China Food

The vigorous forest grows up in a year


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this is also the most changed year for Tang Binsen.
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In December 2020, in the conference hall of a hot spring club in Xiaotangshan, Beijing, dozens of employees above the secondary Department of Yuanqi forest were divided into more than ten groups, some playing unified and Master Kang, and some playing Coca Cola and Pepsi.
This is the time when industry veterans and younger generation mixed vitality managers gather together every year. Their task is to use their own experience and imagination to think as much as possible: what opponents and situations will pose a threat to the vitality forest? How will they – “make our life difficult”?
On a whiteboard, a lot of articles were quickly written: similar new products, channel war, lack of raw materials, OEM shutdown, operation accidents
Yuanqi forest, a five-year-old company with rapid growth, is played by Tang Binsen himself. He will respond one by one as a challenger.
The vitality forest at the end of 2020 is just like the sun in the middle of the sky. In the year when the epidemic struck, Yuanqi forest exceeded the target set by Tang, with a revenue of 2.5 billion, three times that of 800 million in the previous year. “But we have done more than 2.8 billion,” said a vigorous manager involved in sand table simulation.
Staff morale is high, and vitality forest has become a hot star in the wave of consumer goods entrepreneurship. Investors want to buy vigorous shares anyway, no matter how harsh the conditions are; Fbif, the largest exhibition in the food and beverage industry, each exhibitor put the case of serving vitality forest in an eye-catching position to show that they understand the most fashionable methodology; When sister riding the wind and waves was the most popular, Zhang Yuqi carried white peach flavored bubble water on countless billboards.
China’s Internet entrepreneurs in the past decade have aimed at social networking, e-commerce, life services and all kinds of hardware, and some are still turning around the “old battlefield” described by Zhang Yiming. Tang Binsen directly stepped into one of the oldest industries and made a great success in different ways.
Although he is an entrepreneur growing up in the Internet wave, Tang Binsen is not obsessed with the way high technology changes the world. Six years ago, he studied the rich list of the United States and found that consumer goods were the most stable among the top 100 companies, so he judged that “the most successful people in China in the future will either sell water or medicine”. When talking about why to make drinks, he often cited the example of Google’s large capacity mailbox: when the mailboxes in the market do not support large attachments, making a large attachment is to send sub questions – China has no health drinks he thinks, and vitality has a chance.
You can get a big score if you do it right, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.
In that sand table game, a channel director mentioned the possibility that had happened in the beverage industry many years ago: “if the core idea is to ‘kill you’, I can buy your goods with 20 million yuan a month and directly buy your new products.” Tang Binsen’s reaction was: “you’re playing a rogue.”
Many people who put forward the possibility did not expect that the troubles written on the whiteboard will be realized one by one in 2021. They judged that all the problems that may have occurred in a longer time had poured in over the past year.
Even an outsider, if he often reads microblog hot search, can capture the panic of vitality forest this year. Several announcements and responses this year have made netizens dissatisfied. A vigorous employee once mentioned the risk of media and public opinion at the meeting, “but in the end, we did it ourselves.”
At the end of the simulation, Tang Binsen had a vague depression. A year passed, and this understanding really cut the skin.
“We have gone too smoothly in the past four years.” Tang Binsen told latepost later.
At ordinary times, the management of Yuanqi forest seldom holds meetings. All departments hold small meetings with Tang Binsen. His calendar and OKR are published on the fly book to facilitate executives to make appointments with him. In the past two years, many managers of traditional beverage companies who have changed jobs to vitality must first learn to use flying books. In Tang Binsen’s view, this is “Empowering” the traditional beverage industry.
After this year, the company that threatened to transform the beverage industry and challenge Coca Cola has become modest. We have seen Tang Binsen twice. Compared with the beginning of 2021, he is still straightforward and reckless, but he is no longer talking about Internet thinking and version iteration.
It is rumored that Yuanqi forest has completed two financing projects totaling about US $700 million in 2021. Tang Binsen’s planning of Yuanqi forest business structure is more and more like Suntory in Japan. In the very short time after the success of the bubble water, the Baijiu energy intensive hatching and investment of the sports drinks aliens, the selling of liquor watching clouds, etc., have planned international business, and also bought time-honored beer of the old brand.
In order to maintain rapid growth, the vitality forest is also like a bottle of shaken bubble water, expanding rapidly to 7000 people, and the internal pressure is also rising.
He said that next year, he will return to a traditional company. “I can guarantee an annualized growth of 50% – 60% in the next three years – I don’t require two or three times a year.”
Vitality forest finally passed the vigorous and fearless puberty, and the speed of running slowed down.
A year’s plan is at the head
On January 29, the plant leader of Yuanqi forest received the news that the main contract manufacturing enterprises of milk tea would stop working on the whole line at the weekend and terminate the cooperation. The other party only informed yuan Qi three days in advance. It will take at least one month for another production line to start and continue. According to rough calculation, the loss caused by emergency shutdown is about 7 million. The subsequent losses in the market are difficult to estimate.
It’s useless to say more. The factory head flew to Fujian. The purpose of his trip is to persuade another company in Fujian to invest in the production line, help Yuanqi forest contract milk tea and save the Jianghu.
There is an old saying in the beverage industry, “a year’s plan depends on the water head”, which means that the annual opening layout of the beverage industry is very important – purchasing raw materials, starting production, activating channels and seizing terminals. “Water” is the beverage, “water head” is the order and distribution meeting with the dealer before the start of the peak season in summer. Generally speaking, preparations for the war only begin after the Spring Festival, but the peak sales season of bottled milk tea is winter.
This enterprise in Fujian has experience in producing similar products and is close to bottled milk tea in technology. However, the vigorous milk tea uses milk powder instead of milk essence. The ordinary production line will cause milk powder paste tube, so it still needs money to invest in transformation.
The other party is also an enterprise that has been operating for many years. He knows the difficulty of running a beverage company. At the beginning, he did not believe that Yuanqi forest can be expanded, but some of the company’s production lines are vacant, so he also wants to make a large-scale development.
The person in charge of Yuanqi’s factory chatted with each other while climbing the mountain. Along the way, he introduced what kind of person Tang Binsen was, how his vitality was a team capable of fighting, and how he understood the spirit of the Internet. Compared with traditional enterprises, his vitality was faster… At the foot of the mountain, cooperation was negotiated.
Picture: from left to right: oat milk tea from Hankou No. 2 factory, milk tea from Yuanqi forest and milk tea from nongnongshan spring.
Since the launch of Yuanqi forest milk tea in March 2020, the sales volume has been rising all the way. The enterprises with rich experience in bottled milk tea production in the industry are no more than unity and Master Kang. At the beginning, milk tea was OEM by the factory under uni president, but later, it was not enough to rely on uni president OEM alone, so we found an affiliated production enterprise of Master Kang.
According to a person familiar with the matter, it was Master Kang’s senior management who asked affiliated enterprises to stop OEM for vitality – as early as 2011, Master Kang and Pepsi formed a strategic alliance, which means that all systems of both sides should support each other.
When the above-mentioned person in charge of Yuanqi factory joined at the end of 2018, self built factory was not an option. However, the poor operation of OEM soon occurred. At first, Tang Binsen would take him and carry two bottles of watching cloud Baijiu to visit the factory. However, the forest of vitality is like a youth of puberty.
Once the production capacity is insufficient, it will not only affect the sales volume and consumer cognition, but also disrupt the whole design and production process of vitality. Ideally, Yuanqi will summarize market data, dynamically adjust production capacity, reduce inventory pressure and speed up the efficiency of testing new products. But without its own factory, this is empty talk.
It is not just milk tea that has a problem. The person in charge of Yuanqi production once put forward that “there may be a big problem with the cover”. The bottle cap of carbonated drinks is special and requires higher grip. The newly purchased equipment for the production of carbonated beverage bottle caps requires an investment of 14 million yuan, and the enterprise will not bet easily. In May 2021, the bottle cap supplier said that the equipment was broken and the production line could not be opened.
If the lid is out of stock, it means that the bubble water will be stopped all over the line. At the same time, the production capacity of the bottle blank factory also went wrong. This year, the situation is intermittent. Together, the production of bubble water has been stopped for half a month. On another occasion, the alien electrolyte water negotiated the cooperation of TV series implantation, but the special edition packaging factory had no time to produce. Finally, the team’s employees manually pasted more than 700 bottles of beverage packaging.
Investing in factories requires money, determination and time. After the bottle cap issue was raised at the meeting at the end of 2020, Yuanqi has made a great determination to produce bottle caps by itself. However, “I didn’t say that the lid must be produced before May. I didn’t even buy equipment in May.”
A series of accidents promote Yuanqi forest to accelerate the construction of its own factories and improve the supply chain. At present, Yuanqi has promoted five factories, which are located in Xiqing, Tianjin, Chuzhou, Anhui, Zhaoqing, Guangdong, Xianning, Hubei and Dujiangyan, Sichuan, focusing on the markets in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, the Great Bay area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, Sichuan and Chongqing, and the central and southern regions of the two lakes. By April next year, the five factories built by Yuanqi are expected to support the production capacity of 11 billion goods, with a total investment of more than 5.5 billion, equivalent to twice the income of Yuanqi forest last year.
When he decided to invest in building a factory, Tang Binsen asked people to invite Lu Qingyi, the director of four springs, to make a documentary, “the next generation will not work so hard and race against time like them.” Saying “they” is a bit like talking about yourself. The plot profile on Douban reads: “since 2020, a group of young people have been carrying out production and construction in full swing in Tianjin, Chuzhou, Anhui and Zhaoqing, Guangdong, creating a new construction miracle with a rare construction speed in the world…”
Figure: Tianjin Xiqing factory of Yuanqi forest, put into operation in July 2021.
Win in inflation
As for the story of vitality forest, 2021 may be the turning point.
The air in the consumer market is becoming clearer and clearer. This year, the price of daily necessities, oil and salt increased, Hermes package was out of stock, and the speed of wage rise of China’s “world’s largest and most growing” middle-income group received a clear alarm. A bottle of 5 yuan bubble water, 6.5 yuan sports drink and 10 yuan bottled milk tea were not dared to do five years ago. Today, they are crowded with freezers in convenience stores.
Looking back at the five years of vigorous entrepreneurship, the reason why a startup company participating in people’s daily consumption can rise is the general trend. The more essential driving force of vitality forest comes from seeing a group of consumers willing to spend more money on better products and seriously thinking about what they need.
When Wang Gong first came into contact with the vitality forest team, he felt that “they are different from other beverage companies”, not because they have enthusiasm and youthful vitality for products, but because they are the only beverage company that did not hesitate to try erythritol.
Wang Gong is the R & D personnel of erythritol. Every time he holds a lecture for customers, erythritol is the most expensive and tasteful product in the product portfolio, but no one cares about it. By 2016, bowling treasure, the raw material enterprise of erythritol, found that large companies had little interest in this sugar substitute and began to focus on promoting it to new start-ups.
At that time, Yuanqi forest was just a project invested by Tang Binsen, and it was revealed that it was rich and powerful in the early stage. After throwing tens of millions of yuan and two groups of teams failed in a row, Lu Jiao, Tang Binsen’s assistant, found Tang Binsen and said he wanted to try. “I love his money so much that I spent tens of millions and didn’t do anything. He said, just do what you want to drink, buy and feel good.”
Tang Binsen has a requirement for partners, especially for product managers to “have love and life”. This is basically the consumer portrait of Yuanqi forest: love and willing to spend money.
The early Team Office was at the gate of Tang’s alma mater, Beijing University of Astronautics. The game company did not have the conditions to do the experiment, so the three R & D personnel rented a three bedroom apartment in Jinqiu home opposite and changed it into a simple laboratory.
One day in August 2016, Wang Gong set out from Shandong and went to Beijing overnight with a bag of sample particles very like white granulated sugar, erythritol taken from the laboratory. The three bedroom living room is full of bottles and cans, and the raw materials are stacked in the small bedroom. There, he met the R & D personnel who chatted on wechat the night before. The other party didn’t talk much. He immediately made oolong tea and added a little sugar, “it tastes good”.
In March 2017, burning tea was officially listed, and it took two years to achieve the second category of sugar free tea, second only to the Oriental leaves listed in 2011. This year, Tang Binsen gave the tea burning team an additional option reward because “without it, there would be no company”.
Tang Binsen hesitated when pricing burning tea. Would six dollars be too bold? When professional beverage professionals were invited to do the project in the early stage, Yuanqi got a lot of pricing suggestions: “coke is about 3.5 yuan, you can only sell it for 4 yuan, channels and terminals take 30% respectively, and the cost is about 0.5 yuan”.
In fact, until the end of 2018, when the bubble water was listed for half a year, sugar free was not a clear direction. The R & D team of Yuanqi forest bubble water said that by the end of the year, the team had to make a plan for the second year, pondered for a long time, and finally determined the positioning of “new sugar free proposition”. Tang Binsen said internally at that time that he didn’t expect bubble water to sell so well.
Today, convenience stores in every first and second tier city in China are filled with all kinds of sugar free sparkling water, but in 2018, the sugar free sparkling water is basically only zero coke. Vitality forest bubble watermark “0 sugar, 0 card, 0 fat”, which clearly tells young consumers the function of the product. Zero Coke will always be a subsidiary brand of classic red bottle coke.
In essence, the success of vitality forest depends on the courage to sell more expensive. You can use sugar substitutes with better taste; You can allocate more money to offline retail channels such as convenience stores and supermarkets, so that the channels are willing to accept a new brand.
When developing products, vigorous product managers will skip the link of cost evaluation. Therefore, many directions that cannot be approved by traditional beverage companies will be possible here.
Milk tea is the second time that vitality crosses the industry to control the price segment. The sudden situation when milk tea was listed deeply highlights that there have been differences in the market’s understanding of price.
On March 8th women’s day in 2020, the online debut of milk tea was selected in Li Jiaqi’s live broadcasting room. Six bottles of milk tea sold for 50 yuan; The second one, Guangdong, with the largest number of milk tea shops, was selected offline, with an average of 5.5 yuan per bottle. Although the epidemic closed most milk tea shops, convenience stores are still not confident that they can sell bottled milk tea for 10 yuan.
We asked this question in the interview: “why did you think that people were really willing to pay nearly twice the price of Coca Cola for your drink five years ago?”
“This is inflation, an inevitable law. Inflation is the first principle. Human society spends more and more money on itself, and the unit price is more and more expensive. But it depends on new products.”
Tang Binsen held up a bottle of alien electrolyte water in front of him: “this is 6.5 yuan.”. A can of Red Bull costs between 5 – 5.5 yuan. By the end of 2020, Yuanqi drinks are basically the most expensive of their kind (non imported).
The idea of vigorous channel expansion is also strictly screened according to the GDP level: first pull out China’s top 30 cities, make a list of top 50 based on its surroundings, and then sink gradually. Tang Binsen said, “we didn’t have any goods in the first half of this year and basically didn’t make a sinking market. But in fact, we think that Yuanqi forest can be sold completely on the main roads of the county.”
In September 2019, when Han Rui, partner of Gaorong capital, met Tang Binsen, he found that the other party did not “talk about strategy and sales” like many consumer goods entrepreneurs, but repeatedly stressed that the cost of Yuanqi forest was several times higher than that of the other party. He remembered that at that time, Tang Binsen judged that the market was full of cost-effective products, and everyone wanted to raise the price, so we must take the lead in owning the pricing power.
Anyone who has visited the Beijing headquarters of Yuanqi forest will not deny that it is a young, dynamic and lively company.
There were more than a dozen tables in the hall, mostly young faces. They shuttle back and forth in the conference room named “burning tea” and “milk tea”. The small room next to them is often a new product project you don’t know. Our interviews with several employees were strictly cut off because we were “going to the next meeting”.
The source of maintaining this vitality is an invisible new path: a young man is willing to try healthier and more expensive drinks when he is alone; Modern channels such as convenience stores are willing to provide new products to attract customers; The work of Internet companies is more and more like screws. More money and people flock to consumer companies that can provide valuable products.
The new path is soon no longer a secret.
Vitality forest is the first proof that people are willing to pay, and the market rewards pioneers. But now, the giants have come to an end, and few new products are less than 5 yuan.
Congestion and shortage
On the first day of rework after the Spring Festival in 2021, Coca Cola’s 0 sugar bubble “ah! Ha! Little universe” opened its first image store in Chengdu – officially announcing that Coca Cola has brought this “the most important new product of the past decade” into the Chinese market.
Zero calorie bubble water with sugar substitutes actually became popular earlier in the United States. But whether in China or the United States, beverage giants are not the first to discover this blue ocean. In the United States, when Lacroix, a bubble water with lively retro design and handwritten English font, has achieved a market of US $800 million in recent years, Pepsi Cola finally launched a similar product bubble in 2018 (the name listed in China this year is “smile fun bubble”).
Coca Cola is the last big company to follow the bubble wave. When AHA was listed at the end of 2019 (Note: due to the trademark registration problem, “aha” was renamed “ah! Ha! Little universe” in China), Celina Li, vice president of Coca Cola’s North American water business, said that it was “a brand we paid great attention to in the hot segment of flavor bubble water”.
What does it mean for Yuanqi forest to enter China?
It’s like you’re the protagonist in the X-Men. You get super powers by relying on a substance called erythritol. Until one day you find that there are so many mutants in the world, and the cartoonist has designed a unified uniform for these people, with three zeros sewn on it.
Figure: “0 sugar, 0 fat, 0 calories“
Anyone can put steam into water and design a packaging that meets the aesthetic needs of young people, but AHA’s North American version only contains flavors. The “ah! Ha! Little universe” sold by Coca Cola in China also adds erythritol like Yuanqi forest, which is sweeter than the American version – more stimulating to the taste. Moreover, the same “0 sugar, 0 calorie and 0 fat” as Yuanqi forest is added to the package.
Sugar is one of the few things that the vitality forest cannot produce by itself. When a company uses better and more scarce raw materials, it is certainly more vulnerable to the influence of the supply chain. Those who sell mineral water will not have this problem.
Bowling Bao’s erythritol production capacity was less than 6000 tons in 2016, and the annual production capacity could reach about 20000 tons by the end of 2020.
However, the increase in production in recent years is mainly due to bowling Bao’s early optimism about the American erythritol ice cream business and investment in several new production lines. As a result, that wave of trend did not rise, and it happened to be connected with the vitality forest.
An insider familiar with the erythritol supply chain disclosed that around the Spring Festival in 2021, cola, farmers and Pepsi successively found bowling treasure to place orders for production. “That means they made the formula last year, but they didn’t shout out to go.”
Nongfu mountain spring has water, Coca Cola has happy water and bubble water are just new attempts to maintain growth. However, air soaking in water is the “life” of Yuanqi forest, accounting for more than half of its income.
At the beginning of the procurement period in February, erythritol was in short supply. A channel director of Yuanqi forest said that the large-scale shortage of raw materials is like a nightmare. “Since March, we have found that there are no goods one after another. Only the money comes back and no goods go out.”
The goods that should have been delivered to Yuanqi forest regional market at the beginning of the month will not arrive until the end of the month. The temperature gradually rises. In the first 20 days of each month from April to June, thousands of sales of Yuanqi forest “stand at home and can’t be dissolved. They can only go down to the market again and again to see what they sell.” Sometimes, the freezer is empty, so the salesperson has to go to the nearby grocery store and fill it with two boxes of bubble water. There was a quarrel in the group where the sales and production centers were connected, and the leaders were responsible for extinguishing the fire in the group.
During the golden time of beverage sales from April to June, Yuanqi forest can only make production plans according to the supply of erythritol. In order to give priority to the best selling white peach flavor bubble water, the production of other flavors will be cancelled. Other energy products that use erythritol, such as newborns suffering from malnutrition, are waiting in line for the supply of sugar, such as drinking water, milk tea and burning tea. The sales in different regional markets are sorted according to importance, and they are sold as much as they are allocated.
It is understood that by the end of last year, only one beverage company in Yuanqi was using erythritol on a large scale. Therefore, bowling treasure did not dare to invest in a new production line, which was difficult to meet the launch of new products and the growth of Yuanqi itself.
When talking about the shortage of goods this year, Tang Binsen looked embarrassed: “those months are very important. The whole channel was not built last year, and new dealers began to develop in March and April. But the new dealers found that you are out of stock. What else are you doing?”
The place where China’s beverage industry really makes money is not the convenience stores and supermarkets that Yuanqi forest is best at, but the traditional sales network throughout the country, which does not charge high bar code fees, such as husband and wife stores, small restaurants, village shops and school canteens. There are about 8 million beverage sales terminals that can be covered in China. The best Coca Cola can cover 3-3.5 million, and the vitality forest can cover less than 1 million. However, many of these terminals are just entering, and the sales volume has not been done yet.
As of this summer, the sales team recruited by Yuanqi last year has more than 3000 people, but there is still a gap of 17000 people from the 20000 sales force of nongnongshanquan. “Where does that 17000 come from? And this 17000 works well. The elimination rate of vitality sales is close to 90 percent.” People familiar with the matter said. “Vitality will face the challenge of making reserves for a larger base in the future. Not only sales – their backstage, administration and market are extremely short of people.”
In terms of hunting employment, Yuanqi forest has more than 1300 posts, most of which are sales management, covering catering, campus, special channels and so on. Many posts will note that the following work experience is preferred: Dongpeng special drink, Wang Laoji, Master Kang and unity.
Excess nutrition
In April this year, Yuanqi forest took the initiative to announce that “0 sucrose” on the milk tea label is not “0 sugar”. Many users believe that they have been cheated and Yuanqi is pretending to be marketing. This announcement similar to the “game version upgrade notice” triggered public discussion, and Tang Binsen was hit by it. Tang Binsen has not dealt with the possible dissatisfaction with consumer goods before. He blames his straight man thinking – if the product is adjusted, it should be announced. As for coupons, they are like gift packages for game upgrades.
The user’s response made Tang Binsen worried. This reflects at least two things: the Internet experience will have problems moving to the beverage industry, and consumers are not inseparable from the vitality forest.
The person in charge of Yuanqi product department obviously feels that Yuanqi is doing more and more to develop products. As of September this year, Yuanqi’s R & D investment had increased by 350% year-on-year. The number of projects and individual investment are greatly increased than in the past. But this year, Yuanqi forest did not have new models similar to burning tea, bubble water and milk tea.
Not that the efficiency has become low, but that there are few new products in the beverage market that have not been redone. Sugar free tea, bubble water, sports drinks and milk tea were all made.
In 2018, Yuanqi forest team began to try to challenge “juice”.
The team studied the process of fruit juice and found that, In addition to the popular NFC (non concentrated reduced fruit juice), there is a more advanced process for fruit juice called HPP (cold pressed fresh juice). HPP is to seal and bottle the cold pressed fruit juice, which tastes better than the NFC sterilized at high temperature. The project has entered the stage of blending in the later stage, but there are too many problems in the final test. This is called “full score” Our project is on hold.
Until the outbreak in 2020, the person in charge of the product department observed that his colleagues ordered takeout every day, supplemented vitamins by bottles and cans, and decided to restart the fruit juice project. The new direction, he hopes, is a juice that can supplement all the nutrients needed every day. “We’ll add everything that can be added to this.”
In order to solve the problem that the juice tastes sweet and greasy, they added gas again this time. The final product is the full score that can be seen in the convenience store. There are three flavors, which can supplement all kinds of vitamins needed every day and improve the taste with micro bubbles.
Not only the contents are added, the full score packaging is also very different from the style of vitality in the past. The gourd shaped bottle is very crowded, and five vitamins are checked, indicating that the beverage is nutritious. “We haven’t mentioned many selling points. In fact, we have added apple polyphenols to help improve immunity.” The person in charge of the product said.
In April 2021, “full score” announced the new spokesman Ni Ni. Signing the spokesperson means that it has gone through many iterations and strict data testing, and has been sold in e-commerce for a period of time, which can be spread to larger channels.
However, dealers are confused about the positioning of this product – is it soda or juice? Finally, the full score is regarded as soda and placed next to coke and sparkling water. The price of a bottle with full marks in convenient bee is 10.8 yuan. If it is only used as “soda”, it is a little expensive.
If users can not clearly accept the value of the product, high pricing is difficult to hold. During the promotion of double 11 yuan tmall store, as long as you buy more than 199 yuan, you will get 12 bottles of free full marks. If you buy all 199 yuan, you will get a bottle of 4.4 yuan.
Recently, the “refreshing version” with white peach flavor was launched, and the bottle body with cleaner visual effect was changed. The juice content was reduced to, and the calories were reduced by 60% compared with the ordinary version. Only one vitamin was added, but more bubbles were added. As for the taste, it tastes almost the same as the white peach flavor of Yuanqi forest.
Bubble juice is not a new concept. As early as 2010, after Huiyuan Juice failed to sell itself, its founder Zhu Xinli invested heavily in several sterile carbonation production lines to produce an aerated juice product “juice guole”, but did not add various vitamins. These aseptic carbonation plants were gradually abandoned until they began to contract for Yuanqi forest in the past two years.
Within the vitality, the full score is considered to be a “future product”, which needs time to cultivate and optimize.
Countless new products die on the shelves every year, which is common in the beverage industry. Since the founding of Yuanqi forest, several products have rarely achieved good results. As long as we talk about new products with energetic employees, they often say in a proud tone, “you don’t know how many of our products died before they were launched”, which shows that the company is making products with new Internet thinking.
Yuanqi sometimes opens the AB test of internal product development internally. A project led by beverage people who have worked for more than ten years was lost to the post-95 product manager in the internal trial drink link. An investor described Tang Binsen as “testing the system and the whole company”.
A large number of new products are overstocked in the testing link, and Tang Binsen is re combing the process of vigorous product R & D. A vigorous source said, “what Lao Tang wants is to score. The container test is on the one hand, and the expert committee’s opinion is on the one hand. Then he may put some husband and wife stores, and finally make an average score.”
Relying on e-commerce alone, the “data” used to support judgment is far from enough – the scene of offline beverage purchase is quite random, and the purpose of Taobao users is too strong to judge the retention rate of consumers. In the second half of the year, Yuanqi began to invest in the smart cabinet business in order to master its own testing channels.
Latepost later learned that since September, three main teams have been developing new smart cabinet business.
The three teams are respectively responsible for the expansion of different regions. Next year’s goal is to develop 100000 smart cabinets – the total number of vending machines in Youbao is only 70000. In addition, Yuanqi also recruited a technical talent with retail experience from a large Internet factory to build the background system of the retail platform, establish a model and integrate the above resources.
Ideally, the smart cabinet can solve two problems at one time: new product testing and new billboards, but you don’t have to expect it to bring much revenue. An employee of Yuanqi smart cabinet business said: “we have just received the news that 5 – 10 new products will be tested soon.”
“Forty not confused”
When a company runs at a growth rate of about three times a year, its employees often need stimulation called “dream” and “initial heart” to support them to withstand high pressure.
An early employee recalled that Tang Binsen once told the team to become China’s Coca Cola in the future. At that time, everyone laughed and said that you only sold tens of thousands of yuan, and Coca Cola had a market of tens of billions. Tang Binsen’s answer at that time is still fresh in the memory of a veteran in the soaking beverage industry for more than 20 years: we (team) are young post-90s, post-95s, post-980s… In another 20 years, these children are only in their forties, and they will retire after they are 20 years old.
Tang Binsen was in his early thirties when he began to invest money to incubate consumer goods. At that time, Wang Xing and Zhang Yiming, entrepreneurs of the same generation, were already trendsetters in the Internet industry. Tang Binsen is eager to be part of the story, but he is not obsessed with high technology. Instead, he is confident that he can genetically transform traditional industries with the Internet.
He wrote a document to senior executives, with particular emphasis on Digitization and flattening. Partners once ran into an executive of Yuanqi forest in the elevator. Tang Binsen asked the executive to manage a new brand. In the elevator, he “seems to be possessed” and silently recited “figures speak, who can do it”.
In his first interview with late post in April, Tang Binsen drank two whole bottles of alien electrolyte water and several bottles of bubble water. He said he had just bought a box of aliens.
The added water often cries out again soon. Many employees of Yuanqi forest said that in the past few years, they have seen “Old Tang” cry. Sometimes they will cry with him if they are infected by him.
People in the traditional beverage industry look at him like an alien. To see the person, “Xiao Tang” will also carry the spirit of the Baiyun Baijiu less than 1000 yuan investment, introduced the packaging box is iPhone “gravity packaging”. Referring to traditional beverage manufacturers, Tang Binsen would say, “we are a company of two worlds”.
In the fifth year of entrepreneurship, “Xiao Tang” and “Lao Tang” began to unify. The rules of another world have worn away a lot of pride in Tang Binsen. Recently, he thinks every day that the production capacity is enough, but the raw materials are not enough this year. Will there be other problems next year? He summed up his weaknesses and read many books on brands in the second half of the year, such as the biography of Coca Cola and the Autobiography of Nike founder shoe dog. When the reporter talked to him about the brand value of bubble water, Tang Binsen no longer said that “the light is true”, but said, “let’s do a good job in business first.”
It is hard to imagine that before the second half of this year, Tang Binsen never participated in the annual budget meeting of various departments. In the past, he thought OKR was better than KPI. Now he organizes meetings to study the budget for two weeks to calculate the cost of one point and one percent, and each person in charge of the business division should attend.
He secretly decided that in the future, he would not advocate Internet thinking with people in the company as much as possible, “only talk to people who understand me, and it’s easy to take them to the ditch.”
Not long ago, a long text suddenly appeared in the senior management group of Yuanqi forest, It was Tang who relayed a call he made with an internet tycoon after 60: “many new people in the Internet industry have come to the company recently. In the future, they should put down their body and bend down to learn from traditional industries… When looking for Internet talents, they should be able to see the advantages of traditional industries. When looking for people in traditional industries, they should be able to see the shortcomings of their own industries.”
A year later, Tang Binsen was 39. He felt that he and this young company seemed to grow up overnight. “Next year, we will start forty years without doubt.”
Author: Zhu Kailin; Editor: Huang Junjie; Source: latepost (ID: Post), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
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