China Food

8.15 million little red book notes, with an annual output of 51.264 million tons, this autumn and winter net red has such strong plasticity!

has its own flow, high national popularity and versatile physique, but there are more recipes than product categories. What are the future opportunities for sweet potato?

Text: Giselle Yin

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

What’s worth stopping, blowing and freezing on the streets in winter? One of them must be a tin bucket with a belly of baked sweet potatoes. When you receive a heavy roasted sweet potato, you can feel its warmth even through thick gloves. Breaking off the roasted sweet potato, the golden sweet potato meat in my eyes is the most attractive fire in winter. It emits a sweet and pestering smell, warms my body and heart, and makes people feel satisfied and sweet. After eating baked sweet potato, it became more complete this winter.
Some people always think that the iron bucket baked sweet potato bought on the street is the most delicious. Picture source: xiaohongshu Pinellia is like smoke
Sweet potato has been planted in China for more than 400 years. Since it was introduced into China in the Ming Dynasty, sweet potato has been widely planted in various regions of China because of its high yield and strong adaptability. As an important substitute for grain, sweet potato has fed generations of people.
Nowadays, sweet potato is no longer a substitute for grain, but it is still a popular ingredient. After autumn and winter, the last hot search will be conducted from time to time. When searching “sweet potato” in Xiaohong book, 8.15 million + notes can appear. Even in a university canteen, sweet potato also has 40 faces.
The number of notes related to sweet potato in xiaohongshu and the hot search words related to sweet potato on microblog. Picture source: xiaohongshu, microblog
Sweet potato dish in the canteen of an agricultural university. Source: cau logistics student
As a widely planted crop in the world, sweet potato is also a popular ingredient in Japan and South Korea next door. For example, there are scenes of eating baked sweet potato in many fire Korean dramas such as lonely and brilliant God ghosts and please answer 1988, and Japan has ushered in the fourth “baked sweet potato fever” so far.
Photo source: Qizhu at station B
Although China has steadily occupied the first place in the world in terms of sweet potato output with overwhelming sweet potato output for many years, it is said that the country with the largest number of sweet potato research (breeding and processing) and commodities using sweet potato is Japan, which once ranked second in the world in terms of sweet potato output and now ranks about 15th in the world.
World sweet potato production, picture source: data eye of station B
So what are Japan’s ideas about how to eat a sweet potato and claim to be “the first in the world”? What is the current situation of deep processing and application of sweet potato in China? Can it give some enlightenment to domestic sweet potato product innovation?
Four times roast sweet potato hot & sweet potato getting sweeter and sweeter
Japan’s sweet potato was introduced from China to Ryukyu (Okinawa) in 1605. It was once an important food substitute. It has been 416 years since the emergence of roasted sweet potato for more than 300 years. During this period, there have been four “roasted sweet potato craze” in Japan.
The first upsurge appeared in the late Edo era. At that time, granulated sugar was still a very valuable food, and the sweet and cheap baked sweet potato became a favorite food for men, women, old and young.
The second upsurge occurred during the Meiji Era ~ Kanto earthquake. After the Meiji Restoration, Tokyo’s population surged. Due to the low price, the demand for roasted sweet potato has increased, so there are roasted sweet potato stores. These stores sell baked sweet potatoes in winter and shaved ice in summer.
The third boom occurred during the 1951 Osaka World Expo. In 1951, the mobile stone baked sweet potato car invented by Sanye wanzang appeared in Tokyo. Since then, the upsurge of stone roasted sweet potato continued to Osaka World Expo along with Japan’s post-war food shortage and rapid economic growth. At this time, fast food and convenience stores appeared, and the upsurge of roasted sweet potato began to fade.  
Baked sweet potato cart, photo source: chronus
The fourth upsurge has lasted from 2003 to now. One of the most important reasons for this upsurge is the invention and popularization of electric baking sweet potato machine. The emergence of electric sweet potato roaster also makes the roasted sweet potato from selling in mobile sweet potato cars to selling in fixed positions in supermarkets and other stores. You can also buy roasted sweet potato at any time.
Electric sweet potato roaster, picture source: eishin Motor Co., Ltd
Another important reason is the emergence of a new sweet potato variety “Anna taro” in 2003. In the past, “ほくくくくく” sweet potato varieties with dry and solid texture, hard taste and strong sense of powder occupied absolute advantages, while “ねっとり” Anna taro with sweeter taste and moist and viscous texture attracted the attention of young people.
At the same time, shirohato Food Industry Co., Ltd. took the lead in gaining insight into the change of Japanese preference for sweet potato taste and taste, and began to promote the expansion of the consumer market of Anan taro. In 2004, shirohato food industry opened a roasted sweet potato store in Sanyue, Ginza, Tokyo. Although a high price of 1200 yen was sold, such roasted sweet potato was welcomed by everyone because it was as delicious as dessert and the packaging was bright and lovely, and successfully reversed the negative image of roasted sweet potato.
The impression of sweet potato is gradually more inclined to “sweets” and “snacks”, and breeding in recent years is also more in the direction of strengthening sweetness. In 2007, another sweet potato variety, ねっとりべにはるか, appeared. シょスイト, red あずま, クイッスイト, ひめウや, Mingmen Jinshi, etc. are also popular varieties.
Sweet potato variety map, picture source: Hengbang store official website
The perennial popularity of sweet potato and the cultivation of excellent varieties promote each other. The system of stable supply of high-quality sweet potato throughout the year has also been established. Coupled with the gradual improvement of consumers’ health awareness, the fourth sweet potato boom lasted for quite a long time. All businesses also gave full play to their imagination in the development of sweet potato products and used more and more sweet potato products.
Baked sweet potatoes, desserts and snacks,
Imagination about sweet potato
In Japan, sweet potato shows its super compatibility and plasticity in fresh food, cuisine, dessert and packaged food, and perfectly digests all kinds of transformation.
Because the sweet sweet potato is delicious enough, the Japanese who prefer to “taste the delicacy of the ingredients themselves” naturally also like to eat simple processed sweet potatoes. Of course, the king of popularity is roasted sweet potato. In addition to roasted sweet potato cars and electric ovens in supermarkets and convenience stores, roasted sweet potato stores also appear all over the country.
There are old shops that make people feel friendly, baked sweet potato shops in residential areas that accompany them all the year round, as well as those in the front line of trends such as Harajuku street.
Roasted sweet potato in roasted sweet potato store, picture source: the official website of roasted sweet potato store
Open a roasted sweet potato store in Harajuku. Picture source: prtimes, official website of secret sweet potato
In addition, as the taste of new varieties of sweet potato is getting better and better, the popularity of sweet potato products such as sticky, sweet and chewy dry sweet potato, crispy sweet potato chips and traditional snacks called taro (a kind of fried sweet potato strips) is also rising. Even in winter, a product exhibition of sweet potato products will be held, in which various varieties of sweet potato, processed sweet potato products and sweets will be sold.
Some commodities on the taro Expo being held recently. Photo source: イベントチェッカー
Because of the high sweetness and national degree, sweet potato has naturally become a favorite raw material for desserts. And fruit craftsmen made sweet potato into taro mutton soup, Causeway roast, University taro, taro mannose, taro, sweet potato filled New Year cake, etc. The pastry chef also added sweet potatoes to various desserts, such as cheese cake, Qifeng cake, ring cake, cupcake, mon brown, sandwich, toast, pudding, puff, pappy, doughnut and so on.
Various sweet potato desserts, picture source: ぽちぽち, Co., Ltd., Hanako tokyo
Of course, sweet potato cooking is also very delicious. In addition to the various sweet potato recipes on the recipe website, you can also buy some frozen sweet potato dishes in supermarkets and convenience stores. For example, Maruha Nichiro’s sweet potato chicken tempura and sweet potato chestnut coarse grain rice, the baked rice with sweet potato cheese jointly developed by Matsuya and Japanese aquatic products, the fried chicken with sweet potato with ITO ham, sesame potato cake as a convenience dish, classic university taro, etc. Sweet and warm sweet potato soup and sweet potato tofu are also popular dishes.
Some frozen sweet potato dishes. Photo source: Maruha Nichiro official website, tablemark official website, weekly, ITO official website
At the same time, various snack manufacturers did not let go of this popular and hot raw material, and launched seasonal sweet potato snacks in autumn and winter. Sweet potato also showed its versatile physique in the snack field, which is everywhere.
For example, speaking of kalobi, everyone’s first impression is that it is a company making potato chips. But in fact, kalobi has also launched many snacks made of sweet potato. For example, black sugar / butter sweet potato chips, the sweet potato version of tudokou, the three color potato pieces limited by Okinawa specialty stores, and so on.
Kalobi’s sweet potato snack, photo source: kalobi’s official website, nomooo, publicity Conference
Lotte has also cooperated with kalobi to launch the Toppo with kalobi taste. In addition to Toppo, choco pie, Xuejian Dafu, Sasha, bear biscuits and other classic Lotte products have also launched versions with sweet potato taste.
Sweet potato flavor products of Lotte, photo source: prtimes, Amazon
Senyong, greeko, bourbon, Dongyi, Riqing, fujya, Sanyi, Nestle, Jingcun house, family convenience store and other brands have also collectively joined the sweet potato snack battlefield in autumn and winter, covering various categories such as Tangqiao, biscuit, cake, bread, rice fruit, pudding, ice cream, beverage, energy bar and so on.
For example, morinago flavored twigs, mini エゼパイ, DARS sandwich chocolate, あんのういキャメルル caramel candy, kashda pudding, おいいきいめ〧て〤〤 jade, きいいいいい〝〧てよ.
Moriyong’s sweet potato flavor products, picture source: moo ぐ ナ ビ, fashion press, ね と ら
Bourbon has launched a series of programs that have been launched by Bourbon. We have launched a series of programs, such as the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the first one, the second, the second, the first one, the second, the second, the second, the second, the first one, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the second, the first, the cut the plant, cut the plant, and cut the plant.
Bourbon’s sweet potato flavor products, photo source: Amazon, entabe, at press
Drinks and ice cream with sweet potatoes are also essential.
Some drinks with sweet potatoes, picture source: macaroni, image, fashion press, women’s pictorial
Sweet potato ice cream, photo source: Street Girls snap, Futaba, daily more, women’s spa, モグナビ
The whole family convenience store even released 17 products including sweet potato sweets, bread and drinks in one go in the “sweet potato digging” project.
Sweet potato products of the whole family, picture source: トクバイニュス
Many other brands have more or less introduced products that use sweet potato elements. As a definite element that will never be absent in the cold season, more sweet potato products will meet us in the next autumn and winter in the future.
More recipes than product categories,
What is the current situation of deep processing of sweet potato in China?
It is said that the introduction of sweet potato into China has gone through three “international routes”, from Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian. Among them, the historical records are the most clear and detailed, It is recorded in the “golden potato biography” printed in the 33rd year of Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1768). It is borrowed from the “Longqing Kaihai” of the Ming Dynasty Fujian businessman Chen Zhenlong brought back some sweet potato vines from the Philippines. Since then, this crop, which is not selective, drought resistant, barren resistant, low input, high yield and multi-purpose, has quickly become an important food substitute for hunger, fed countless people struggling with natural and man-made disasters, and even contributed to the surge of China’s population, which has become one of the important factors for China’s growth into a populous country.
“Golden potato biography” records Chen Zhenlong’s introduction of sweet potato into China. Photo source: Xinhuanet
Today, China is the largest producer of sweet potato in the world. In 2020, the harvest area of sweet potato in China will be 23239000 hectares, and the output of sweet potato will be 51.264 million tons, accounting for 56.05% in the world.
China’s sweet potato output and its proportion in the global sweet potato output from 2014 to 2020, picture source: Guanyan report network
China’s sweet potato planting areas are widely distributed, mainly in Beijing, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Tianjin, Hebei, the three eastern provinces, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Gansu, Anhui, Fujian, Shaanxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and other places. The main production areas in China are Si county in Anhui (the hometown of potato in China), Lulong in Hebei, Liancheng in Fujian, Kaifeng in Henan, Dengzhou Tanghe tongzhaipu, Shandong Surabaya, Nanchong, Sichuan, etc.
In addition to being the main grain, sweet potato is also an important raw material for food processing, starch and alcohol manufacturing industry. Its roots, stems and leaves are excellent feed. In recent years, the postpartum starch processing proportion of sweet potato in China has reached 70% ~ 80%. Urban residents eat about 20 million tons of fresh potato and starch products, and the per capita annual consumption is about 2kg. Sweet potato starch is mainly used in food processing products such as vermicelli vermicelli and vermicelli, industrial products such as food packaging paper bags, pharmaceutical products such as western medicine tablets, and biodiesel raw materials. Among them, vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli and vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli vermicelli Vermi.
In terms of food processing, the main products in China are dried sweet potato, sweet potato chips, sweet potato powder, sweet potato noodles, sweet potato juice and so on. In recent years, there have also been popular varieties such as tobacco potato 25, liuao honey potato, watermelon red, ice cream potato, Rongcheng honey pot, Hainan Qiaotou sweet potato, Yunnan Plateau golden potato, marili, rock sugar white heart honey potato, Tianshan small sweet potato, Guizhou Ziyun red heart sweet potato and so on.
Yanshu No. 25, photo source: Sohu
It can be seen that the degree of deep processing of sweet potato in China is still relatively low, and the types of products are not very rich. At present, it is used more in family cooking, and the number of sweet potato recipes that can be searched is far more than the number of sweet potato products.
Screenshot of sweet potato recipe, picture source: Little Red Book
From the popular sweet potato varieties in recent years, we can see that there is still great enthusiasm for delicious fresh sweet potato, especially roasted sweet potato, and the status of roasted sweet potato as a must eat food in autumn and winter is still stable.
It can also be seen from the domestic sweet potato recipes and foreign sweet potato products that sweet potato is widely used in baking sweets. It can be added to all kinds of sweets, such as cheese cake, brownie, pudding, scone, soft bread, sweet potato, sweet potato new year cake, cookies, twist crisp and so on. In addition, sweet potato often appears at the same time with keywords such as “fat reduction”, “low calorie” and “high beauty”, which is very in line with the strong appeal of modern people for food to be “delicious, not fat, healthy and delicious”. It is a food material with high preference among young women, Baoma, groups with certain requirements for body management and high health awareness.
As a crop with a long history, high national popularity, rich output and warmth, the commodity development and deep processing of sweet potato resources deserve more attention and investment. Perhaps there will be sweet potato in the next popular single product?
reference material:
[1] China’s sweet potato industry data analysis briefing, food and beverage industry research, November 2021 18;
[2] The past and present life of a sweet potato, Beijing Youth Daily, November 2019 11;
[3] Analysis report on China’s sweet potato industry in 2021 – Evaluation of industry development status and development potential;
[4] Background, independent administrative legal person, agricultural and livestock industry revitalization Organization (Alic), yecai intelligence, November 2015.
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