China Food

Close up of to C business of compound condiment under “young” bonus

when all kinds of industrialized foods represented by compound seasonings successfully occupy more kitchen space under the promotion of commercial forces, the cooking habits of traditional Chinese families focusing on manual production will accelerate the change process, and the dietary culture formed with manual production will change irreversibly.

Reprinted from Sansheng (ID: tosansheng), author: Zhu ruomiao.

China is a delicious country.


In recent years, with the acceleration of the pace of resource integration in the catering supply chain, a new generation of food businessmen are readjusting the taste of Chinese people. This is reflected in the popularity of condiments by capital.


Among many types of seasoning commodities, compound seasoning is particularly prominent. It is a seasoning commodity made of two or more seasonings. According to the statistics of Frost & Sullivan, a consulting company, compound seasoning is the only seasoning category that has maintained double-digit growth in recent years, and its market share is second only to soy sauce.

Many new brands of new flavoring compounds coming from the new business intelligence NBT (WeChat official account ID:newbusinesstrend) have said that the brand itself has a huge brand bonus. All investors understand that there must be a problem with the old godmother, but no one can replace it and come up with a better plan to run out of the channel. ” Dai zhenkai, founder of Satoshi, told New Business Intelligence NBT that their main product is spicy sauce compound seasoning.


On the one hand, the opportunity behind this comes from the intergenerational changes in the consumer market – new consumption habits are breeding new brands. Compared with the previous generation, the younger generation shows a stronger demand for compound seasonings, while the traditional brands have not fully kept up with the new changes in the market, which has become an opportunity for new brands.


On the other hand, the domestic food processing industry is developing in the direction of more industrialization and standardization. It provides relatively sufficient and mature supply chain support for all new products supported by the food industry, such as compound seasonings and prefabricated dishes. This is also the basic condition for all parties to enter in recent years.


For most new brands, with the solid support of the back-end supply chain, their competition in the front-end consumer market will only become more intense. The market window period boosted by the epidemic will not exist all the time. Giving priority to seizing the minds of customers has become a matter that new brands of compound seasonings are stepping up their promotion.


Under this wave of tide, industry intervened in Chinese kitchens in an all-round way.

“Young” bonus

Its opportunities come from young people.


This covers a wide range of consumers born since the 1980s. Their taste habits are very different from their parents, and their definition of “delicious” is fuller than that of the previous generation.


The reasons behind this are the growing per capita disposable income and more frequent population movements. Today, a young man living in an inland city in the West may also love dongyingong in Southeast Asia and Chaoshan hotpot in the southeast coast.


Tiktok and micro-blog have become the main drivers of local delicacy and fresh flavor after social media has been widely involved in people’s lives.


In sharp contrast to taste perception, this generation’s increasingly poor cooking level has become the soil for the rapid growth of compound seasoning in the past 10 years. Dai zhenkai believes that takeout blocks the intergenerational inheritance of family cooking skills. “Most of our generation’s cooking skills are not as good as our mother.”

In addition, some social changes have accelerated this process directly or indirectly. For example, more and more single people, smaller family units, and more women’s focus of life has shifted from the kitchen to the workplace and self-worth realization.


However, the kitchen is still an indispensable family scene, and the demand for cooking will exist for a long time, which has been verified by the epidemic. The long closed life pushed young people back to the kitchen. Some of them developed fixed cooking habits during this period, but their stretched skills could not meet their dietary needs.


The epidemic has amplified the contradiction between young people’s cooking ability and actual needs, which is seen as an opportunity by new brands of compound seasonings. With the power of industry and trendy marketing methods, they quickly poured into young people’s kitchens.


This is a new trend that traditional brands have not kept up. No matter in taste innovation, brand marketing and packaging, traditional brands have not been able to fully adapt to changes. Because of this, the kitchen space they had not occupied before began to be quickly occupied by new brands in the past two or three years.


In the interview, Dai zhenkai gave an image example to new business intelligence NBT – “almost all girls can’t open the lid of the old godmother, but it hasn’t thought of changing after so many years. In addition, Lao Ganma’s packaging is certainly not fashionable from the aesthetic point of view after 00. “


He analyzed that the reason is that there is an obvious conflict of consumer values between the brand and the market. In the old godmother’s internal evaluation system, these details may not be a problem, “but in young people, they will think this is wrong.”


The unmet demand of the young consumer market has left market space for new brands“ When new consumption trends appear, old brands are abandoned very quickly. If a product can really form a high resonance with consumers in terms of brand mind, culture, values and products, it has a great opportunity. ” Dai zhenkai said.


People have a stable demand and long-term memory for taste“ “Delicious” is supported by profound regional food culture and family life experience. When taste is a business, these cultural elements constitute its unique brand barrier. This binding relationship is as deep-rooted as the spicy tradition in Sichuan and Chongqing culture.


For this reason, many entrepreneurs of new composite seasoning brands contacted by new business intelligence NBT regard their brand construction as their own long-term value“ I think it should ultimately be a victory of values, not a victory of simple products. ” Dai zhenkai said.


This generation of new brands has caught up with the window period of intergenerational changes in the consumer market. For new brands making composite seasonings, they have the opportunity to establish long-term exchanges with young people, develop into a “national brand” in Dai Zhen’s mouth, and realize the long-term profitability of the brand.


At the same time, in recent years, based on the rapid development of the domestic catering industry, the industrialization of the back-end food processing industry has become more and more mature. This ability has laid a solid foundation for the growth of new seasoning brands.


“In the rapid development of the catering industry in the past decade, compound condiments have formed a very deep R & D and accumulation of basic production capacity. They can flexibly support front-end product innovation.” Shen yueren, the founder of adding flavor, said at the recent fbif2021 food and beverage Innovation Forum.


The improvement of infrastructure on the supply side, coupled with the unmet and vigorous demand on the consumer side, has become the “favorable time, place and people” of this generation of new brands. On this basis, in recent years, new brands of compound seasoning emerge one after another, and the background of entrants is more diverse.


For example, Zuo Dashi, who grew up by taking out tying, officially launched a new seasoning product for retail sales in June; Zihi pot recently launched its own compound seasoning brand “Xiaoqi kitchen”, focusing on the light cooking scene of young people’s families in first and second tier cities.


In addition, catering and retail channels have also launched seasoning products based on their own capabilities. Typical ones are box horse and bottom fishing. The sales volume of its own brand cold bubble juice launched by the former last year increased rapidly, while Yihai international behind Haidilao also accelerated the research and development pace of composite seasoning products last year. Among the 55 new products newly developed, 15 are Chinese composite seasonings.


After the entry of many parties, the competition in the field of composite seasoning has heated up rapidly in the past two years.

Compete with old brands for “mind”

The vitality of traditional brands is still tenacious.


Their advantage is that the brand influence of old brands is still there, and their offline distribution network has a wide range of radiation, which makes them have a deep foundation in the offline market. In addition, old brands have deeper industrial accumulation at the end of the supply chain and form scale cost advantages.


Facing the continuous impact of new brands, these traditional brands have realized the crisis and accelerated the pace of adjustment. For example, Haitian flavor industry also launched a number of new composite seasonings last year and increased marketing efforts.


One of the most obvious signals is that it has been increasing in recent years in various arts. The “high praise”, “Tucao” and “singer” make complaints about the name and implants of Haitian. These methods help Haitian strengthen its connection with young people.


In this environment, new brands seize online opportunities.


With the help of mature food processing supply chain, stronger demand insight and younger marketing strategy, they have opened the kitchen space where the traditional compound seasoning has not broken through. Compared with the latter, new brands that are naturally not bound by old ideas and organizational structure can always show stronger adaptability and flexibility in the face of emerging markets. This is also the advantage of latecomers.

At the level of product innovation, this generation of flavor merchants essentially did not create a new flavor, but screened out the flavors that are more likely to be loved by users from the existing flavors. Coincidentally, the vast territory of China also provides these new brands with rich taste options, because the vast hinterland of the mainland has formed a variety of taste preferences.


Previously, due to the low degree of standardization and industrialization of the domestic food processing industry, most of the flavor was limited to local restaurants and family members at home.


Now, when the food industry is becoming more and more mature, the threshold of stable supply, processing and circulation of raw materials has been gradually reduced through industry, and new brands have quickly squeezed into this market.


For seasoning producers, it is not difficult to restore a taste, because most of them are ready-made flavors, based on the existing cooking technology. Dai zhenkai shared, “it’s easy for a teacher Fu with 20 years of cooking experience to restore the taste of dongyingong. Based on his cooking experience, he can quickly analyze the composition of raw materials and convert them into a formula that can be industrialized.”


The difficulty is how to select widely accepted flavors from many existing flavors. This is precisely an ability that traditional brands lack.


In the screening mechanism emphasized by new brands, what kind of flavor can be selected and produced on a large scale depends on the data expression behind the consumption behavior of most people in society.


Taking Xiaoqi kitchen as an example, its taste selection is mainly through data. Based on the analysis of market consumption data, Xiaoqi kitchen has discovered the taste suitable for making composite seasoning products. From the tiktok brand manager, Kim Dan, the data dimension of their development process includes catering channels, lower kitchen, bean fruit delicacy and micro-blog, Xiao Hong, jitter and other social sharing platforms.

In the screening process, not all flavors are suitable to be developed into composite seasonings. The practice of Xiaoqi kitchen is to choose the taste that is not easy to make at home from the taste with high heat. For example, the team of Xiaoqi kitchen will judge by comparing the keywords associated between a taste and a specific recipe, “if the keyword search frequency is high, it means that this is a dish that everyone wants to do, but won’t do.” Jin Dan explained.


In terms of marketing, new brands also generally show a stronger desire to interact with users.


Especially with the rapid iteration of the domestic e-commerce industry, the relationship between online content and transactions is becoming closer and closer. This has become the key for new brands to successfully attract consumers and quickly complete the transaction transformation. The latter is also an ability that traditional brands lack.

For example, Xiaoqi kitchen targeted the design of the seasoning bag for the fact that young people love to share their daily life on social media. In addition to taking care of their taste, they also need to take care of the need for color matching after cooking. “By adding small petals such as edible petals and dried peppers, you can make the whole dish look better.” Jin Dan said. In this way, what brands want to do is to stimulate users to share their products more on social media.


At the same time, short video is also regarded as an excellent communication and interactive tool by this generation of flavor merchants. Dai zhenkai believes that the emerging media forms such as short video and live broadcast have changed the path for users to recognize and accept a new brand product, which will inevitably lead to changes in people’s trading behavior. New brands must adapt to such a media environment in order to be more likely to impress young consumers“ Planting grass and the final transaction transformation have become the standard model. “


Not long ago, tiktok’s retail product “small bowl sauce” began to sell through online channels. The jitter is not only the main marketing position of this product, but also an important sales channel.


In Dai Zhen Kai, the tiktok ceiling is very high. A major reason behind this is that as a traffic platform mainly based on video content, video has low requirements for the acceptance threshold of the audience, and the communication coverage and speed are also wider and faster, which helps the new brand to quickly complete the market education. On the platform, gourmet videos have their own traffic, which naturally strengthens the correlation between gourmet content and seasoning products.


Tiktok tiktok allows the brand to enter, and the content and transactions are all on the platform of shaking, which can form a closed loop of transactions, which fits the tiktok’s “standard mode”. He analyzed tiktok’s opening up of brand platform and the time it takes to open shop was not long. Compared with Tmall’s tiktok platform, there are still growth dividends in various brands.


“For example, in our condiment category, if you are not a head anchor like Li Jiaqi and Weiya, it takes basically a year to achieve a revenue of 5 million a month on tmall. But on the tiktok channel, we need to make special efforts to achieve 5 million of our monthly revenue, and we can finish the normal operation within the next quarter. Dai zhenkai said.

The rapid development and fierce competition of domestic e-commerce platforms objectively provide soil for these new brands. The platform not only moistens the new brands of composite seasonings, but also stimulates the growth of more new brands serving similar scenes.


At this stage, competition not only exists between new and old brands, but also between new brands.

Horizontal competition emphasizes differences

Differentiation has become a key strategy in today’s competition.


The differentiation path between the same category of compound seasoning is closely related to the entrepreneurial genes of each brand.


For example, Satoshi, who focuses on making chili sauce, has determined a more differentiated positioning around this sub category, “we finally choose the positioning of famous dish flavor chili sauce”. Dai zhenkai believes that the richness of taste of instant chili sauce products on the market is far from meeting the needs of the consumer market, and China’s broad and profound catering culture provides a rich choice dimension for their new product research and development.


Zihi pot, which launched the sub brand “Xiaoqi kitchen” strategy, chose to highlight the differences in product structure.


Jindan introduced that they designed a double R model (i.e. ready to cook & ready to eat) to build a product matrix around the differences in the life trajectory and use scenarios of contemporary young people. Among them, fried vegetable sauce is relatively more different. Therefore, the fried vegetable sauce belonging to ready to cook has become one of the first series.


Kwai chill hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot food dividends, not only represent the growth of demand for compound condiments, but also in prefabricated and instant food products such as prefabricated instant food, self heated chafing dish, steamed rice and so on.


Together with compound seasonings, they grab the light cooking scene in the kitchen.


Horizontal competition among different categories of products is inevitable. However, most of the composite seasoning brands we came into contact with said that the opportunity was still great. Dai zhenkai mentioned that horizontal competition does not affect the growth prospect of compound seasoning, “because there are many different options for a meal.”


The deeper reason behind this is the increasingly stratified domestic consumer market. It has brought a multi-dimensional market for the consumer goods industry.


Shen yueren believes that the consumer goods industry is very different from tob or technology companies. “Winner takes all” does not exist in the consumer goods industry. We mainly look at whether the brand can serve its core groups and scenes, so this is a more vivid market. “

This judgment has also been implemented in the selection strategy of adding some taste.


At present, the main feature of family light cooking mode is to reduce the operation difficulty of food preparation and shorten the production time. This is also the fundamental problem that all kinds of products focus on solving. However, in terms of specific production scenarios, different types of products solve the cooking needs of different dishes.


For example, when making product selection, we will consider the contribution of ingredients and seasoning in a dish. In terms of NAFO jumping over the wall or braised eel with cattail, Shen yueren believes that what users need more is that specific ingredients and seasonings are prepared together. In this kind of dishes, prefabricated dishes may be a better way to solve the problem. To C’s compound seasoning products are better at dishes whose seasoning contribution is greater than that of specific ingredients.


“Add some flavor, and the selected dishes are basically big dishes, hard dishes and restaurant dishes. In terms of flavor, we make pot chicken, boiled fish, pickled fish and other seasonings, which come from very catering dishes. These dishes are characterized by a very large variety of ingredients that users can choose, strong inclusiveness of ingredients, low difficulty in preparing dishes, and more taste. ” Because of this, these dishes will be selected by adding some taste to develop special composite seasoning products.


“What we offer our customers is LEGO style flavor blocks“ Shen Yue said. This definition is not only applicable to this brand, but also summarizes the most prominent characteristics of compound seasoning in the consumption scene.


With the change of the competitive atmosphere of the whole industry, this “flavor component” has become more diversified, and more regional flavors popular in the national market have been screened out. They have also received continued attention from capital.


Since this year, the financing news in this field has continued to increase. For example, the latest new brand to get financing is “fat home”, and composite seasoning products such as beef sauce and mushroom sauce are its core products. Behind this brand is a food brand “Xianwei grandpa”, which focuses on Chaoshan flavor.


This scuffle about taste has just begun.


According to the latest industry statistics of iResearch consulting, the market scale of China’s condiment industry grew by 18% in 2020, much higher than the growth rate in the past six years. The agency also estimates that the market scale will exceed 400 billion yuan this year.


The taste that is more popular in the market is the key to gaining customer loyalty. In this process, the front-end product R & D capability and brand building capability are indispensable, and the back-end supply chain capability plays a vital role. In the long run, the brand’s ability to control industrial links such as processing technology, raw materials and circulation cost control will become the key to the next competition of all brands.


Industrial foundation is not only the premise for the formation of this entrepreneurial wave, but also an indispensable element in this competition. It has brought great business opportunities to taste business.


But at the same time, it is also brewing a potentially uncertain future – when all kinds of industrialized foods represented by composite seasonings successfully occupy more kitchen space under the promotion of commercial forces, the cooking habits of traditional Chinese families focusing on manual production will accelerate the change process, and the food culture formed with manual production will change irreversibly.


The following question is, where will the cultural memory grown from direct production experience and the polysemy behind it go? After all, taste is not just a business.





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