China Food

French cheese giant adds China, “gold in milk” will open a new situation in the Chinese market| Ling Ting

cheese wants to usher in the explosive growth point in China, it is necessary to break the circle from traditional fields such as children and baking. Expanding Category & scene richness and establishing technical barriers will be the key to the layout of cheese.

Text: Megan   

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

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Compared with more than ten years ago, China’s dairy market has been reborn. Now, the scale of domestic dairy market has increased from 216.8 billion in 2008 to 638.5 billion in 2020, with an average annual growth rate of 9.4%. According to the data released by Euromonitor International in 2020, looking at the composition changes of dairy sub categories in the past 15 years, there is no doubt that milk, yogurt, milk beverage and vegetable protein milk are still the main versions of dairy products Figure
At the same time, thanks to the healthy and diversified concept of diet, with the penetration of dairy products in the Chinese market, Chinese dairy products are sprouting new buds, and cheese is one of the categories that have attracted much attention. According to the report of Guosheng securities, the scale of cheese retail industry in 2020 was 8.834 billion yuan, with a compound growth rate of 20.6% in recent five years. However, generally speaking, the penetration rate of cheese in China is low and the per capita consumption of cheese is low There is great room for improvement.
In the eyes of Chinese consumers, after the continuous education of cheese brands, health and delicacy have become consumers’ general cognition of this category, but cheese has not yet appeared in the daily diet of most consumers. According to the insight data of yingmint, 86% of new cheese products in China from 2020 to 2021 belong to processed cheese, and the audience group of natural cheese is still small, and the main audience group is children In addition, baking and catering scenes are common in cheese consumption scenes.
If cheese wants to break out in the Chinese market, it undoubtedly needs more innovative products to break the circle, but the consumption scene still needs to be expanded. In the face of such a blue ocean market with subdivided categories, Chinese and foreign dairy giants are ready to break the circle and launch new products one after another in order to seize the first opportunity.
Recently, foodaily learned that bell group, a French cheese giant with 30 + classic brands such as the launching cow, Kiri and babybel, has readjusted its Chinese market strategy and added its layout in China in recent years.
As a multinational company with a history of 156 years, why do you choose this opportunity to add to the Chinese market? What opportunities have you observed for the Chinese dairy industry? What expectations and confidence do you have in the future of the Chinese market? How will bel group layout to embrace Chinese consumers? How will the participation of heavy players stir up the Chinese dairy market?
To this end, Cynthia, the director of foodaily’s “listening to Ling” interview program, had the honor to interview Jean Christophe coubat, senior vice president of emerging regions of Bel group, and had an in-depth interview and exchange on the recent enterprise strategy adjustment. Next, foodaily will share the story behind Bel’s enterprise, industry insight and brand strategy.
Over 156 years of accumulation,
30 + sub brand bel for all for good,
How strong is bel?
If we don’t know the name of Bel very well, I believe many Chinese consumers are very familiar with Lezhi cattle. According to the data of China industry information network, Lezhi cattle ranked among the top three imported milk cheese with a market share of about 6% in the competition pattern of China’s cheese industry in 2020.
According to foodaily, lezhiniu is one of many sub brands of Bel and one of the oldest brands. In 1865, Bel founder Jules bel founded the cheese business in France. After the first World War, cheese developed rapidly in Europe. In 1921, l é on Bel, the son of Jules Bel, became the launching cow The trademark was registered, and a cross era product form was launched at that time: classic formula, soft texture and triangle cheese with independent small packaging. These three product features gradually became the cheese prototype in the eyes of consumers.
Jules Bel, founder of bell group, photo source: Bel official website
By 1921, Bel began to export its products to markets other than France. At first, Bel started business in Western Europe, entered the markets of the United States and Morocco in the 1970s, and then entered Asia Pacific countries such as Japan and China. Today, Bel’s products have been distributed in more than 130 countries around the world, with 30 + own factories worldwide, including the launching cow, babybel, Kiri and Bo Ursin, leerdammer and other well-known brands.
According to the consumption trend, keep innovating and expand the business line through mergers and acquisitions. This transnational family group with a history of 156 years has broken through the core business of cheese and positioned as a producer of healthy food. Taking for all for good as the enterprise concept, it is committed to bringing healthier food to all and meeting the diverse needs of different consumers.
In 2015, Bel Group acquired a majority stake in safilait, a dairy brand headquartered in Morocco, and its subsidiary jibal. In 2016, Bel acquired mom group, and further expanded the business territory of the group by taking the well-known brands in France and North America, such as pom’potes, Gogo squeez, materne and Mont.
In the interview, Mr. JC said that product innovation, technology development and the accumulation of brand influence are indeed Bel’s advantages. In terms of global supply chain, Bel has 2600 milk source partners, which can provide 2 billion liters of milk source for Bel every year. In addition, Bel has factories in 17 countries and has served more than 400 million consumers worldwide. Each figure proves Bel’s strong production and operation capacity in the global market.
In addition, driven by today’s concept of green economy and sustainable development, Bel Group actively responds to CSR commitment, practices the sustainable development of agriculture and animal husbandry, and plans to achieve 100% recyclable or 100% degradable packaging by 2025, so as to better meet the challenge of climate change, and finally achieve the goal of enterprise carbon neutrality by 2025, These innovative practices to promote social and industrial development also come from the precipitation and accumulation of Baylor group in 156 years.
The growth trend of dairy consumption is irreversible,
Category richness and technological innovation are the key to seize the opportunity
How does bel view the future growth opportunities in the Chinese market? What brand strategy will be adopted?
According to foodaily, in recent years, various imported dairy groups have frequently penetrated into the Chinese market, which confirms the huge growth space and potential of China’s dairy market. Especially under the cheese category, many new segments have been born.
At the end of 2020, Kaidu consumer index conducted a sampling survey on the dairy consumption of urban households in China, which comprehensively reflected the current penetration rate of various products. Among them, the penetration rates of the three most interesting indicators – high-end (high-end white milk, normal temperature yogurt), middle-end (high-end functional milk, children’s liquid milk, breakfast milk and ordinary flavored milk) and low-end (basic functional milk and basic white milk) dairy products were 88.5%, 54.6% and 81.6% respectively. Compared with overseas developed markets, the growth space of China’s dairy market still needs to be explored.
Foodaily believes that as an important consumer product to improve the quality of life, the growth and trend of dairy consumption is irreversible, and the richness and technical content of categories will be an important way to improve the frequency of dairy consumption in the next 10 years.
In the eyes of Mr. JC, he not only saw the potential of China’s dairy market, but also saw the opportunities of China’s new consumption environment and the huge needs of China’s new generation of consumers.
In the interview, Mr. JC said that bel Group officially entered the Chinese market more than 10 years ago. At present, Bel group has opened up online and offline core channels such as traditional and new retail. As a French group that entered China earlier, Bel has witnessed the growth and development of China’s dairy market. From the macroeconomic environment, China’s rapid recovery from COVID-19’s challenges is highly appreciated. A stable market economy environment also provides a good environment for Bel’s recovery and development after China’s epidemic.
China’s dairy market has maintained rapid and stable development for many years. After the epidemic, consumers’ attention and demand for healthy food have generally recognized the health and high nutritional value of dairy products. While enjoying delicious food, consumers will also pay more attention to the added value such as origin and nutrition, which not only brings more business opportunities for imported dairy products, but also gives birth to more new categories and novel product forms.
Young consumers have gradually become the main force of consumption, especially the influence of the consumption concept of millennials and Z generation on the existing consumption habits and brand strategies can not be underestimated. In the interview, Mr. JC said that bel should also actively adjust its strategy, push through the old and bring forth the new, and win the favor of young consumers.
Bel has seen the rapid development of the industry in China and firmly believes that there is unlimited potential in the upgrading of consumer groups, scenes and needs, which will bring exciting new market opportunities. In the future, Bel will continue to innovate and launch more high-quality products to enrich consumers’ choices in the Chinese market according to the subdivided needs of different consumer groups and different consumption scenarios, combined with the group’s global supply chain, high-quality milk sources and advanced manufacturing technology.
Focus on children and young women,
Snacks, baking and catering scenes are covered,
Bel will lay out the Chinese market in this way
Adding to the Chinese market, how will bel meet the needs of consumers through Category & track? Layout Mr. JC shared with foodaily that bel China’s future strategy will focus on meeting the needs of the general population, pay more attention to key groups and scenes such as children, young women and families, as well as the needs in the fields of snacks, baking and catering, and continue to pay attention to potential segments.
Mr. JC believes that in the Chinese market, nutritious and functional snacks will drive the rapid growth and breaking of cheese and other dairy products.
In order to better meet the needs of different target users and scenarios in the Chinese market, Bel will continue to strengthen the layout of cheese brands such as the launching cow, Kiri Carey and babybel small Baylor in the Chinese market, and introduce pom’pots, Youle children’s yogurt & fruit puree and other categories.
In the cheese category, the three brands of the launching cow Lezhi cow, Kiri Carey and babybel xiaobeile together form a very rich product matrix, covering various consumption scenes such as snacks, cooking and baking, bringing consumers a rich and smooth taste bud experience.
With the improvement of the quality of life, children’s consumption of snacks has been escalating, and many new needs have sprouted. Providing healthy and delicious products is the core challenge faced by brands. Lezhi cattle dip and babybel small Baylor series products provide children with healthy cheese snacks with rich milk flavor and interesting nutrition. Bel will also better meet the needs of snacks in different scenes and times by introducing pom’potes Youle children’s normal temperature bag yogurt and delicious nutritious fruit puree.
Take the lead,
What has bel done in China recently?
In the interview with Mr. JC, foodaily learned that bel is also making positive attempts and efforts in channel and marketing, and actively expanding through a series of online and offline activities and traditional & new retail channels.
It is reported that in the first half of this year, the French headquarters of Bel Group signed a 10-year strategic cooperation relationship with Disneyland in Paris. Bel group’s dairy products will be used in the catering of the park to bring more delicious food to tourists. At the same time, more products are retailed in the park to give tourists a healthy and delicious experience anywhere at any time. This summer, Bel’s fayoule brand participated in the summer night market in Disney Town, bringing healthier and more portable healthy snacks for Chinese children.
In addition, China has made an exclusive announcement to Foodaily that JC Bel has been actively promoting digital marketing in recent years, and has built tiktok, Xiao Hong, WeChat and other social ecosystem to expand its influence. The number of fans on Tmall, Jingdong and other major e-commerce platforms has exceeded 1 million, and has achieved remarkable results. At the same time, Bel China has always attached importance to offline channels, deeply strengthened cooperation with local dealers and supply chain, and deepened strategic cooperation in China through various opportunities such as entering the Expo.
Finally, Mr. JC concluded: “Bel group is closely following and responding to China’s development and strategic direction, establishing a good brand image, accelerating innovation in China, consolidating cooperation with local enterprises, expanding distribution channels, focusing on investment and development of key markets, and persevere in providing consumers with better products and services.”
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