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has experienced a boom in 2020. Can the vegetable meat market continue its bull trend in 2021?
The Lunar New Year is coming. In the hot domestic vegetable meat market in 2020, it will usher in a magnificent year in the strong new year flavor!
According to the prediction of market research institutions, the scale of China’s plant meat market will reach 13 billion US dollars in 2023. Among the six vegetable meat financing events publicly disclosed last year, the amount of financing in five cases exceeded 10 million, showing the vitality of the vegetable meat track.
In the product end, plant meat began to expand rapidly from catering to retail channels, and all kinds of packaging products suitable for daily diet came out.
When vegetable meat turns from catering to retail and faces the inspection of hundreds of millions of consumers, will the difficulty of product development increase? In China, where plant meat eating habits have not yet been established, how can brands impress consumers? If you want to have a foothold in the forest of strong plant meat racetrack, what internal skills do plant meat brands need to work hard?
From b-end to C-end, the vegetable meat market is getting better
If we regard 2019 as the first year of Chinese plant meat, 2020 will be full of flowers and heat waves.
On the one hand, the new and cutting-edge brands represented by ZhouLing and hey Maet are particularly favored by the capital, which drives the amount of financing to soar like a rocket; on the other hand, many catering brands push new products frequently, which makes a lot of progress in Chinese people’s “unsound” cognition of plant meat.
Image source: ol.mingpao.com
The situation is very good. Is China’s vegetable meat market really comfortable? Of course not!
As we all know, the global epidemic is constantly strengthening people’s awareness of healthy diet. Ipsos pointed out in “2020 China trend insight of artificial meat”: 86% of consumers will change their consumption habits of meat products under the influence of the epidemic, and 21% of them plan to replace animal meat products with other proteins. In order to make plant meat a daily diet, we should not only have a lifelike taste similar to animal meat, but also enrich the product types, close to the daily diet scene. This is not only the bottleneck of the current plant meat industry, but also the key to break the brand circle and stabilize the market.
Zhiai, a new and cutting-edge plant based brand, has been operating in catering for several years. In April 2020, it began to launch western and Chinese food packaging products for consumers. So far, it has established a product family of 8 categories and more than 20 flavors, firmly occupying the core position in the domestic market.
Compared with other domestic plant meat brands, Zhiai’s retail products are much richer. From Chinese spring rolls, big buns and dumplings to Western chicken nuggets, spaghetti and hamburgers, as well as the newly launched Panini, it includes typical convenience food.
The retail plant-based products launched by Zhiai. Photo source: Zhiai
Zhiai aims at white-collar workers and family consumers in high-speed city, advocates the catering concept of “elastic vegetarian, pursuit of fashion and green life”, takes “delicious, convenient and healthy” as the product design principle, and the product style and taste meet the daily dietary needs of Chinese people.
The introduction of plant meat Panini, the main breakfast, lunch and supper scenes. In order to attract sandwich lovers, Zhiai has made great efforts in the selection of materials and technology, nutrition design, packaging and taste
Firstly, non transgenic high-quality soybeans were selected and extruded to extract soybean silk drawing protein. Then, the texture characteristics of animal meat were reduced by recombinant technology to produce plant protein meat. Secondly, the fat content of plant meat was adjusted to 0.39%, which was 99% less than that of ordinary pork. High protein, zero cholesterol, low saturated fat, with nearly ideal nutritional performance. Thirdly, the cute and convenient packaging is quite attractive on the shelf. Easy to tear and seal, can be directly microwave heating; 100g single package, taking into account the meal, meal and other different dietary needs. Finally, Zhiai designed black pepper and zhaoshao for Panini. The soft and hot flour cake, with black pepper aroma, or the fresh and fragrant smell of zhaoshao, makes people feel excited.
Photo source: plant love official
Panini originated in Italy in the 16th century. From the earliest simple combination of meat and cheese, tomato and sesame, it has evolved into a creative carrier with complementary advantages and ingenious collocation of various food materials after the influence and improvement of eating customs all over the world. In addition to rich fillings, Panini also has two characteristics: first, bread with a lot of wheat bran, rich in dietary fiber and vitamins, while significantly reducing calories; second, baked bread has a soft and crisp taste.
As one of the representatives of Italian cuisine, Panini has many fans in China. Zhiai is the first to introduce the plant meat Panini, which aims to attract the new generation of people who love foreign food, while taking into account the convenience and health.
Delicious, healthy, environmental protection
What should plant meat use to impress consumers?
Compared with the booming situation of plant meat industry, Chinese consumers seem to be more rational and calm. The reason why people choose vegetable meat is that it has high protein, cholesterol free and other health concepts, and satisfies some curiosity. However, these factors obviously can not become the necessary conditions to attract consumers to buy more than once and form daily consumption habits.
It must be admitted that in China, which has a history of eating soybean products for thousands of years, it is very difficult for people to accept a new kind of food which mainly focuses on plant-based concept in a short time. Especially when this kind of food is mainly made of soybean.
The century’s problem in front of the plant meat enterprises is no longer how to make a vivid animal meat taste, nor is it how to make the nutrition ratio and price of the product show the strongest competitiveness, but how to let consumers really accept the concept of plant meat diet from the heart, and set aside a place for it in the diet every day or every week.
To enter the hearts of consumers, we must first conquer their stomach. From a simple on-site trial to a new concept of food and life, it has become the main marketing core of many domestic plant meat brands.
In April 2020, Starbucks, together with beyond meat and oatly, launched the action of “good star cannibalism”. At the activity site, the audience can taste the new plant-based products on the market at the same time, and experience the peripheral products made of degradable lunch boxes and recyclable materials. In addition, through Taobao live broadcast, consumers are encouraged to actively explore the “good for themselves, good for the earth, good for change” environmental lifestyle.
Photo source: Starbucks website
In September, starfield held a sustainable autumn market in Shenzhen China Resources Vientiane world. The activity “less is more” is to pass on a sustainable and interesting future lifestyle to the public through recyclable public welfare activities.
For Zhiai, whose C-end products have been on the market for less than a year, in order to gain a firm foothold in the powerful vegetable meat market and gain public recognition, it needs more accurate positioning and lasting combat power. Zhiai’s public debut began on June 6 last year at Fengjing fair on the Bund of Shanghai. In the crowded and fireworks filled bazaar, Zhiai products, together with many start-up brands and online food, face the public and win the approval of Shanghai fans. Two months later, Zhiai took part in the second market activity in Sinan mansion, planting countless grasses.
Since August 8, Zhiai, together with many performing stars, has held nearly 100 live shows, greatly increasing the brand exposure and establishing a strong brand image in the hearts of Chinese people.
On November 4, Zhiai and that’s Shanghai held the theme activity of “Zhiai plant meat challenge”. Shanghai Beach’s five famous online Red restaurants (green Friday, Jing alley, HLK, Tomatito, SIP) all participated. During the activity, each chef of the restaurant made creative dishes with Zhiai vegetable protein meat, and sensory evaluation was conducted by specially invited guests. At the same time, the audience feel the fashionable and healthy lifestyle.
In this cross-border activity, Zhiai explored the combination point with other food materials and categories, and broadened consumers’ and market’s imagination of plant meat. Taking advantage of that’s Shanghai’s media publicity advantages, the company carries out publicity linkage in many new media channels, such as official website, wechat, community, Facebook, and so on, demonstrating brand value proposition to Shencheng consumers once again.
On December 12, Zhiai sponsored the fourth charity concert of “the source of change” to show the charm of plant meat to thousands of people who advocate new life concept.
It is these intensive marketing activities that, in just eight months, Zhiai brand has been well known by Chinese people, and its life philosophy of “less meat better life” has been engraved in the hearts of thousands of consumers with delicious plant meat.
It can be seen that in 2020, major brands are delivering sustainable lifestyles to the public, and skillfully linking plant meat with new life concepts.
Product, marketing, supply chain control,
Boxing to the meat of the plant meat arena,
What is the brand hard power?
It is understood that in 2020, there will be more than 10 large-scale plant meat franchised enterprises in China, and dozens of brands of plant meat products will be launched. In the extremely competitive Red Sea of plant meat, bifei, the parent company of Zhiai, which has been established for only five years, has established a firm foothold in the three channels of e-commerce, retail and catering, and has become one of the few “Omni channel” plant meat enterprises in China. What unique skills does Zhiai rely on to stand out in the crowded track?
1. Intelligent factory and complete production line pave the way for product development
Bifei has invested 700 million yuan to build a standardized food park covering an area of 500 mu in China, with 15 production lines covering plant meat, cheese, pizza, Panini, frozen conditioning bag, hot pot seasoning, Chinese and Western sauces, high-end meat and seafood deep processing, with a daily minimum output of 350 tons.
With the introduction of European automatic production equipment, bifei has opened up the Internet of things in a 150000 square meter plant, and realized the whole process traceability of products by using big data analysis.
2. Collaborative research and development of the three regions to gauge Chinese dietary preferences
Zhiai has a strong R & D team. In San Francisco, the United States, Zhiai and its strategic technology partners have jointly introduced the advanced production technology, R & D mode and product evaluation system from Europe and the United States into China; the application center in Singapore focuses on protein raw materials and wire drawing technology; in China, Zhiai cooperates with top universities to deeply study the application potential and processing characteristics of advantageous agricultural products.
The multi regional cooperative R & D mode not only enables Zhiai to master a number of core technologies and develop rich categories covering the daily diet of the public, but also benefits from the mature consumer evaluation mode, which enables Zhiai to accurately grasp the diet preference of the Chinese people, and the flavor, taste and eating experience of the products are excellent.
3. Online and offline, multi-channel infiltration of people’s lives
Since the opening of e-commerce channel in April 2020, Zhiai has continuously increased its online layout. In addition to opening tmall and Jingdong flagship stores, Zhiai has successively settled in tmall supermarket and Jingdong self operated store in October 2020. In addition, Zhiai actively develops professional fresh channels, and now has access to fresh e-commerce such as HEMA, taoxianda, Suning e-buy, Jingdong Jiajia, meituan, dingdong and Liangxian, realizing the ultra short link from storage to dining table.
Offline, domestic mainstream new retail channels have established cooperative relations with Zhiai, including RT mart, Auchan, Suning Carrefour, Chengdu ITO yanghuatang, g-super Greenland optimization, Jiuguang fresh product Gallery, gaodaowu, apita, etc. It is reported that Zhiai has cooperated with a number of new retail systems to lay out the “future food zone” and jointly create a professional plant meat display brand image store. In addition, Zhiai achieves consumer touch in many places through cross-border flash. On September 22 last year, Zhiai cooperated with two local Western food and beverage brands to open a “future meat hamburger” flash shop in Chengdu, mainly promoting plant chicken nuggets and plant meat hamburgers. Flash shop mode provides a reference for Zhiai to develop new offline channels.
4. The initial listing has won many awards and high recognition from the industry
In June 2020, the CEO of bifei, the parent company of Zhiai, received an exclusive interview with 21st Century Business Review, revealing the “health ambition” of Zhiai plant meat. Bifei Food Co., Ltd. was awarded the honorary title of “provincial key leading enterprise of agricultural industrialization”, won the sixth place in the 2020 international top 100 list of future agricultural food, and entered the top 20 list in the field of alternative protein. In 2020tbi outstanding brand innovation award, Zhiai won the most valuable brand for investment. As a “houlang brand” with unlimited potential, Zhiai has a bright future.
In 2019, the domestic stock market will set up the concept plate of plant meat. With the growing popularity of the plant meat track, the market value of the plate has been climbing since 2020, reaching a record high on August 31. At present, the overall plate index is still hovering in the high.
Photo source: Oriental Fortune website
The bull trend of vegetable meat stock price reflects the optimistic attitude of society and capital, but there are also quite a lot of people calling for cautious optimism. In November last year, a commentary of China first finance and economics used the words “industry is still small, technology is the bottleneck” to look forward to the plant meat industry. The biggest concern comes from two points: first, the lack of standards and regulations makes it difficult for the industry to form a joint force; second, consumer awareness and trust need to be improved. It is gratifying that on December 29 last year, the group standard of plant based meat products (T / CIFST 001-2020), which was developed under the leadership of China Society of food science and technology, was officially released. It laid the foundation for the standardization of plant meat industry.
There is no doubt that the development of plant meat needs sufficient market precipitation. The influx of capital can help the industry accumulate talents quickly, improve the technical content, and accelerate the iteration of products.
Consumption upgrading has always been the biggest background of the development of domestic plant meat. No matter how the cutting-edge forces lead the way, more diverse ingredients, more balanced nutrition, more realistic taste and more detailed scenes are the only rules for the plant meat industry to maintain its vitality.
In February of early spring, Zhiai will launch plant meat pie (New Orleans flavor) to add new strength to its colorful product family. Can Chinese plant meat win the year of the ox?
Cover image source: hk.asiatatler.com
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