Skip to content
in the face of fierce competition, new and old players in the refrigeration industry are trying to find a blue ocean from the red ocean. “Embracing retail” has become the best solution for many brands to break through the track and create the second growth curve at this stage.
In 2020, the epidemic “black swan flies by”, bringing the catering industry to the crossroads, with mixed joys and sorrows.
On the one hand, as an industry heavily dependent on cash flow and supply chain, under the epidemic, the closure of Hall Food and the reduction of takeout orders have stalled the revenue of various chain catering; on the other hand, the epidemic has become a combustion promoter of frozen food and the second growth curve of many catering chain brands.
Xiaoheng dumpling, the Internet hand-made dumpling chain catering brand of “McDonald’s in the dumpling brand”, once proposed to be “Xiaoheng dumpling”, which closed 100 stores during the epidemic. In February last year, founder Li Heng said that “if you don’t return to work, the cash flow may only last for another three months. If you return to work and close the canteen, the company can only last for another six to eight months”; in contrast, it is “desperate” In sharp contrast, Sanquan food, the famous quick-frozen brand also in the “dumpling session”, released its financial report for the first quarter of 2020, with a net profit of 258 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 541.13%. Founder Chen Zemin defined 2020 as an “unforgettable year”, because “the annual profit exceeded the profits of the previous five years.”
This year, the impact of the epidemic is still continuing, and the prices of food materials in various places fluctuate. At the same time, it is also the node for the catering industry to enter full competition. The situation of “several joys and several sorrows” is still on.
Xiabu, Xiabu, Haidilao and other well-known chain catering brands have been blasted and their performance has declined, “closing stores” to save themselves. If big brands are protected by city barriers, most catering enterprises with weak anti Strike ability are directly facing the crisis of bankruptcy; at present, regarded as the “cold winter of catering”, the results of the third quarterly report just released by listed enterprises in the quick-frozen food industry are poor “The heat is not decreasing”. Among the seven listed companies, four enterprises such as Anji food and weizhixiang ushered in double growth in revenue and net profit.
The more intuitive evidence of “quick-frozen revival” is the data published by tmall: from February to November 2020, the overall sales volume of some quick-frozen foods on tmall platform showed explosive growth, with an average sales growth of 431% year-on-year; China Academy of commerce industry predicts that by 2025, the market scale of quick-frozen foods in China may reach 350 billion yuan;
As the “2.0 advanced version” of frozen food, the emerging prefabricated vegetable track has also reached a market scale of 200 billion. By 2025, the scale of the prefabricated vegetable industry is expected to grow to about 600 billion.
Liu Mingming, chairman of Anji food, said, “in China, frozen food catches up with a good time.”
Why does frozen food turn red from seasonal to just needed?
The United States frozen food association and the FMI Food Industry Association released the report on frozen food strength in February 18th this year, noting that “with the increasing attention to the shelf life and increasing demand for more food at home, frozen food is one of the world’s largest fast food products winners during the 2020 and COVID-19 epidemic.”
As the report said, the epidemic has brought window dividends to quick-frozen food, especially in the Chinese market.
According to public statistics, “in 2017, China’s per capita consumption of quick-frozen food was only 10kg. In the same year, the figure was 80kg in the United States, 40kg in Europe and 20kg in Japan.” The reason is that with advanced freezing technology and developed cold chain logistics, Japan, South Korea, the United States and other countries have a high acceptance of quick-frozen food. As a big food country, China makes more thorough use of food materials than other countries, and is more persistent in the “freshness” of food.
“The best dumplings to eat are those made at home. Just like my mother, if she makes dumplings for me, she will go to the supermarket early to buy the freshest dishes and meat, and wrap them for me with peanut oil. Our ingredients must be the freshest.” Li Heng also stressed the importance of “fresh” in an interview. When quick-frozen food entered China, it has been labeled “not fresh enough” by consumers for a long time And labels such as “helpless move without time to cook”.
In fact, the so-called “quick-frozen food” is different from the “frozen food” in people’s impression, which puts the food into the family refrigerator or businesses use medium-speed freezing to ensure that the food will not deteriorate in a short time. As a more subdivided market, it quickly cools the fresh food to about minus 35 degrees through a special quick-freezing process, and then refrigerates it at about minus 18 degrees, Enter the market through cold chain logistics.
Due to the rapid cooling rate during quick freezing, the ice crystals formed inside the food are very small, which will not break the food cells, but can retain the original flavor of the food to the greatest extent. At the same time, in the low temperature environment, bacteria can not reproduce, so consumers actually use it more healthy and safe.
With the popularity of the new crown, people’s demand for healthier choices will increase, as will their demand for convenience. Quick frozen dumplings, quick-frozen fish balls, hand-held cakes and other foods have been successfully out of the circle with the characteristics of “super long standby”, which has enabled consumers to have a new understanding of quick-frozen food, from end B to end C.
The power of frozen food pointed out that during the epidemic, consumers of generation Z and millennials “promoted the growth of frozen food by at least one percentage point”. In China, CCTV finance also mentioned that “the proportion of users under the age of 25 is significantly increasing, and many creative cooking videos of frozen food are widely spread on social media.”
In addition to the epidemic, with the acceleration of the pace of life, urban “migrant workers” have less and less time to prepare meals at home. The continuous compression of housework and cooking time is also becoming a driving force to promote frozen food on the table of young people.
“In the past, dumplings were made by their mother. Now when they want to eat dumplings, consumers’ first reaction is to buy quick-frozen ones. It is not difficult to observe the diet of white-collar workers. Many people will go to the convenience store downstairs to buy fast food and heat up their lunch. In particular, there are basically no restaurants near the CBD. Most people go to the convenience store.”
Weng Bocheng, founder of the prefabricated food brand “wheat mother” invested by Yuanqi forest this year, expressed his optimism about the prospect of frozen food in an interview with the red bowl society. He pointed out that “people’s attitude towards’ not fresh or ready to make products’ has changed, and most people will not feel that the fast food of the whole family and 711 convenience store is unhealthy.”
According to the insight report on the trend of online instant food industry released by cbndata, young people after 90 and 00 have become the main force of online instant food consumption, and the quick-frozen food category has been favored by young friends because of its convenience, health and nutrition.
According to the preliminary prediction of the data released by the National Bureau of statistics, the number of people living alone may reach 150-200 million by 2030, and the rate of living alone may exceed 30%, of which the number of young people aged 20-39 living alone may increase to 40-70 million, an increase of about 1-2 times.
“Fried salmon in butter, chicken breast in spicy oil, canned tomato soup, all the copied today are quick-frozen food.” Jerry, who has just returned from studying in the UK, posted her daily plog on her microblog. Jerry told the red bowl society that studying abroad often packs a refrigerator of food at a time, but most of the time he is too lazy to cook. “It’s mainly to eat snacks and buy fresh ingredients. It’s easy to break down and waste.”
Under the popular topic of “one person eating” on the microblog, there were 188000 original people, 3.685 million discussing and 4.63 billion reading. Among them, many young people living alone shared three daily meals a day, including quick-frozen dumplings, fried dough sticks, pies and beef, as well as quick-frozen dishes such as pickled cabbage fish and boiled beef.
Under the background of the miniaturization of family size and the population living alone have become a common social phenomenon, the advantages of quick-frozen food such as “small quantity”, “long shelf life” and “easy to store goods” have gradually emerged, which is in line with the young people’s eating and consumption habits of “lazy economy” and “one person eating”, and has once again become the focus of the food circle, moving from the once “seasonal” food category to just need.
Old brand: Catering retailing is an indisputable place
Water is big and fish is big — Talking about the current views on the domestic frozen food industry, some people in the industry mentioned these four words.
“Quick frozen food itself is a fast-growing industry with the facilitation of catering consumption demand. Coupled with the repeated and continuous promotion of the epidemic on quick-frozen food, it is the main reason for the generally good performance of Listed Companies in the quick-frozen food industry in the first three quarters.”
According to Bai Wenxi, vice president of China enterprise capital alliance and chief economist of IPG China, the frozen food industry is booming under the facilitation of diet, with low entry threshold and fierce competition. Therefore, although the market prospect is promising and the market space is large, it will quickly form an industry situation and pattern with high concentration of Oligarchic Competition and low average gross profit.
Insiders also pointed out that “the current competition of quick-frozen food mainly lies in brand and price. Due to the high degree of homogenization, personally, the competitive advantage lies in supply chain capacity and cost control; there are still opportunities for the development of new categories, whether for old brands or new entrants.”
In the face of fierce competition, new and old players are trying to find the Blue Ocean from the red ocean. “Embracing retail” is the best solution for many brands to “break through the race track” and create the second growth curve at this stage.
In the third quarterly report of listed companies of quick-frozen food this year, “the first share of quick-frozen food” Anji food handed over a brilliant report card, “In the first three quarters of 2021, the total operating revenue was RMB 6.096 billion, a year-on-year increase of 35.92%; the net profit attributable to the shareholders of the parent company was RMB 494 million, a year-on-year increase of 30.25%; the net profit attributable to the shareholders of the listed company after deducting non recurring profits and losses was RMB 382 million, a year-on-year increase of 12.25%.”
In the regular business data announcement related to the industry in the first three quarters of 2021 also released by Anji food, the reporter of red bowl news agency noted that the new “dish products” The growth rate was rapid, with a year-on-year increase of 126.15% and a revenue of 918.2379 million yuan. In terms of sales model, the revenue of e-commerce grew the fastest in the first three quarters, with an increase of 210.88%. The second was Tetong, with an increase of 75.95%. Relatively speaking, the traditional supermarket increased by only 4.74%.
Yasui food said, “The company actively complies with the changing trend of consumption habits and continues to actively expand its online business in platform e-commerce, front warehouse e-commerce, business supermarket o2o and interest e-commerce. In addition, the original base number is not high. The growth of dish products is good, thanks to the inclusion of egg dumpling series, shrimp slide series, the product increment of the company’s sub brand ‘Mr. frozen products’ and the holding subsidiary XINHONGYE food in the consolidated financial statements Report range increment
According to public information, on November 8, 2020, Xiamen Anji frozen products supply chain Co., Ltd. was established to locate kitchen ingredients as a new retail brand of Anji food ingredients.
Liu Mingming, chairman of Anji food, once said publicly that he was optimistic about the direction of quick-frozen dishes and proposed “The real strength of quick-frozen food should be in the two tracks of family and catering. The pace of social life is accelerated, especially after the epidemic, whether home cooking requires fast and convenient, or catering chains have a huge demand for quick-frozen dishes out of the consideration of fast production, stable quality and controllable cost. It will be larger than the industry scale of quick-frozen rice noodles and hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot.”
The establishment of the sub brand of “Mr. frozen product” on the one hand takes into account that if he specializes in hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot ingredients, the consumption scene and frequency are limited; on the other hand, Mr. frozen product itself has food products and semi-finished products. “” Mr. frozen product’s hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot ingredients, prefabricated dishes + ‘Anji’ hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot ingredients and flour and rice products can match the rapidly exploding household consumption demand. “
In the frozen brand Tmall flagship store, there are hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot ingredients, seafood, instant food, snacks and other food products. The highest volume of sales is the semi finished dish “Kwai Tang sour fish”, with a monthly sales volume of 10 thousand +.
With natural advantages such as channels, R & D and logistics, many old brand quick-frozen enterprises, similar to Anji food, have launched quick-frozen dish products to seek category breakthroughs in order to expand their competitive advantage. For example, the “one bowl of rice” series launched by Sanquan food includes cooked dishes such as shredded fish meat, braised beef, diced chicken curry, braised pork with plum vegetables and so on; Zhengda food launched The prefabricated convenience dishes represented by “Chinese cuisine series” include braised meat, fermented bean curd meat, braised pork with plum dishes and so on. The prefabricated dishes launched by Shuanghui are sold through terminal catering, self heating food and other channels. The products are sterilized at low temperature, frozen / stored at normal temperature, including spicy beef brisket, stewed beef brisket and other dishes.
Quick frozen dishes and prefabricated dishes have undoubtedly become the “darwinfinch” explored by the quick-frozen industry and even the whole catering industry in the new era. Public data show that China’s current stock of prefabricated dishes market is about 300 billion yuan. In the next six to seven years, the market scale is expected to reach 1 trillion and more than 3 trillion in the long run.
New brand: intensive cultivation of prefabricated vegetables is the way to break the circle
According to the analysis of Wu Daiqi, an industry figure, “the old brand in the frozen food industry is entrenched, and the opportunity for new entrants lies in category innovation. Intensive cultivation of prefabricated dishes will improve the quality level from category to taste.”
Dingding bag, which was established in May this year and obtained tens of millions of exclusive investment from Castle Peak capital in August, chose the sub category of microwave quick-frozen food, aimed at the “lazy group” aged 18-30, especially senior middle-class, cutting-edge white-collar workers and high-quality spicy mothers, and launched multiple SKUs such as microwave uncooked snail powder, microwave uncooked pasta and frozen instant rice, covering the one-man food scene of microwave instant food.
As a newcomer in the industry, founder Zhang Xiang proposed “With the gradual upgrading of consumption, the high demand for convenience, and the boost of food industrialization and science and technology, semi-finished products can no longer meet the future demand, and finished products must be the general trend. Microwave fast food that can meet consumers without washing dishes, no reprocessing, ready to eat in open bags and extremely restored taste is the product I want to make. In short, it is’ one bag solves all eating problems’ Question. “
Similarly, the cutting-edge brand “Sufang” also chose to tear open the new segment of the quick-frozen industry. “Our idea is very simple, that is, to solve the problem of healthy and light food people eating vegetables conveniently.” Zhang Liang, the founder of the brand, introduced in an interview with the red bowl Society that Sufang is committed to providing consumers with “no cleaning, no cutting, longer storage time and no loss of nutritional value” For vegetarian products, the team has launched more than 10 types of raw material quick-frozen vegetables such as broccoli, okra and spinach, as well as semi-finished light food substitute vegetarian products such as cauliflower rice and seasonal vegetable spicy hot. “Now the re purchase rate is up to 30%.”
Two days ago, because a dish of “mutton dipped in water” appeared on the popular “wanghong” prefabricated dish brand “old rice bone”, it is positioned as a high-end “state banquet family enjoyment” in category innovation, and is committed to bringing state banquet dishes to the table of ordinary families, so that families can make a state banquet dinner in 10 minutes. It launched “lion head”, “Buddha jumping over the wall” and “secret sauce elbow” At the same time, the brand founder Hu Liwen introduced that the brand also precipitated fans and realized commercial realization by virtue of the unique advantage of “content e-commerce operation”.
According to the big data of “NianWei” released by tianyancha, as of January 2021, there were more than 69000 enterprises related to “prefabricated vegetables” in China, and well-known institutions such as Meihua venture capital, Gaoling venture capital, Innovation workshop, Meihua venture capital, tomato capital and Yuanqi forest had arranged the track one after another.
“In this track, we adhere to the long-term principle and keep our feet on the ground step by step. This year, we spend a lot of money on building a new factory. After it is put into operation, it will be about 40000 to 50000 tons. It should be the largest prefabricated vegetable factory in East China, supporting our continuous R & D and innovation of products. For the competition of prefabricated vegetable track, whether we can make the dishes delicious or not is the core issue of the supply chain “Weng Bocheng, founder of maizima, expressed his attitude towards the market on the” eve of the outbreak “in an interview with the red bowl news agency.
In the interview, some investors also stressed to the red bowl society that “in China, the pursuit of the tip of the tongue of never getting tired of eating essence is always there. How to improve the color, aroma, taste and nutrition of food in the way of quick freezing is a permanent topic for food manufacturers in the industry.”
Author: Li Yang; Source: hongwanshe (ID: hongwanshe 2020), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
join the community: Cherry (micro signal: 15240428449). Fbic2022 foodaily daily food cooperates with the world’s top commercial and industrial partners to build foodaily Fbic222 global food and beverage Innovation Conference & the first Food Expo “new food era – brand ecology” will be held in Shanghai from May 31 to June 2, 2022. We invite you to witness it together. (click the picture to view the detailed introduction).
food people are “watching”