China Food

Where’s the next broken category? Don’t look, the answer is in the map of Chinese regional cuisine!

As a warm memory of a city and a representative of Chinese food culture, the commercial value of snacks with Chinese regional characteristics is being further explored, and new categories and brand opportunities are gradually formed.

Text: Megan  

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

Recently, the popularity of the food industry has not decreased, and new products / brands continue to gather together. Among them, the hottest is the pasta track. Lanzhou ramen, Chongqing Xiaomian and northwest characteristic noodles have won financing.
In addition, the fast-food style of regional snacks is not far behind, such as Lixiang’s new Sichuan Chongqing classic food, red oil copy, old hemp copy; The compound seasoning track is not idle, and new products focusing on Chaoshan flavor and Sichuan Chongqing flavor have also emerged one after another.
Source: image country
The continuous outbreak of powder / noodles / hand copied / composite condiments makes us sigh: it is not only a warm memory of a city, but also a representative of Chinese food culture. The charm of regional characteristic snacks has received more attention, breaking the restrictions of region and consumption scene, and the commercial value of Chinese flavor is being amplified.
Why is the charm of regional snacks discovered? How to tap the commercial value of regional snacks? How to unlock creative new ideas with regional specialties? In the increasingly convoluted food and beverage industry, it is a great way to return to the traditional food culture and find inspiration.
Multiple tracks in full bloom,
The charm of Chinese regional snacks can’t be hidden
Nuggets is a treasure of Chinese food culture. Geographical / spatial restrictions are being broken
Noodles, hand copying, marinated flavor, compound seasoning… Behind the recent active tracks, there is a common point: the charm of Chinese regional cuisine can’t be hidden.
Source: hungry
In the “global flavor, double circulation on the tip of the tongue”, one of the annual business hotspots of foodaily2021 food and beverage industry, foodaily believes that local localized cuisine and regional culture are being excavated, and new category / brand opportunities are gradually formed, such as new opportunities hidden in local specialty cuisine, local specialty snacks, local specialty ingredients and regional flavor cuisine.
This year, this trend is very obvious.
As of August, according to incomplete statistics of foodaily, the noodle / flour track won more than 10 financing in 2021 and became a well deserved Chinese food star. Among them, Lanzhou ramen, Chongqing Xiaomian, northwest characteristic noodles and Hunan rice noodles have grown in their own territory for a century or even a millennium.
With the maturity of industrial standardization and online retailing, more and more regional characteristic snacks break the regional space restrictions, enter the vision of national consumers with unique regional cultural labels, and even enter the daily kitchen of young people from restaurants.
Regional specialties are penetrating into the “New Youth kitchen” through the tentacles of categories
In addition to breaking the regional restrictions, the consumption scene of regional characteristic Cuisine is also changing. In addition to the noodle / powder track, foodaily noticed that Lixiang country also moved the “authentic Sichuan Chongqing copycat” to the family scene this time. It is understood that Lixiang country has launched two Sichuan Chongqing classic eating methods this time: hand copying with old hemp in soup and hand copying with dry mixed red oil.
In order to restore the authentic Sichuan Chongqing flavor, the raw materials of oil pepper, sesame paste and skin matched by Lixiang country took a lot of effort. For example, in the selection of oil pepper, Lixiang country integrates three kinds of pepper to create a full and layered taste, so as to highlight the flavor of Sichuan and Chongqing. It is worth mentioning that the shape of lixiangguo copycat adopts the authentic cat ear shape, restores the traditional packaging method, and brings users an authentic regional characteristic experience.
Source: Lixiang country
With the digital promotion of Chinese regional cuisine, we have opened up unlimited imagination space. Behind the outbreak of noodles, what other sub categories can break the circle? The innovation of Lixiang country has drawn our attention to another snack category with a very strong consumption base in China – copycat.
Behind the new in the image country,
It is reshaping a category with strong cultural attributes
It is a traditional local snack in Sichuan Province. It belongs to Sichuan cuisine. It is famous for its thin and tender skin, delicious soup and fresh soup. Among Sichuan snacks, longchaoshou is not the most penetrating characteristic food, but it is also a representative food of Sichuan and Chongqing.
The most popular Sichuan snacks, photo source: 2021 China snack digital promotion index report
Hand copying is a regional eating method and appellation of wonton. It is said that in Sichuan, the name of hand copying is to describe the sense of the market picture of people waiting to eat hot wonton with their hands copied. Others say it is to describe that this snack is thin and easy to cook. It has been cooked and served between hand copying.
Originally used for sacrifice, wonton has a long history in China’s food culture. Now it has formed different eating methods in different regions. The thickness of the skin and the filling are also very different, and the names have their own characteristics, such as hand copying in Sichuan, wonton in Guangdong, flat food in the central Plains, Baomian in Hubei
Source: bean and fruit food
Like pasta, wonton also has strong regional cultural attributes, a variety of sub categories, and universal characteristics.
However, in the past category business, we found that the cultural attribute of copying has not been fully excavated, and this may be the reason why Lixiang country focuses on this category.
Small wonton makes big business
As a Chinese snack with Chinese characteristics, wonton has a variety of eating scenes. It seems that you can have a bowl of wonton in the morning, middle, evening and night. The variety of fillings and soup bottom and the high-frequency consumer price band make the category gene of wonton very powerful. Therefore, national representative chain brands with 2000 + stores and regional brands in different regions have emerged in the catering track.
In the track of quick-frozen food, according to the Research Report on market prospect and investment of quick-frozen food industry in 2020,   At present,   Dumplings, dumplings, pastries, zongzi and wonton are the top five in the quick-frozen market. Among them, dumplings and dumplings account for 90% of the market share, and pastries, zongzi, wonton, spring rolls and local snacks account for a relatively small proportion.
Source: Lixiang country
A new opportunity in “familiarity”: can’t you make a head out of thin skin and stuffing? Then rely on “regional eating method” to win
Unlike the pasta track with category and no brand, the wonton category, especially the catering track, has run out of chain brands, but lixiangguo, as a cutting-edge, is still optimistic about entering this category. Why?
Foodaily believes that even if there are existing brands, there are still “loopholes” in the category of wonton in the new business environment. First, from the perspective of catering track, although there are large chain brands emerging, regional brands still have their own advantages. They are their own businesses and do not infringe on each other. From the perspective of quick-frozen food categories, the small market share of wonton also just shows that there are great market opportunities.
Secondly, under the influence of chain catering standardization, both catering brands and quick-frozen food brands seem to make product innovation in taste, stuffing and so on, which makes the category of wonton gradually lose its differentiation, which also brings new opportunities for different regional eating methods.
New ideas for unlocking creativity of regional food culture
Innovation often occurs in those common behaviors and cognition in life.
Whether it’s pasta or hand copying, it has a cultural foundation and a consumption foundation. Driven by “new people and new needs”, it is bound to split up new opportunities that you ignore. Whether it can be found or not is crucial to the insight and understanding of new consumption and new people. More importantly, how to dig and solve the needs of consumers from shallow to deep, so as to enhance consumers’ dependence and trust on products / brands.
As mentioned earlier, foodaily believes that the launch of Lixiang country’s new hand copied products is actually reshaping a category with strong cultural attributes. Back to this case, let’s take a look at how it shapes differentiation in traditional categories.
Foodaily is concerned that since its establishment in 2020 last year, the brand positioning of Lixiang country is to bring you good food materials and good taste everywhere, and create a “fast food and frozen boutique supermarket” for young people at home.
There is no doubt that the kitchen scene of lazy young people has great business opportunities, and quick frozen and fast food is a great way to solve this pain point. In the image country, it is conceivable that it is very difficult to tear a hole in the entrenchment of giants.
In addition to convenience, quality and taste, foodaily pays attention to the new product strategy of Lixiang country: mobilize consumers’ desire for experience with regional culture in the categories familiar to consumers.
Click this picture to receive a 20% discount coupon for Lixiang country’s hand copying. Picture source: Lixiang country
Lixiangguo’s practice of strengthening “Sichuan Chongqing flavor” and classic eating methods actually implies that they are not eating wonton itself, but experiencing and feeling regional flavor and culture from the perspective of consumers.
This also inspires us that in addition to meeting the needs of time, space and health, perhaps we should also link cultural values and emotional experience with consumers through products.
From the perspective of national policies, the outline of the 14th five year plan has repeatedly mentioned “characteristic industries”, and promoting Chinese food culture is one of the important strategies, which is also the key promoting factor for the outbreak of regional characteristic Cuisine in recent years.
At the same time, with the promotion and assistance of digitization, the commercial value of regional cuisine will be further amplified. We hope to see more and more brands bow to the game, jointly tap and apply the treasure of opportunities in the map of Chinese cuisine, and spread Chinese traditional food culture.


[1] Small wonton has achieved big business. Some people have opened thousands of stores and some earn 1.5 billion a year. Lacquer ordering research society, November 2, 2020[ 2] They have a common name: Chinese wonton!, Food Research Institute, August 20, 2021.
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