to tuck into the city's latest food fad: steaming dishes of crawfish pan-fried with hot chilies and generous amounts of garlic.

Traditionally kept as pets or used as frog food, the little crustaceans have since found a big place at the table as Chinese feast on them in increasing numbers. The crawfish market has doubled in size from five years ago to 1.1 million tons, while the overall worth of the industry has skyrocketed 80% from a year ago to 268.5 billion yuan ($38.6 billion).

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