China Food

The rice noodle category is hot for financing and listing. What is the correct posture for entrepreneurs to dig for gold?


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Does
rice noodles have a chance to surpass noodles?
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China’s staple food has always had the general cognition of “south rice to the north”, in which “rice” refers to the rice cultural area, mainly located in the south of the Yangtze River and South China (including the northeast); “Mian” refers to the wheat cultural area. Because the water requirement of wheat is not as high as that of rice, it widely exists in northwest, East, central, North and southwest China.
However, the difference between the north and the south is not only the difference of rice noodles caused by different customs and climates. The difference between the north and the south is not only the difference of local products, but also the division of local dietary thinking. For example, rice can be eaten directly by steaming and boiling, but wheat has higher fiber content. Direct boiling is easy to digest poorly (the taste is not good). For wheat, it is more to grind it into flour first and then make noodles. Rice is a staple food, and noodles also exist as a staple food in the north.
For rice, the South also has the eating habit of grinding it into flour and then making rice flour, which is the blending of the wisdom of the people in North and South China in the treatment of staple food. However, due to the core position of rice, rice flour products can only become supplementary snacks.
More specifically, rice flour has derived many different varieties in the south, such as rice flour made of pure rice (River flour), rice flour made of rice flour with potato flour, and even noodles made of sweet potato flour. In terms of form, Yunnan calls rice noodles rice noodles, while in Shantou, they also have Chaoshan rice noodles (salt is added in the process) which is different from that in the whole country.
This is the fundamental difference in China’s catering culture, which ultimately affects the differences in economic value of various catering categories. For example, noodles are almost a cognition in the north, but rice noodles are different. Under the category of rice noodles and rice noodles, Hunan rice noodles, Guilin rice noodles, Guizhou rice noodles, Xinjiang rice noodles and Guangdong rice noodles have their own characteristics. We can see that noodle shops, as a staple food of unified cognition, can blossom all over the country, but rice noodles will be “beaten” wherever they fall.
In the past, the rice noodle category was indeed “big but not strong” or scattered everywhere. In 2021, we saw that some local rice noodle / rice noodle brands received more than 100 million yuan of financing, and the first share of rice noodle (Tan Zi International) landed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Before, the purchase price was only HK $1.1 billion, and now the market value has reached HK $4 billion.
Now, in the catering industry after the epidemic, in addition to the noodle story, does it mean that rice noodles and rice noodles should also open a new capital story?
On the deformation and precipitation of rice,
How does rice become rice flour and noodles?
Rice noodles and rice noodles are rice products. Even though different local cultures do improve them a little, their basic connotation is rice as raw material and non-staple food produced in the south. Based on this, we will not distinguish them in terms of categories. Hereinafter, rice noodles and rice noodles are uniformly called rice noodles (unless specifically stated as rice noodles, the following unified “rice noodles”) They all include rice noodles, rice noodles, river noodles, roll flour, potato flour, round flour and other local names).
From the perspective of technology, rice flour needs to go through a series of processes such as impurity removal, water washing, soaking, grinding, gelatinization, forming and cooling, and rice can be eaten directly by adding water and cooking. It seems that there is no need to go through such complicated actions. What is the necessity of rice flour landing?
In this regard, there are two major statements in history: first, Qin Shihuang couldn’t get used to rice in Guilin, so his men made Guilin rice noodles from rice; Second, Wuhu Luanhua let northerners take refuge in the south, and then gradually made rice noodles.
In terms of the complexity of the process, the chef of Qin Shihuang invented rice noodles. From the common point of view, they all think that the northerners “invented” rice noodles only when they came to the south, but we think that after the northerners came to the south, the north and the South jointly improved the rice and then the rice noodles landed.
Historically, rice noodles took shape almost after the song and Ming Dynasties. For example, song’s health department records the discussion on the technology of rice noodles.
Since the history of rice noodles also has a certain year, why is rice noodles less influential than noodles? For example, Lanzhou Ramen has spread all over the country, and Shaxian snacks originated in the South also have noodle products; For another example, the sales and recognition of instant noodles are much higher than that of instant rice noodles.
First, the protein content of noodles is higher than that of rice, and noodles are indeed slightly higher in terms of staple food value (nutritional utilization value).
Second, the difference in the molecular structure of food materials also leads to the fact that rice noodles have more tendons than noodles. At the same time, dry noodles are more convenient in cooking. Unlike rice noodles, they need to be soaked first (dry noodles need to be soaked and restored, while fresh rice noodles such as fresh rice noodles do not).
Third, the cognition of noodles is relatively unified, and rice noodles have developed many different schools in different cities. For example, rice noodles are also called River noodles in Guangdong, steamed noodles in Chaoshan, roll noodles in Guizhou, and wide rice noodles in some places. The differences in form, content and cognition have caused great problems for the nationalization of rice noodles.
Fourth, the rich products in the south, coupled with the strength of rice, lead to rice noodles as snacks, which is completely different from the status of noodles as a staple food.
Times are changing,
As a snack, rice noodles may usher in new development dividends
Not to mention the characteristics that are difficult to change such as protein and molecular structure, from the perspective of economic value, will rice noodles always lag behind noodles as a staple food?
We simply sort out the category differences between rice noodles and noodles.
Based on the core status of rice, rice flour is mainly used as a supplementary snack, and its status is not high. It is generally used as snacks such as breakfast, afternoon tea and night snack; Rice noodles are flexible, and different regions have different eating methods; Moreover, compared with noodles, the fresh eating attribute of rice noodles is more obvious (there is little talk of fresh noodles, but the cognition of fresh rice noodles is more common). Compared with noodles, rice noodles do not have unity cognition and satiety attribute in cognition.
Various factors have created the economic value of rice flour without cluster effect. In the past, rice flour has always been a large and chaotic traditional category.
The question is: will the “category defect” of rice flour make it humble all the time?
When the noodle party was still immersed in its past position, the market told the truth: adults, the times have changed! To be exact, the times have become closer to rice noodles.
Today’s customers prefer small portions, non staple foods, fresh foods with obvious attributes and diversified consumption. In this context, rice noodles obviously have more advantages.
From the perspective of innovation, the cognition of noodles is more unified, and it is this cognitive unity that leads to the lack of innovation of noodles in the contemporary era. In the category of rice noodles, due to the inconsistent cognition and the snack attribute of rice noodles, it greatly stimulates customers’ willingness to taste fresh. In the rice flour product library with different styles throughout the country, it also provides a large number of samples for the product innovation of rice flour practitioners.
We can see from the market that in the past, the financing of noodles has always been more than rice noodles. For example, in 2021, there were 18 financing transactions at the noodle track, of which 4 amounted to more than 100 million. However, after several months of calm, these brands did not make major market moves, and the capital fever of noodles gradually subsided. In the category of rice flour, fat juice Milan obtained two financing in July and November this year. Among them, the round a financing in November reached the order of more than 100 million yuan, with the latest valuation of 1 billion yuan.
In the near future, the first share of rice flour landed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in October and more than 100 million yuan of financing landed in November. Will the rice flour category go to the wind?
What is the current situation of rice noodles?
From the perspective of enterprise data, the total registered amount of rice flour category in recent 5-10 years exceeds the number of enterprises in the past 10 years. Even after the epidemic, the registered amount of rice flour category in recent one year also accounts for 39% of the total in the past 10 years, and this data accounts for 9.3% of the total.
The data of the past year is the latest data since the year after the epidemic. After comparing the major catering categories such as barbecue, hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, rice and noodles, we find that the proportion of the total registered amount of rice flour category in the past year is only inferior to barbecue (see the chart below).
Through the ratio of total registered amount in recent one year, we can see that the attitude of catering entrepreneurs and capital towards rice flour category is positive, and with the support of the trend, the rice flour category seems to be in a state of trotting forward.
After clarifying the market’s attitude towards rice flour category, we then enter the perspective of consumers on rice flour category.
Note: the highest and lowest per capita are the unit price of rice noodles / vermicelli dishes, and the top 1 in popularity is the per capita consumption of restaurants. The source is only limited to the public unit price data of the top 20 brands.
From the per capita consumption data, the rice noodle category still firmly adheres to the entrance of low-cost consumption and cost-effective consumption. At the same time, it has also successfully opened the door to the high-end. It can be seen that the market still has some consumption power for rice noodles.
Under consumption, we will look at the specific development of rice noodle category through subdivided brands.
Mengziyuan Yunnan bridge rice noodles was founded in 2001. At present, it has more than 800 stores in more than 80 cities and overseas. It is one of the brands that first standardized Yunnan bridge rice noodles and then brought them to other places. After 2011, mengziyuan has become a little famous in Guangdong. Its products are mainly bridge rice noodles, small pot rice noodles, sour soup rice noodles and other rice noodles. In the product experience, mengziyuan has been a number of small dishes + hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot since its development, giving people the freshness of boiling on site. At present, mengziyuan has also added rice, string and other products in addition to Yunnan rice noodles.
Qiaofenghuang Miao beef powder was established in 2011. It is mainly recognized by Miao beef powder and Miao aesthetics. Its stores are mainly located in Guangdong, with a number of nearly 20 stores. In 2016, when the capital focused on the catering industry, qiaofenghuang also obtained a round of financing, but after that, the brand voice gradually decreased. From the store experience, Qiao Fenghuang’s Miao aesthetics is unique, but there is some hodgepodge at the product end. In addition to the signature Miao powder, the store also adds conventional beef powder, sour soup fat beef hotpot, stewed flavor, wonton and other products, which may be a compromise to the insufficient power of single cultural products.
By 2014, Baman rice noodles was established, and most people know the stories after it. According to the brand, Baman rice noodles integrates “Hall Food + takeout + snack takeout + retail distribution + e-commerce operation”, and is committed to creating “boundless catering” in the digital era. At present, Baman has nearly 50 stores. We can see the retail products of Baman rice noodles in tmall, jd.com and offline supermarkets.
Fat juice Milan Hong Kong rice noodles opened its first store in 2017, and then received Angel round and a round of financing in July and November this year respectively. At present, there are nearly 30 stores in fat juice Milan. In addition to insisting on boiling the soup at the end, other standardization problems have been solved. Some products are similar to “spicy hot”. The menu includes fried fish skin, beef offal, sweet potato powder and other products with Guangdong and Hong Kong flavor, and there are 40 toppings alone. The products of fat juice Milan are very standardized. Consumers only need to order a rice noodle (only 3 kinds of rice noodles), add some toppings or explain the requirements to prepare a meal.
Tan Zi rice noodle was earlier than Meng Ziyuan. It opened its first store in Hong Kong in 1996, was later acquired in 2018, integrated the central kitchen in 2020, and landed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and entered the mainland in 2021. Different from the concise model of fat juice Milan, Tan Zi’s rice noodles have up to 8 types of rice noodles. In addition, there are other products such as snacks, Hong Kong barbecue and drinks, such as Xinjiang coriander chicken wings, Sichuan green pepper preserved eggs, Hunan bandit chicken wings, garlic white meat and other local products.
On the brand action, Tan Tsai rice noodle is also linked with the hundred deer antelope mask, through the consumption of specific packages to obtain products.
From mengziyuan to Tanzi rice noodles, their signature products are different, and the single product price is between 27.9-46 yuan. Even if they are all in the same category, due to the broad-spectrum characteristics of rice noodle product culture, different brands under the category have their own playing methods.
So far, we can see that most rice noodle brands are gradually making more and more miscellaneous. For example, Axiang rice noodle has added many non rice noodle products such as rice, pickled cabbage fish rice, sliced noodles, mutton kebabs, small noodles, as well as a full range of products such as Nanchang mixed flour, Guilin rice flour and bridge rice noodle.
What are consumers eating when they eat rice noodles?
Both Sanliang powder and fat juice Milan Hong Kong rice noodles were established in 2017, but they have gone out of different modes. Sanliang powder operates Hunan rice noodles. The store is an open Ming kitchen, mainly with handmade flour as its signature products. Different from other standardized modes, Sanliang powder not only emphasizes manual, but also fried products, such as pepper fried dried meat powder / noodles / rice. It can be seen that this is a Chinese fast food with handmade rice noodles as the core.
The charm of rice noodles is obvious. It is mainly used as a snack in the south. Consumers can eat rice noodles freely. For example, there are many “original soup powder kings” in Guangdong. Customers can order a piece of rice noodles and then add other snacks or drinks, such as sausage pulling, stewed, small wonton, etc.
What are consumers eating when they eat rice noodles?
The first is the low price. In the past, most snacks were fast food. It is the original advantage of rice noodles to eat full for less than 10 yuan. For example, there are rice noodles for 4-8 yuan in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. After the fast food category became popular in 2011, rice flour brands gradually emerged, and the price of a bowl of good rice flour slowly reached 20-50 yuan.
After the branding, some high-end brands have also launched high-end rice noodles, such as Hunan cuisine of Xiangku government, which is 546 yuan per capita, and Zuan Shanzhen and cattle fresh rice noodles, which are produced with hanging soup such as native chicken and crucian carp, with Morchella, and cattle. From the comments, this dish belongs to one of the top ten recommended dishes in the store.
However, there are few high-end rice noodle stores after all. At a glance, those in development still belong to the range of 20-50 yuan. We can see that consumers, capital and entrepreneurs have added notes to rice noodle categories (for example, consumers are willing to spend at a high price, capital is willing to invest 100 million yuan, and entrepreneurs are willing to continue to open stores against the trend).
From the rise of fat juice Milan and Tan Zi rice noodles, the core is actually very clear: the bonus of rice noodles can be enjoyed by innovators. If we only remit many rice flour products, including non rice flour products, to the same brand, such a simple action will not be favored by the market and capital for a long time.
From the perspective of chopsticks playing thinking, there are two things rice noodle practitioners can do to enjoy the dividend of category development: one is to give full play to the original advantages of rice noodle category, such as small portion, fresh food and cultural diversity; The second is to find an innovative way out from multiculturalism. For example, rice noodles used to be prepared several hours in advance. For example, three Liang noodles grafted Chinese fried rice noodles, creating a new dining experience for consumers.
Does rice noodles have a chance to surpass noodles? Judging from the general trend of 2021, rice noodles have shown signs of rising. As for how practitioners under the category seize such new dividends to stand out, it depends on the layout of innovators and entrepreneurs.
In the whole rice flour category and even the whole catering category, its past has always been owned by traditional and disciplined practitioners. However, in the future, in the present and future full of new dividends and changes, its ownership and economic value should belong to consumers. To continuously meet consumers, it can only be touched by going deep into the fundamental innovation of the category.
Author: Li Sandao; Source: chopsticks play thinking (ID: kwthink), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
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