China Food

After Mengniu holding miaolandou, Yili can’t sit still in the cheese business?

With the growth of domestic cheese market and the increase of peers, Yili, the leader of Chinese dairy industry, also has new ideas.

Snack generation noticed that since this year, Yili is quietly stepping up the layout of cheese categories. For example, recently, according to the official website of the people’s Government of Longyou County in Zhejiang Province, Longyou County will continue to launch the brand of “phase II in Longyou”, and Yili dairy’s cheese stick production line will increase the output value by about 1 billion yuan.

In June earlier, according to industrial and commercial data, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., Ltd. added a new enterprise to foreign investment, namely “Inner Mongolia yijiahao cheese Co., Ltd.”. There is only Yili on the list of shareholders of the company, that is to say, yijiahao cheese is wholly owned by Yili. Judging from the name, it is very likely that it will be a new platform set up by Yili to position itself as the main cheese business.

All kinds of signs show that the dairy giant is “sharpening the sword” to carve a bigger piece of cake in the cheese market.

“The company is optimistic about the future development of the cheese industry. At present, the company has butter, light cream, mozzarella cheese chips, cheese chips, children’s cheese, adult cheese and other products. In the future, we will steadily promote the 2B market, quickly open the 2C market, continue to launch innovative products, continuously improve the product structure, and form a benign development path. ” A few days ago, Yili said in reply to the question of snacks.

Low market share and high recognition

Yili’s “urgency” is not difficult to understand – at present, in the “cheese war”, the dairy leader still needs to consider how to grow.

According to the latest report released in December 2020, which xiaoshidai got from inmant today, the top ten “shortlisted” cheese market shares in China in 2019 are health care, bell of France, randris, Mengniu, miaolando, Fonterra, Shanghai Gough, kraft Heinz, Guangming dairy and Beijing Sanyuan. Yili is not on the list.

According to the data obtained from Euromonitor Euromonitor, the top 10 cheese market shares in China in 2020 are bajifu (health care), miaolando, lezhiniu (Bell), Anka (Fonterra), kraft, President (randris), duomeixian (Goff), and so on Mengniu, Jinzhang, Guangming.

According to the above Euromonitor data, at present, in terms of market share, bajifu and miaolandou are “the first and second places of the fault”, accounting for 25% and 19.8% respectively in 2020, while lezhiniu, which ranks third, only accounts for 5.9%. As for Yili brand, it ranked No. 13, and its market share was not specifically disclosed, but it can be seen that the overall market share was less than 0.5%.

In contrast, Mengniu, Yili’s biggest local competitor, has a more active layout in this segment in recent years.

Xiaoshidai introduced that after a long period of cooperation in the cheese business, Arla and Mengniu established a joint venture focusing on the cheese business in 2019. Tim Ø rting J Ø rgensen, executive vice president of Arla’s global international marketing business, once told xiaoshidai that the growth of the business was “slow” because Chinese consumers were not used to eating cheese, but he believed that cheese now ushered in “real growth opportunities”.

Mengniu once replied to Xiaoshi, saying that the joint venture is “the integration of cooperation from production and processing to terminal sales”. According to reports, the joint venture’s product line covers children’s cheese, leisure cheese, table cheese and high-end cheese products. Its brands include Arla’s dawn, high-end cheese brand Castro Castello and professional butter brand lepike Lurpak.

At the beginning of 2020, Mengniu made a heavy bet on the cheese business again, and obtained 5% shares of “the first cheese stock” miaolandou through a consideration of about 280 million yuan, and said that it “firmly embraces the cheese category, and has a strategic position in high growth”. Then, in December last year, Mengniu announced that it planned to take the controlling interest of mclardo with no more than 3 billion yuan.

In April of this year, miaolandou announced that the application for fund-raising from Mengniu was approved by the development and Examination Committee of the CSRC, which will become the controlling shareholder of the company. In another announcement, micranto pointed out that after the completion of the transaction, Mengniu Dairy will use micranto as the operation platform of cheese business to inject the cheese business of Mengniu Dairy and its controlled enterprises, including the trade of cheese and related raw materials (i.e. butter, vegetable oil, cream and cream cheese), into the listed companies.

However, it is rare to see that Yili cheese is highly recognized by consumers despite its low market share and low activity in the capital market. This provides the possibility for Yili to “overtake on the curve”.

According to the above-mentioned immit report, consumer survey data show that Yili is the most frequently mentioned brand when asked “which brands of packaged cheese have you purchased in the past six months?”. Contrary to their respective market share rankings, Yili leads the way in terms of consumer brand awareness, the report said.

“There is no significant difference between the brands purchased by high-frequency and low-frequency consumers, which cannot be explained (by the characteristics of the population),” he said “The strong brand image of these domestic dairy giants has been passed down from other categories, so consumers will consciously review their experience of buying these brands,” inmant pointed out

This also means that although Yili is behind many dairy competitors, Yili naturally has “invisible brand advantage” in cheese business and the huge growth potential brought by it.

Internal and external thrust from 2b to 2C

In order to “catch up”, since last year, Yili has made more innovations in the cheese business, whether in the catering channel for b-end or in the retail channel for C-end consumption.

For example, the snack generation introduced that last year, for the catering, hotel and baking industries with cheese, butter and cream as important raw materials, the company released the “Yili professional dairy” brand for the first time, and launched two professional dairy series of “Oriental inspiration” and “global selection”, providing customized front office marketing solutions and innovative application solutions for back kitchen for professional customers.

Since April this year, Yili professional dairy products has also held two month offline exchanges in 20 key cities across the country. With Yili professional dairy’s light cream, butter, mozzarella cheese and other products as raw materials, Yili professional dairy products has demonstrated 11 series of “national trend” creative new products to a number of customers in the baking industry.

At the same time, Yili vigorously expanded the “children’s cheese” category last year. It is said that Yili children’s cheese stick, which has “five times the calcium of milk”, has introduced two special packages: Auto story and ice and snow Wonderland. In addition, Yili launched the first “suckable cheese” (liquid cheese in the field of processed cheese) in China last year to attract new users of the category with this innovative product.

In fact, this cheese business with high added value is also becoming a new growth point for Yili.

In April this year, when Yili released its 2020 performance, it pointed out that Yili’s new product sales accounted for 16%“ Yili “cheese series products,” Jindian “low-temperature milk, and” jinlingguan “infant formula milk powder after formula upgrading have become the new growth points of the company.

According to Yili, in 2020, Yili’s total revenue of cheese products rose 812.56% year on year. The company said this was mainly due to “its own hardware advantages” and “precise control of consumer demand”.

On the whole, cheese is also ushering in a new round of development opportunities.

Xiaoshidai noticed that at the theme day of the 2021 national food safety publicity Week held in June this year, Li TangBing, deputy director of the Department of consumer goods industry of the Ministry of industry and information technology, pointed out that in the future, it is necessary to further enrich product categories, comply with the trend of consumption upgrading, and focus on developing characteristic functional dairy products such as cheese.

Industry analysts believe that in the future, cheese that can win Chinese consumers is expected to be a product with local characteristics.

“In the development of cheese products, we must explore the Chinese way. Because the demand for cheese in the Chinese market is by no means Western-style. Whoever can grasp the stomach of the Chinese people will be able to occupy the future market. There is still a lot of scientific research to do here. ” Meng Suhe, chairman of CFST, mentioned it on the same occasion.

“Although the base of cheese market is small, it will continue its growth track and become the fastest growing dairy product category.” In the above report, inmant also pointed out that the recent cheese consumption behavior of Chinese consumers “will not copy the behavior of the western market”, because the Chinese market is still in the early stage of development.  

Annie Jiang, an analyst of food and beverage research at inmante, proposed that the brand could expand the product form of cheese, put it in the competition of a wider range of snacks, and focus more on adult consumers, rather than just focusing on its nutritional value. Cooperating with restaurants in catering channels can promote new eating methods to non cheese consumers and cultivate stronger cooking and baking habits.  

“In addition to the differentiation created by children’s fortified cheese, it may be more suitable for adults to increase the form of snack products (such as chips) and taste (such as salty taste),” For example, the storable cheese slices are easy to store, easy to carry, and can be eaten in more scenes to match the busy lifestyle of consumers.

Yili follow-up will also be how to force the cheese track, snack generation will continue to pay attention to.

Pay attention to “xiaoshidai” (wechat: foodinc) “and reply to” Yili “to see the wonderful news.

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