Easy ways for food vendors and hobbyists
Huge changes have been seen as people continue to adjust to life with the stay of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid evolution of various technologies. This series examines these changes and explores the next steps.
The growing trend to stay at home has given rise to a wide range of foods and drinks. Many niche sectors in the food and beverage industry will take center stage as buyer demands change rapidly.
New brands in niche categories are taking note of this trend and will continue to emerge in the years to come.
New sellers of packaged food, partially cooked meals and ready meals are catching up in a rapidly changing consumer landscape.
New marketing channels, live streaming sessions, and social media tools help new brands gain recognition quickly by buyers.
âPreparing food for the family can be awkward sometimes, and luckily there are plenty of pre-cooked and ready-to-reheat meals to choose from,â said Jessie Zhang, senior accountant in Shanghai.
More and more convenience food vendors will seek to use local flavors and seasonal ingredients to appeal to foodies.
A local low-temperature meat producer, Benwei, which means ‘original taste’, received a venture capital investment from the social networking site Xiaohongshu (Red) and successfully launched products ranging from frozen sausages, bacon and from frozen ham slices to pre-cooked dishes. .
Benwei has teamed up with Centennial Yufu, a specialty food brand from Jiangsu and Zhejiang, for its latest offering to use Xuefang Jiang brand Jinhua ham in its precooked dishes, as pork still has a special place in them. Chinese families’ end-of-year meal.
The iiMedia research institute predicts that sales of pre-cooked meals in China will reach 345.9 billion yuan ($ 54.3 billion) by the end of 2021 and maintain a growth rate of around 20% over the course of the year. the next few years to reach 516 billion yuan by 2023..
Most pre-cooked dishes are still limited to a relatively small region, and domestic players and industry watchers also expect regional businesses with distinct characteristics such as specialty flavors that suit a certain geographic location and traditional cuisine are more likely to stand out.
The global shift to healthy and convenient diets has offered significant growth potential for pre-cooked food vendors and catering service providers, said Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China.
Shanghai’s age-old brands are responding to a government call to upgrade offerings by leveraging data capabilities.
Bright Dairy uses Tmall and its own on-demand platform to promote its new line of probiotic yogurts that target digestive health and wellness. These digital platforms have helped the iconic Shanghai food company regain its brand awareness in the market, and it will continue to improve the digitalization of the latest offerings, including probiotic powdered drinks that target the digestive system.
Shanghai has set a target in the 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) to improve the position of digital economies.
Digitization will play a key role in advancing the quality development of the city and the modernization of its economic structure.
The city is considering further support to major digital economies to develop new business formats where online and offline models become deeply integrated, and the city could thus be home to a group of key digital service providers.
Bear Coming, headquartered in Shanghai, is another local player capitalizing on the tendency of people to expect to cook good, home-cooked meals without needing to prepare the ingredients.
Kelly Huang, a marketing consultant in Shanghai, said she had tried making spaghetti with ready-made tomato bolognese sauce and enjoyed the preparation process.
âIt’s easy to make a ready meal in 15 minutes. I plan to try the dressing the next time I choose a healthier meal,â she said.
Compound cooking ingredients like barbecue sauces, black pepper, and sea salt powder are also some of its top-selling products.
Targeting those who want to cook a delicious dish with just one cooking ingredient, the company has included both hobby and bakery cooking ingredients.
Starting with online storefronts on JD, Tmall and short video sites like Douyin and Kuaishou, it has also extended its reach to offline retailers and is expected to cover 5,000 major supermarket chain outlets by the end. of this year.
The Chinese compound cooking ingredients market is estimated at 189 billion yuan this year, with Western-style compound ingredients accounting for about 44% and Chinese-style ingredients about 38%.
Although still at an early stage, some small regional businesses could grow into businesses with tens of billions of market value in the years to come.
For emerging brands, the road to becoming the next unicorn is a tough journey.
Expanding product categories is a critical step for upcoming brands that are rapidly using digital channels and social media to meet otherwise often overlooked niche demands, according to a recent joint study by Bain Co and Kantar Worldpanel. .
After evaluating the performance of 46 emerging local brands in the consumer goods sector, he found that only 17 continued to do well with an annual increase of more than 10 percent in the value of retail sales, while the others reached a plateau with growth below the sector average. rate or did not see an increase in sales.
Competition will intensify for new brands, as multinational companies have also learned to adapt quickly to changing consumer trends and favor niche brands, he suggests.
It is crucial for brands to retain consumers after capturing their first batch of adventurous diners, as new options are eager to take the stage.
The competitive landscape is much more difficult than it was three to five years ago. The bar for challenging incumbents is much higher, as local brands and multinational companies quickly learn from upcoming brands, said Bruno Lannes, partner at Shanghai-based Bain & Company.
Emerging brands and established brands will learn from each other, which could potentially provide gift buyers with a wide variety of choices.