China Food

Can Chinese tonic produce another “Xiaoxian stew”?


Text: Megan   
Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

Beer with wolfberry, coke with ginger… Punk health, lazy and cherish life, can be said to be a high summary of contemporary young people’s health portrait.

Photo source: Coca Cola

From the hot sales of honey, Lycium barbarum and health tea on the e-commerce platform, we can see that young people focus on a broader range of food with the same origin of medicine and food, looking for the secret of life continuation from traditional culture, which not only reflects the consumption trend of young people in health preservation, but also reflects the health cognition and diet concept of young people in health preservation, It also reflects a new track behind cultural confidence – Chinese tonic.

In recent years, we have also observed the rise of a few cutting-edge forces in the field of Chinese tonic, and one of the more representative is the “Xiaoxian stew” in the subdivision category of bird’s nest. At present, xiaoxiandun has become the fastest growing bird’s nest brand in China for three consecutive years, and the sales volume of fresh stewed bird’s nest has been the first in China for four consecutive years. In 2020, Shuang 11 surpassed Western health care products brands such as Tomson Beijian and Swisse, and won the first in the category of health, nourishing and bird’s nest. This year, it completed the C round financing of the brand.

Today, let’s take a look at the foundation of Chinese tonic, which has set off a new trend of health preservation? How to carry on the modern inheritance of traditional culture? Can there be another Xiaoxian stew in the field of Chinese tonic?


Carry out “Modern Inheritance” of “traditional culture”

Let Chinese nourishing culture not be on the precipice of modern society

Chinese tonic refers to the health concept based on Chinese traditional health culture“ The word “nourishing” comes from Li Shizhen’s Compendium of Materia Medica. In addition, Li Shizhen once traced the history of nourishing back to the Xuanyuan period until the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which was enlightened by modern science and was more practical. At the same time, the average life span of the population was also greatly improved.


Photo source: natural plus

After thousands of years of precipitation, nourishing culture has been rooted in the cultural gene of the Chinese people, and also spawned a few traditional nourishing brands, such as Beijing Tongrentang, dong’e’jiao, etc.

Even though tonic culture is widely recognized by the people, it deviates from the increasingly fast-paced lifestyle. It seems that the “ungrounded” Chinese style tonic has gradually faded out of the public consumption vision in the process of China’s modernization.

In recent years, Chinese tonic has returned to the daily life of Chinese consumers, showing a comprehensive revival trend. Cbndata’s “2020 insight into Chinese self-care industry” report shows that the scale of online traditional nourishing consumer market has accelerated in the past three years.

Chinese tonic, now has the PK Western health care posture?

According to the survey report of Euromonitor International, the market scale of health care products in China will be about 288.3 billion yuan in 2020, with a compound growth rate of about 7% in the past five years. In the future, as residents pay more attention to their health, it is expected that the compound growth rate of health care products will maintain about 10%, and the market scale will reach about 380 billion yuan in 2025.

In 2020, the market scale of traditional tonics will be 96.9 billion, accounting for 34% of the overall health care market, becoming the second largest segment. At present, players in the field of Chinese tonic are mainly divided into two camps,   The first camp is that some traditional tonic brands have developed daily consumer product lines, such as Tongrentang, Yunnan Baiyao, Dong’e Ejiao and other time-honored brands; The second camp is represented by Xiaoxian stewed bird’s nest, guanzhan Huajiao and yungengwu, which aim at bird’s nest, Huajiao and brown sugar respectively to upgrade the traditional tonic ingredients.


Photo source: Peach Blossom Girl

The advantages of Chinese tonic are very obvious, especially in the context of the revival of national trend in recent years. Compared with western style health care, China’s nourishing regimen advocated by the tonic has been integrated into the habits of Chinese consumers. Especially, under the influence of COVID-19’s complex environment last year, the theory of Chinese medicine took the right to speak and played an important role in the fight against epidemic diseases.

But the disadvantages of traditional nourishing are also very prominent. In the cognition of Chinese consumers, high-end traditional tonic ingredients such as bird’s nest, donkey hide gelatin, flower glue and ginseng need to go through complex steps such as material processing, boiling and stewing before they can be eaten. With the acceleration of China’s modernization process, they have long been popular among deep consumers or gift giving scenes, The traditional way of eating has been unable to meet the needs of young people’s fast and convenient use of 996.

In addition, although the consumer demand is strong, the Chinese tonic industry is still in the early stage of development. Compared with Western health care, the research on the nutritional components and mechanism of Chinese tonic is not deep, and its efficacy is not as clear as Western health care products. At the same time, the development of the industry lacks standards and norms, and the level of industry brands is uneven. Most of the traditional tonic brands are still supplied in the most primitive form of raw materials, which is difficult to match the modern consumer demand.

The advantages derived from traditional culture can be met but not sought, and the disadvantages in the development stage can be optimized and solved. In the new industry environment, with the empowerment and blessing of new commercial facilities, it is an inevitable answer that Chinese tonic, whose market is still blank, will usher in new development opportunities.

In the European and American markets, foodaily observed that Ayurveda theory in India and Chinese formula theory from the East have already set off the trend of drug food homology, and the food and beverage that mainly focus on drug food homology, adapt to the concept of original herbal medicine and super herb have become the normal on the shelf.


Image source: rebbl


From overseas to the domestic market, from the successful cases of Chinese tonic or the same origin of medicine and food, what they have in common is that they are really concerned about the evolution of consumer demand under the rapid modernization. The combination of health concept and fast and convenient use demand is the key factor for the popularity of Western health care, It is also a key breakthrough point for the modernization and upgrading of Chinese nourishing culture.

In recent years, we pay attention to the rise of new brands. It is precisely this key variable that we have grasped, from the discovery of consumption pain point, to the building of product strength, to the improvement of supply chain, and then to the establishment of industry standards. Through the new business model, we can see the precursor and potential of the outbreak of Chinese tonic in the Chinese market.


Using modernization to solve the pain points of modern consumers,

How can Chinese tonic produce a “Xiaoxian stew”?

The extreme mismatch of cultural blessing and supply makes Chinese tonic a good business worthy of attention. In this context, breaking through the squeeze of traditional brands, more subdivided and vertical new brands are coming into the vision of mainstream consumers. Their speed from 0 to 1, 1 to 10 is becoming faster and faster. When it comes to leading Chinese tonic brands, we have to mention xiaoxiandun, which is a very typical and representative case.


Photo source: official flagship store of xiaoxiandun

The success of Xiaoxian stew not only shows us the innovative technology of fresh bird’s nest stew, but also shows us a set of systematic methods of modern inheritance of traditional culture. Next, let’s take a look at how Xiaoxian stew has been made step by step for seven years?

1) To revive the traditional Chinese nourishing culture, we should start from the founder’s original intention of finding and solving the consumption pain point

In 1986, Lin Xiaoxian, the founder of Xiaoxian stewed bird’s nest, was born into a Chinese medicine family in Mianyang, Sichuan Province. He grew up in a strong Chinese nourishing atmosphere. After seven years of experience in bird’s nest nourishing, Lin Xiaoxian deeply felt the benefits of long-term bird’s nest nourishing, but also regretted that the popularity of such a good nourishing method was very limited, far less than that of capsules and enzyme health care products imported from the West.

Lin Xiaoxian has been thinking about how to let more people simply enjoy the fresh and nutritious bird’s nest nourishment, and how to better inherit and carry forward the traditional Chinese nourishment culture in the contemporary era. From this, Lin Xiaoxian sprouted a pioneering mind.

After carefully studying the current situation of bird’s nest market, Lin Xiaoxian found that there are two kinds of bird’s nest products in the market: dry bird’s nest, raw materials are difficult to identify, do not know how to stew, do not have time to stew, do not know how to eat; Then the instant bird’s nest appeared as canned food stewed at high temperature, which achieved the effect of instant eating, but the demand is changing. With the improvement of consumers’ health awareness, there is a higher demand for bird’s nest nourishment – fresh, fresh stewed bird’s nest came into being.

In 2014, after several explorations, summary and R & D, Lin Xiaoxian founded the “Xiaoxian stewed fresh bird’s nest” and created the technology of fresh stewed bird’s nest, providing consumers with only bird’s nest, rock sugar and purified water with a shelf life of 15 days. The fresh stewed bird’s nest, which is cold and fresh every week, also opens a new era of bird’s nest nourishing.

2) How to solve the pain point of Xiaoxian stew with the modernization of traditional production technology?

People oriented, based on the Internet mode, the first c2m mode applied to the bird’s nest industry. Without the middleman link, users place orders directly to the factory production line. Through xiaoxiandun’s background system, the monthly and annual package orders are split weekly according to users’ distribution needs. Fresh stewing after placing orders and cold and fresh distribution by Shunfeng every week are adopted to meet users’ fresh edible demand for bird’s nest.

Pay attention to the creation of product quality, dispel the doubts of consumers. In the selection of raw materials, Xiaoxian stew chooses high-quality traceability bird’s nest from Malaysia and Indonesia; In terms of supply chain construction, xiaoxiandun used the funds for the construction of production line after the completion of the first financing. It is precisely because with the increase of xiaoxiandun volume, the original production mode has been unable to meet the needs of users. However, in order to realize the standardized and large-scale production of fresh stewed bird’s nest, xiaoxiandun insisted on building a supply chain and established a SC production license factory for fresh stewed bird’s nest convenience food, It indicates that the fresh stewed bird’s nest is different from the canned food production standard of ready to eat bird’s nest, and it really has an independent production standard.

In terms of technological innovation, Xiaoxian stew has developed a water mist stewing process. At the same time, in order to make the stewed bird’s nest have the taste of lubricating q-bomb and the plump silk, 360 is used in the stewing of bird’s nest ° Rotate 180 times stewing technology to simulate manual stewing to ensure that each bottle of bird’s nest is heated evenly, and the bird’s nest is fully patted, shaken and fused with pure water and rock sugar.

It is understood that in March 2016, Xiaoxian stew became one of the first batch of fresh stewed bird’s nest brands in China.

3) Create new categories, reverse promote the development of the industry, and establish professional cognition from the industry to consumers

After the emergence of new categories, xiaoxiandun actively promoted the development of bird’s nest industry in the face of industry development gaps and lack of norms and standards.

In 2021, xiaoxiandun, together with China Industry University Research Cooperation Promotion Association, China Institute of standardization and other authoritative institutions, well-known universities and upstream and downstream head enterprises of the whole industry chain of fresh stewed bird’s nest, jointly drafted the standard of good manufacturing practice for fresh stewed bird’s nest, taking the lead in strictly standardizing all key links in the whole chain, such as raw material bird’s nest management, production and processing, logistics and distribution, It fills the blank of standardized control management of production process in the industry. This time, Xiaoxian stewed bird’s nest participated in the drafting of “good production practice for fresh stewed bird’s nest”. Xiaoxian stewed bird’s nest also shared many years of quality management experience to better enable the high-quality development of the industry.


Chinese tonic is another “Xiaoxian stew”,

How to do it?

Can Chinese tonic replicate another Xiaoxian stew? How to copy? The success of Xiaoxian stew mode has made the industry pay more attention to the power of “freshness”. As a result, we see many cases of fresh stew and fresh cooking technology applied to other categories.

But what we see through Xiaoxian stew is not only a new technology and new model, but also the path behind its success? This is a reference for the definition of new categories or the innovation of traditional categories.

1) Choose the track based on consumer demands

To choose a good race track, we should also choose a good small track, which is the first step to create a popular product. Due to the cultural confidence and booming Chinese tonic, the large market and fast growth of demand is undoubtedly a very good field. Taking more than 100 kinds of food ingredients in the medicine and food homology catalog as an example, foodaily believes that there are two directions to choose a small track. One is the nutritious food ingredients with strong public awareness; The other is to cut in according to the functional needs of consumers, such as immunity, emotion, and so on, and then match the efficacy of food and drug homologous ingredients. This method is often applicable to the raw materials unfamiliar to the public.

Photo source: nutraingredients Asia


When the traditional Chinese medicine theory breaks through the line of defense of young consumers, when the health and efficacy value of traditional Chinese nutritious products with deep historical and humanistic foundation are gradually recognized by young people, when bird’s nest, ginseng and medlar become health preserving tools, how to modernize and upgrade strong cognitive raw materials based on consumer demands, How to make the shallow cognitive material into the strong cognitive material… This will provide the direction for the choice of small circuit.

2) Find selling points based on consumption pain points

Choosing a good track is the foundation, but if you want to get out of the circle, you have to cut the pain points of consumption and polish the product strength around the pain points of users. Taking Xiaoxian stew as an example, we can see the consumer demand and traditional nourishing culture under the consumption upgrading, so as to determine the bird’s nest category.

After the classification of Xiaoxian stew is determined, there are two main pain points: one is convenience, the other is the way of daily consumption. These two accurate consumption pain points lay the foundation for the product power cognition of “fresh” and “periodic tonic” of Xiaoxian stew, and also guide the choice of quality raw materials of Xiaoxian stew.

Of course, looking for selling points based on users’ pain points is not only reflected in the field of Chinese tonic. We find that most of the new brands rising in recent years are very good at discovering consumers’ pain points, and then accurately touch them, such as 0 sugar and 0 card of Yuanqi forest, unbounded of ubras, basic model of jiaonei, Oriental aesthetic makeup of huaxizi,,,,,,


Photo source: huaxizi

Of course, each sub category will have its own uniqueness. In Chinese tonic, we need to pay special attention to that the unlocking of consumption pain points is not limited to taste and functionality, but more pursuit of portability, social attributes and even feelings. We need to accurately find the consumption pain points to create a touching explosion point.

3) Solve the pain points and adopt the network driven innovation

Solving the pain point is not only an opportunity, but also a challenge, because it often means all-round innovation of raw materials, technology, marketing, channels and service experience, but it is also the core of building brand barriers.

In the face of the pressure of traditional brands, the new consumer brands represented by xiaoxiandun are more focused on the pain points of consumption. They are full-scale network innovation in R & D, supply chain, production, marketing, sales and other aspects, and adopt c2m mode to occupy consumers’ minds very quickly. At the same time, in order to ensure the development of 1-N, the new consumer brands are facing the pressure of traditional brands, Also pay attention to technological innovation to build moat.

Undeniably, the rise of Xiaoxian stew has promoted the development of Chinese tonic. Bird’s nest industry has its unique characteristics, but we can also find the commonness of the whole Chinese nourishing field.

Tonifying while working is the life portrayal of modern health preserving youth. Their unique personality makes the development demands of Chinese tonic have obvious changes, showing a high degree of personalization, daily life.

With the trend of rejuvenation of health preservation, we see that Western health products are facing the challenge of “food demand”, and we also see the change of “daily life” of Chinese tonic. Perhaps in front of the new generation that pays attention to convenience, experience and quality, Chinese tonic and Western health care stand on the same starting line.

We are also looking forward to more and more brands pouring into Chinese tonic. Through the accurate insight of new consumption pain points and the creation of the ultimate product strength, we will carry out the modernization and upgrading of products, raw material technology, supply chain, standards, user interaction, corporate responsibility and other aspects, so as to make the traditional tonic culture truly new.

reference material:

[1] China has 5000 years of nourishing history, but it can’t breed a South Korean zhengguanzhuang?, National museum culture, April 29, 2021;

[2] How can Zhong Xuegao, a forest of vitality, grow up madly?, Note man, April 8, 2021.

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Can Chinese tonic produce another “Xiaoxian stew”?

图片来源:nutraingredients asia

























[1] 中国5000年滋补历史,却孕育不出一个韩国正官庄?,国馆文化,2021年4月29日;
[2] 完美日记元气森林钟薛高,如何疯狂崛起?,笔记侠,2021年4月8日。



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