China Food

Zhou Heiya who can’t fly

. How are the Zhou black ducks doing?

“No duck can walk out of Nanjing alive”. In China, people often use this sentence to ridicule Nanjing People’s love for ducks.
In Wuhan, Zhou black duck, famous for its duck neck, once gave consumers the title of “duck king” with its strong brand influence.
It is true that before 2017, in the leisure bittern industry, Zhou Heiya dared to say that second, other enterprises have to weigh it again.
Looking back on the past, the spirited Zhou Heiya landed in Hong Kong stocks and handed over an increase of 13.4% on the first day, with a market value of HK $15.47 billion, far exceeding the unique taste of listing four months late at that time.
For more than ten years, Zhou black duck has never fallen behind.
Times have changed. Looking back on today’s brine market, Zhou Heiya has long been “yalishan”. Not only was it defeated in the competition with the “big three” of Luwei, which is both brilliant and unique, but it was also divided into market shares by new brands entering the market segment.
In the new consumption era, Zhou Heiya, who sticks to the rules and focuses on direct sales, seems to be a little out of date.
Whether it is the declining performance report year by year or the increasingly competitive Luwei track, more and more people begin to believe that Zhou Heiya really “can’t fly”.
Why did duck king fall behind in the face of 100 billion market? After that, can we rein in on the brink, stop the loss in time, or be completely kicked out and become the next “Tan Yutou”?
Investors and diners are watching.
“happy” halogen track
After the outbreak, the Luwei track suddenly became very lively, and businesses, food and even the capital market began to be busy.
First of all, the market scale of domestic leisure brine industry has increased unabated in recent years, and the rise is extremely fierce. In 2016, the market scale of the bittern industry just exceeded 80 billion yuan. In just four years, the market scale increased by half to 123.512 billion yuan.
According to the prediction of relevant data, the market scale of domestic leisure brine industry will exceed 220 billion yuan in 2025.
Graph / parity mapping   Data source: Network
As for another sub industry of halogen products, the market scale of halogen products with meals also increased from 124.503 billion to 163.169 billion from 2016 to 2020. It is predicted that the overall market scale is expected to be close to 280 billion yuan in 2025.
Graph / parity mapping   Data source: Network
Secondly, in recent years, capital has favored the catering segment of leisure halogen market. There were as many as 7 capital events of halogen track in the first half of this year alone, accounting for about 10% of the whole catering industry.
Among them, there is no lack of giant capital. Represented by Sheng Xiangting, a red hot brine brand of invested by Tencent in April this year, chrysanthemum Kailu flavor, Wang Xiaolu flavor, fresh halogen home and other large and small brine brands have won the entry of capital.
The Star River is hot, and the brine is the ideal of the world. Consumers have strong demand, and the capitalists are hungry and thirsty, which makes the already bustling brine market more boiling.
To say, immersed in this ocean of joy, the most unable to extricate themselves are the head enterprises of the bittern industry.
Today’s stewed food is no longer just the stall goods of the vendors at the door of the vegetable market. The “four giants” (JUE Wei, Huang Shanghuang, Zhou Heiya, Ziyan Baiwei chicken) firmly control their market share.
On the one hand, measured by the number of stores opened, the parity school sorted out relevant data to show that in 2020, the number of new stores in Juewei and Huangshanghuang exceeded 1000, while Zhou Heiya only had 435, less than half of the level of the first two. In terms of the total number of stores, Zhou Heiya, which is mainly based on the direct sales model, is far less than Jue Wei and Huang Shanghuang, which are the main franchisees.
  Graph / parity mapping   Data source: narrow door dining hole and network   
The main food of Zhouyan is different from that of zhoubai duck. Compared with leisure halogen products, cooked halogen products are more abundant, covering meat, poultry and consumer groups.
Therefore, when Shanghai Ziyan Food Co., Ltd., the main company of Ziyan, heard the rumor that it planned to be listed on a shares, it immediately attracted a lot of attention. In terms of market performance, it also handed over the achievement of 1000 + new stores, second only to Jue Wei, with a total of 4760 stores.
On the other hand, the low concentration of the bittern industry also gives other niche brands a chance to share.
Although the dominant position of the “big four” is unshakable, from the data, the total market share of Jue Wei, Zhou Heiya and Huang Shanghuang is only 15%. The market share of Ziyan Baiwei chicken in the catering industry is only less than 3%.
Graph / parity mapping   Data source: Network
Other brands with their own characteristics are also blooming. Local flavor brands like dragon subduing claw and halogen man armour have cultivated certain competitiveness in the local area; Wang Xiaolu and claw food, which focus on online, have also achieved unsatisfactory results; There are also a number of brands led by shengxiangting active in segments such as hot halogen.
In the final analysis, the characteristics of the traditional bittern industry dominated by small workshops have not been completely overturned, and more than 80% of the market share is still separated by husband and wife shops in the vegetable market.
As generation Z consumers gradually become the main consumer group in the bittern industry, the industry scale effect will become more and more obvious, and the trend of branding is irresistible. However, before the formation of industry norms, large enterprises still have the opportunity to improve their market share to obtain higher revenue, and small enterprises can also break through and form their own brands.
With the support of the 100 billion market and the generation of Internet traffic, the mood of large and small halogen brands is like a famous line in the new Three Kingdoms starring Yu Hewei, “play music and dance”.
Figure/   Then play and dance
However, we may be surprised that there is no Zhou black duck in this happy team.
the opposite “duck king”
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, crazy fans filled the wallets of beer brands and brought food such as duck necks. According to statistics, in Wuhan alone, the daily sales of duck necks are as many as 600000. People can’t help laughing that the number of duck necks around the earth is comparable to the fragrant milk tea sold.
Among the piles of duck necks, Zhou black duck definitely occupies a place. It is no exaggeration to say that Zhou Heiya before 2017 deserved the title of “duck king”.
In 1994, Zhou Fuyu, the founder of Zhou black duck, came to Wuhan to join his eldest sister. During this period, he has been learning to do soy sauce duck business.
According to Zhou Fuyu’s own introduction, he had to get up at 3 a.m. and go out at 6 a.m. every day. After working hard and busy, he could sell less than 10 ducks a day. Although the business was bleak, it was at that time that we continued to study spices and developed an exclusive formula. The taste of “Zhou black duck” began to take shape.
It is precisely because of the obsession with making ducks that Zhou black duck’s unique sweet and spicy taste duck neck is deeply loved by consumers. From the original Wuhan Hangkong road electric food market, to the first “rich strange flavor duck” business district store in Wuhan International Plaza in 2004, and now it is all over the streets and alleys of Wuhan, and the brand is famous all over the country.
Zhou Fuyu witnessed the growth of Wuhan, which also gave birth to the “duck king”.
In 2016, Zhou black duck almost spread all over China. Zhou Fuyu also successfully led the company to be listed in Hong Kong, with a market value of up to 20 billion yuan, becoming the “first duck in China” worthy of the name at that time.
Figure/   Once the “duck king” was hot
However, looking back, we found that the duck king seemed “unable to fly”.
This is not only reflected in the above analysis that the competition in the bittern market lags behind, but even Zhou Heiya’s own financial performance has been losing ground in recent years.
2018 was a year of Waterloo for Zhou Heiya’s business. The expansion of 392 self operated stores did not bring corresponding increase in revenue and profit. On the contrary, the total revenue and profit decreased compared with the previous year. Among them, the total profit fell by as much as 29%.
In the same year, Zhou Heiya’s competitors began to make great progress.
The total revenue and profit of Huangshanghuang were 1.9 billion and 170 million, up 28% and 23% compared with last year; Jue Wei did not let it go, realizing a total revenue and profit of 4.3 billion yuan and 640 million yuan, an increase of 13% and 29% respectively.
This distinct rise and fall also means that the title of “duck king” of Zhou black duck no longer exists to some extent. What is more regrettable is that up to now, Zhou Heiya has not narrowed the gap with its competitors, and it seems that Zhou Heiya has been pulled farther and farther from the dual perspective of the market and itself.
From a market perspective, although the overall market share of the “big four” of Luwei is not high, secretly, a gap has been formed between the four enterprises.
Jue Wei, with a market share of nearly 9%, has opened the gap with Zhou black duck. Although Zhou Heiya still has a market share of 4.6%, the gap with the Huangshanghuang and Ziyan behind him is gradually narrowing.
The comparison of the number of new stores of the “big four” can also confirm the above view.
From its own point of view, Zhou black duck’s “ugly” performance also indicates the decline of the former “duck king”. In terms of revenue, it gradually decreased from 3.249 billion yuan in 17 to 3.186 billion yuan in 19 years. In 2020, affected by the epidemic, the revenue fell to 2.182 billion yuan.
If the bleak revenue alone is not enough to explain the problem, the net profit decreased from 762 million to 407 million from 2017 to 2019, and there was a loss of 42 million yuan in the first half of 2020. Fortunately, the net profit was barely positive in the second half of the year.
It is very appropriate to use “take advantage of your illness to kill you” to describe the rise of other competitors during the decline of Zhou black duck.
Throughout 2020, Jue Wei maintained steady growth in performance and number of stores. Not only does the total number of 12399 mainland stores make it difficult for other bittern brands to catch up, but the rise in revenue and profits has further consolidated its position as the leader in the bittern industry.
Huangshanghuang has become the only brine enterprise whose profits are not affected by the epidemic and rise against the trend. The strong rise of the bittern industry and many of its enterprises also forms a sharp contrast with the fall of Zhou Heiya alone.
It seems that the time left for the “Besieged” Zhou Heiya to fight back is really running out. In order to verify the bad voice on the Internet, the parity group decided to go to the offline store of Wuhan zhouheiya in person.
defeat your “not naive, no shoes”
Those who are not optimistic about Zhou Heiya are more optimistic about its stubborn direct marketing model. It may be Zhou Fuyu’s heartfelt resistance to the franchise model. The business model of direct marketing and chain has been accompanied by Zhou Heiya for many years, and it was not broken until the end of 2019.
On the positive side, direct management ensures the quality and taste of store products and has high consumer satisfaction. On the contrary, from a bad point of view, the direct sales model seriously limits the speed of store expansion.
Although the profitability of a single store, Zhou black duck is far superior to Jue Wei and Huang Shanghuang, it can’t stand the large number of competitors’ stores. Despite the opening of the franchise mode, Zhou Heiya’s high franchise fee (set at 5 million in the early stage and adjusted to 300000 in the later stage) still discourages most small and medium-sized self-employed households.
Which is right or wrong between direct marketing and franchise will not be discussed for the time being. Another big pain point of Zhou black duck is that it did not go in the right direction in the wave of enterprise transformation.
On the one hand, the taste secret recipe carefully cultivated by Zhou Fuyu in those days is now less and less able to get good feedback from consumers.
It is undeniable that Zhou black duck still has a very high consumer base, at least in Wuhan, its birthplace, its popularity and unique taste are better than Ziyan.
The odd and even group randomly visited a store near guangbutun. Interestingly, I don’t know whether they learned the characteristics of being absolutely close to the people. The Zhou black duck store is small as a whole, and customers can only order through two small windows on the steps outside the store.
After the recommendation of the shop assistant, parity decided to buy its best-selling and its signature product marinated duck neck. You know, the duck neck famous for its sweet and spicy taste has always been the foundation for the survival of Zhou black duck.
Unfortunately, after tasting with several old Wuhan colleagues and duck neck lovers, people said that Zhou black duck’s duck neck tastes spicy and no longer has the sweet and spicy style of that year.
Through the on-site ordering menu, it can be found that although Zhou black duck has launched new products such as shrimp balls and chicken feet following the trend, there are inevitably problems such as lack of product types and serious taste homogenization without much change in the overall product menu.
Photo / actual shooting of a Zhou black duck restaurant in Wuhan   Parity shooting
For the catering industry, sensitive eaters will easily detect the deviation from their favorite tastes, especially young people with picky appetite.
Perhaps aware of the coming of the crisis, Zhou Heiya has increased marketing measures for young consumers in recent years to try to “make up for the lost sheep”.
Since June 2018, Zhou black duck has joined the Royal restaurant in the name of “little spicy kiss lipstick”, which is sold on Tmall through the purchase of weekly black duck products.
Subsequently, we continued the cross-border marketing of make-up and jointly launched the make-up set box with the South Korean make-up brand myshang, including the marinated duck series, air cushion, lipstick, etc.
Not only the make-up industry, the e-sports fever set off in recent years also gave Zhou Heiya the idea to get involved. The first themed E-sports hall was opened in Shenzhen in an attempt to use young online game users to drive the sales of their products. Even, Zhou Heiya also implanted advertisements for a variety of mobile games, including the biography of Wulin.
Figure / poor results behind crazy crossover
However, the thunder and rain are small, and the crazy cross-border marketing only brings a temporary increase in popularity. It is difficult for cross-border consumer groups to become loyal fans of Zhou black duck.
Compared with other brands, black duck has lost its inherent advantages in marketing,
On the other hand, a steady stream of competitors are more like the “real murderers” of Zhou black duck.
According to the offline visit of parity school, just as there must be KFC where there is McDonald’s, all Wuhan business districts arranged by Zhou Heiya are accompanied by Jue Wei duck neck and Ziyan Baiwei chicken. Taking the business district from Jianghan Road to Xunlimen as an example, near 10 Zhou black ducks, there are 6 Jue flavor and other large and small halogen flavor brands.
According to incomplete statistics, Zhou black duck has 331 stores in Wuhan, while Juewei and Ziyan Baiwei chicken have 436 stores, which can almost achieve one-on-one “marking”. In cities other than their own home, the competition is becoming more and more fierce.
Figure/   Where there is Zhou black duck, there is a unique flavor
The parity group asked several friends and colleagues around them to see their views on the tastes of different brands of duck neck. According to the feedback, with the stagnant taste of Zhouhei duck’s own products, it is difficult for consumers to feel the obvious differences and different characteristics in taste between Zhouhei duck and other stewed brands.
“The taste of Zhou black duck is not as good as it was ten years ago. I always buy whichever store I look at,” said an old neighborhood who has lived in Wuhan for decades.
From the Jingwu gate in those days to the Zhou black duck today, the duck neck culture in Wuhan has been continuously inherited. However, the erosion of competitive brands seems to be much more serious than expected.
Does Zhou Heiya have only Jue Wei, Huang Shanghuang and Ziyan?
The answer may be far more than that. Throughout the whole bittern industry, the “big four” only occupy less than 20% of the market share, and the rest of the cake is occupied by the “counterfeits” of the vendors in the vegetable market, the husband and wife stores on the street and even Zhou black ducks.
Figure/   True and false Zhou black duck
In the era of taste homogenization, Zhou black duck has gradually become a synonym of the brine industry and a measure of taste. When you pick a halogen shop in the vegetable market to buy some halogen to take home, the shop owner will pat his chest and say, “the taste is the same as Jue Wei and Zhou black duck”.
Therefore, it is unrealistic to dream of dominating the bittern market by defeating the struggle between giants. Under the new consumption environment, it gives many enterprises the opportunity to rise, and also makes consumers’ appetite more picky and changeable.
Every kind of consumption can be redone, from the abandoned child of that year to the online popular model in the eyes of consumers. At the same time, it can also make the former king fall down from the altar.
From this logic, Zhou Heiya’s decline was not lost to the franchise model, nor to Jue Wei and Huang Shanghuang, but to endless competition.
Brand bred products may wither one day, but consumers’ freshness will not stagnate.
The answer to the tiktok tea, which once was popular in Wuhan, is based on divination and attracts consumers by the power of the jitter. When people thought that another giant would emerge in the tea market, the answer tea suddenly disappeared.
What is ironic is that the biggest reason for its fall is that the ownership of the trademark is unknown, leading to the rise of all localities, claiming that they are the authentic answer tea. It can be seen that the management of wanghong brand plays a vital role in the continuation of its life cycle.
At the same time as answer tea, the hot instant noodles canteen was deeply loved by young people who love instant noodles. The operation threshold is low, the audience is wide, and the turnover rate is high, which also makes many investors think they see hope.
Figure/   A short-lived answer tea and instant noodles small canteen
However, the bustling scene lasted only a few months, and hundreds of newly opened stores collapsed. For projects that sell a bowl of instant noodles for more than ten yuan, most consumers will not choose to repurchase after tasting fresh, and bankruptcy is inevitable.
In addition, the continued popularity of Zhong Xuegao, Yuanqi forest and other brands has something to do with their refined marketing management and product quality improvement. Yuanqi forest is favored by some health drink lovers because it integrates the concepts of bubble water and sugar free. Therefore, it can occupy a third of an acre in the industry dominated by the giant soda.
Zhong Xuegao’s publicity concept of “health, low fat and low sugar” is similar to that of Yuanqi forest. At the same time, the sales positioning of the family warehouse market also allows it to avoid the direct competition of many ice cream giants.
It can be seen that returning to product quality and brand management is very important for the new online red brand to become Changhong brand. The same principle applies to the time-honored Zhou Heiya.
As we all know, the repurchase rate has always been used as a measure of the operation of catering stores. Consumers’ product experience has a far-reaching impact on the repurchase rate. Zhou black duck just dropped the chain in this regard.
35 yuan a box of duck necks makes it difficult for many consumers to buy for the second time. After all, 35 yuan can be worth a day’s food expenses for many workers who are not rich.
Unfriendly prices, coupled with increasingly unorthodox tastes, are difficult to give consumers a comfortable product experience“ Fickle young people randomly turn to other products to “punish” this behavior. The brand remodeling of new consumption often makes consumers have many alternatives.
So it’s not wrong to say that Zhou black duck “can’t fly”.
is written at the end
“Unless Zhou black duck changes its operation mode, it is impossible to return to the leading”, a fast-moving product analyst said the market’s judgment on the future trend of Zhou black duck.
Admittedly, the saying that Zhou black duck is bad is not groundless“ The “duck king” left behind is the result of consumers voting with their feet. Therefore, whether Zhou black duck can rise again depends on the tongues of the eaters.
The new consumption trend means that it is relatively easy for current brands to go from 0 to 1, while it is extremely difficult to go from 1 to 100.
As the first batch of enterprises to step into the brand construction of 1 to 100, Zhou Heiya is addicted to traffic playing methods and overdraw the accumulated product details, which has brought the brand to an end.
Back to Luwei itself, “it can not only be the protagonist at the table, but also the supporting role after dinner”. The Chinese people’s love for Luwei also makes the Luwei industry in the growth stage far from seeing the emergence of the ceiling.
The spicy economy is enduring, and the business of duck neck will still have a way out after all. At the same time, the future of Zhou black duck is not necessarily dark. After all, for diners, the antonym of life is not necessarily “death”, but also “familiar”.
*The pictures in this article are all from the Internet
. Food people are “watching”

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