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whether in 2B or 2C markets, prefabricated dishes still have a long way to go.
Looking through the childhood food memories of the post-80s and post-90s, instant noodles, biscuits, cans, ham sausage and other ready to eat foods must occupy a place.
With the improvement of living standards and the upgrading of consumption quality, on the one hand, consumers’ awareness of food safety has gradually improved and have higher requirements for food quality, such as health, nutrition and balance. On the other hand, a number of leisure snack brands popular with young people have emerged in the market, and the prosperity of export business also provides consumers with more choices.
This makes the instant food labeled “containing preservatives” and “junk food” no longer brilliant, can not meet the needs of consumers, and gradually fade out of people’s vision.
Kwai Chai hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, but they did not completely withdraw from the stage of history, but instead make only superficial changes in the form of lazy dishes, hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, quick food, and so on.
Familiar and unfamiliar prefabricated dishes
For Chinese consumers, prefabricated dishes are a familiar and unfamiliar concept.
In a broad sense, prefabricated dishes are finished or semi-finished dishes that have been washed, cut and matched. The factory processes the dishes in the central kitchen in advance, and then packs them by freezing or vacuum, and then sells them to end-c consumers through supermarkets, e-commerce, convenience stores, takeout and other channels, or distributes them to end-b catering stores for Hall Food and takeout processing.
Familiar, because most post-80s and post-90s consumers have eaten instant noodles, cans, ham sausage, biscuits and other ready to eat foods, which actually belong to the category of prefabricated dishes.
After World War II, most of these ready to eat foods were rapidly promoted from the United States and Japan to Britain, Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other countries, and quickly accepted by consumers locally.
Take ham sausage, which is cheap, easy to carry and can replace meat, as an example. Once ham sausage was the overlord of Chinese meat products. According to the data of 2008, the annual output of domestic meat products was more than 10 million tons, of which ham sausage accounted for one third, and the annual sales reached 50 billion yuan. In South Korea, Southeast Asian countries, Britain and other countries, canned sausage has reached a higher position than ham sausage in China.
With the superposition of multiple factors such as urbanization, industrial Internet, women going out to work, consumption upgrading, rising labor prices, change of consumption concept and improvement of cold chain logistics, more kinds of prefabricated dishes began to appear. For example, instant food that needs simple heating, instant food that needs secondary cooking, and instant food that is prepared with semi-finished dishes after primary processing.
Their production process is more complex than ready to eat food. They have higher requirements for temperature in transportation and storage. They are more expensive and higher quality than ready to eat food. They can meet more dining scenes and are favored by many consumers.
Hot food self heating hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot evolved from field ration equipment can provide a steaming hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot outdoors and indoors; That is, cooking food, such as all kinds of cooking bags, after simple processing in the back kitchen of the restaurant, can achieve the effect of rapid meal, cost reduction and efficiency increase; The first processed semi finished dishes such as instant food, such as Kwai Fu, can help consumers save time in their homes and cook a meal quickly.
The prefabricated vegetable market is more mature in Europe, America and Japan. Public data show that its penetration rate in Japan is as high as 60%, while its penetration rate in China is only about 10%. According to sun Zhengyi’s time machine theory, the development process of prefabricated dishes will also reappear in China.
Coupled with the background of lazy economy, housing economy and epidemic catalysis, many domestic brands familiar to consumers have taken a fancy to this track. For example, Meizhou Dongpo has made Dongpo’s big elbows, plum vegetables, pork and other store classic dishes into vacuum packaged lazy convenience dishes. Consumers can taste delicious by simply reheating; Kwai Kee also works with box horse to stir fry yellow beef and yellow stewed beef and so on. It has been developed into various kinds of fast food dishes with detailed operation steps.
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Kwai Ma X farming record joint fast food
Source: official authorization
2B and 2C markets: one hot and one cold
In China, the prefabricated vegetable industry has benefited from the rapid rise of takeout since around 2014, which lags behind the development in Japan by about 35 years. At present, the domestic market is small and scattered, the whole is still a blue ocean, and a national brand has not yet been born.
According to Tianyan survey, up to now, there are nearly 69000 prefabricated vegetable related enterprises with names or business scope including “quick-frozen, prefabricated vegetables, prefabricated food, semi-finished food, ready to eat and clean vegetables”, of which 56.6% of the relevant enterprises have been established in recent five years.
In terms of geographical distribution, Shandong Province has the largest number of relevant enterprises, nearly 8700, accounting for 12.66% of the country; Henan, Jiangsu and Guangdong all have more than 5000 related enterprises, ranking second, third and fourth in China respectively. In terms of registered capital, more than 54.7% of enterprises related to prefabricated vegetables have a registered capital of between 0-1 million.
At present, the players of prefabricated dishes in China are mainly divided into three categories:
One is a prefabricated vegetable enterprise focusing on the track, including taste, taste, taste, good taste, etc.
The other is the product line extension of quick-frozen food enterprises, including Anjing food (mainly quick-frozen surimi and meat products), Sanquan food (mainly quick-frozen rice flour products), LIGO food (mainly quick-frozen baked semi-finished products & finished products), Haixin food (mainly quick-frozen surimi), Huifa food (mainly quick-frozen pill products), Qianwei central kitchen (mainly quick-frozen rice flour products), etc.
There are also some enterprises that enter the field of prefabricated dishes along the supply chain and channels, such as golden dragon fish, Wen’s shares, Shengnong development, Longda meat, Guolian aquatic products, Yihai international, Xibei, Guangzhou Restaurant, HEMA, 711, convenience bee, etc.
Unlike most C-end consumers who are still unfamiliar with the concept of prefabricated dishes and their needs to be developed, the cognition and needs of prefabricated dishes in b-end catering businesses have reached a certain extent.
For catering businesses, prefabricated dishes have the advantages of “three high and one low”: faster meal delivery speed, saving labor and rental costs for restaurants; Compared with homemade dishes, prefabricated dishes have a high degree of standardization and more stable production; Higher degree of food safety; Large scale procurement makes the cost of food materials lower.
In particular, the takeout side, which only needs simple reheating and can deliver meals in tens of seconds at the fastest, has promoted the explosive growth of the takeout market since 2014, so that takeout can be delivered to consumers faster at the peak, and achieve the goal of low profit and high turnover.
Take the “first stock of prefabricated cold dishes” Gaishi food, which has just been listed on the Beijing stock exchange, as an example. Its original business is to export prefabricated cold dishes to Japan, Europe and the United States. After expanding its business, it has sold prefabricated dishes to China for more than 10 years, with a revenue of 219 million yuan in 2020. Its product sales are stable. The factory is located in Dalian, which is rich in seafood resources. In the future, the new factory will be located in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, where the output of edible fungi is considerable. Both factories are close to the origin of raw materials and the price is low.
Gai Quanhong, chairman of Gaishi food, told yiou equaliocean that at present, its customers mainly focus on medium and large chain food brands such as xijiade and Xiabu, covering more than 10000 stores of more than 300 enterprises. The dishes are specially packaged in Hall Food and takeout to improve the meal efficiency.
Although the penetration rate of 2C’s Prefabricated vegetable market is not high at present, it can be expected in the future. With the joint promotion of consumption upgrading, lazy economy, house economy, one person food, night economy, epidemic catalysis and other factors, the demand for prefabricated vegetables is gradually being tapped.
“We found that the young groups struggling in the first and second tier cities have formed new eating and consumption habits.” Li Shefeng, Shenzhen regional head of HEMA 3R business unit, said in a media interview that “inviting friends to dinner at home” has become the highest social courtesy in contemporary society. However, many young people are not good at cooking.
The self heating hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot that is booming in e-commerce channels is the best example of demand being developed. According to public data, the market scale of China’s self heating hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot in 2021 is estimated to be 10.37 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 18.5%; With the change of technology in the field of self heating hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot and the diversified taste of products, the market is expected to maintain an increase of about 20% and continue to expand. It is expected that the scale of China’s self heating hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot market will reach 14.89 billion yuan in 2023.
Xiao Xin, the founder of this delicious food, is also optimistic about this trend. He set up a team to create this delicious food in 2019. Its main low-temperature meat products belong to instant cooking food. At present, the products are mainly intestines of various flavors, including more than 10 flavors such as crayfish, cheese and black pepper, and cut into breakfast and other dining scenes at home. Recently, this delicious food and Centennial Yufu released a series of new prefabricated dishes for three new year pig feast, including stewed Dongpo meat, ham and duck pot and double pepper marinated sausage, which cut into more formal scenes such as lunch and dinner for many people.
The normalization of the epidemic is the catalyst for the transformation of catering enterprises and helps them accelerate their progress towards standardization and retailing. Prefabricated and semi finished products are common solutions for catering enterprises to solve the standardization problems. Xibei, Mei Zhou Dongpo, Rong Li Ji, farming records and other food brands are also following the steps of bullman, Kwai song and Xin Liang Ji to promote the higher price of carcup or fast food, which is not subject to restrictions on food.
As consumers do not like catering businesses to pursue the highest possible cost performance, the profit space of 2C market is greater. The financial report shows that the net profit margins of weizhixiang focusing on the C-end in recent three years are 15.3%, 15.9% and 20.1% respectively; In contrast, the net profit margin of Anji food, which arranges prefabricated dishes at the b-end, is less than 10% for a long time.
The huge difference between the demand side and the different profit models lead to the current situation of hot and cold in 2B and 2C markets. According to the data of Guosen Securities, the revenue of to B of Chinese prefabricated vegetable enterprises accounts for 80%, and that of to C is only 20%.
It’s still a little short of the trillion scale
Referring to the development history of prefabricated vegetables in Japan, China’s Prefabricated vegetable market is still on the eve of rapid development.
According to the data of China frozen and frozen food professional committee, China’s per capita consumption of prefabricated vegetables in 2020 is at the level of Japan’s 1970. According to the calculation of Guohai Securities, the stock of China’s Prefabricated vegetable market is about 300 billion yuan; In the next six to seven years, the overall market scale is expected to reach 1 trillion yuan and more than 3 trillion yuan in the long run.
However, the development of prefabricated dishes in China also faces challenges. Its own industry characteristics will make 2B and 2C markets have different development paths.
The overall scale of 2B market is limited by product types, the entry threshold is low, and the player homogenization competition is fierce.
Compared with Western dishes with single cuisine, few types of raw materials and simple cooking methods, Chinese dishes have many cuisines and factions, great taste differences, and complex processes and processes, resulting in high R & D costs and low taste reduction. There are limited single products that can be made into prefabricated dishes and have high market acceptance.
Therefore, the prefabricated vegetable enterprises on the market are mainly concentrated in rice noodles, hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, barbecue, boiled and other fields, such as braised chicken, Kung Pao diced chicken, fish flavored shredded meat, spicy chicken feet and so on.
This makes the players in the existing track have serious product homogeneity and low product gross profit. Affected by homogeneous competition, 2b’s Prefabricated vegetable enterprises have no bargaining power in the face of catering enterprises. If the procurement volume is small, they have low bargaining power in the face of the upstream supply chain, and need to deal with the risk of food price rise, so as to further reduce the gross profit.
In order to change the passive situation and increase the profit margin, 2b prefabricated vegetable enterprises will continue to develop to the upstream of the industrial chain and the logistics end of the cold chain in the future, so as to reduce the procurement and distribution costs.
For example, Sysco, the leader of American prefabricated dishes, continues to expand its categories through mergers and acquisitions and extend to the field of upstream food materials. At the same time, it reduces distribution costs and ensures food safety by building its own logistics system. At present, the company’s marketing and logistics network covers more than 90 countries around the world, with an annual turnover of more than 60 billion US dollars; Kobe, the leader of prefabricated vegetables in Japan, implements the integrated production and marketing model, covering the production / import of agricultural products, food processing, circulation and sales, comprehensively reducing costs, and has arranged nearly 1000 terminal sales stores in Japan.
In the 2C market, the fast-growing takeout and prefabricated dishes have fallen in love and killed each other for a long time.
Different from the U.S. and Japanese markets, in China, takeout with a market scale of 660 billion yuan, labor costs far lower than those in the United States and Japan and rapid growth has played a certain inhibitory role on prefabricated dishes. Xiao Xin said that Chinese takeout has been ahead of other countries, accounting for a large share of consumers’ meals at home.
In some dining scenarios, takeout and prefabricated dishes are substitutes for each other. At present, takeout is generally cheaper and more convenient than similar prefabricated dishes, and there is little difference in meal experience.
Therefore, in order to steadily expand the market and open the experience gap with takeout, 2C prefabricated vegetable enterprises will pay more attention to the laying of sales channels and product R & D in the future.
Online and offline channels such as HEMA, Yonghui, meituan shopping, dingdong shopping, daily fresh food, live delivery, community group shopping, etc. play an important role in the development of prefabricated dish 2C market. They are not only sales platforms, but also the front warehouses laid by them have laid a good logistics foundation for prefabricated vegetables, and improved the timely distribution capacity and efficiency.
The new trend of delicious life in 2021: white paper on the food industry released by HEMA mentioned that the improvement of the supply chain level of the fresh industry has expanded the fresh category in an all-round way. Xiao Xin also told yiou equalocean that the maturity and cost reduction of cold chain logistics and the development of retail channels such as HEMA are a major prerequisite for the rapid development of prefabricated dishes.
More importantly, the consumption data precipitated by these channels also help to gain insight into customer preferences and feed back product R & D. At present, there are thousands of semi-finished dishes and prefabricated dishes in HEMA, of which the proportion of self-developed products exceeds 60%, and the other 40% mainly comes from the cooperation with catering supply chain and catering brands, including nongnongji, Yueshengzhai, Nanzhou Prefecture, etc.
Therefore, from the perspective of business model, 2C’s Prefabricated dishes are more like FMCG. They are a long-term business and need to take into account channels, brands and products. Xiao Xin also said that in an ideal state, 2C’s Prefabricated dishes develop towards the brand and occupy the limited mind of consumers.
Convenient, fast, numerous varieties and moderate taste of prefabricated dishes have liberated many busy urban young people and become a strong wind in the post epidemic era.
However, whether in 2B or 2C markets, prefabricated dishes still have a long way to go. It is necessary to cultivate consumer habits, formulate industry standards and ensure food safety. A hundred flowers will bloom in a short time, but leading enterprises may appear later. Online red products such as self heating hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot will emerge from time to time, but it is difficult to reproduce the ultra-high market share of ham sausage after all.
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