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when health preservation carries young people’s expectations of “nourishing life”, an urgent problem to be solved is placed in front of the “new health preservation” brand: how should young people treat themselves better?
“Soak wolfberry in a thermos cup, quit coke and get rid of greasy.”
This new age doggerel reminds us that young people have begun to keep in good health. According to the report on health preservation of the post-90s released by Analysys think tank, nearly 97% of the post-90s have health preservation awareness, of which nearly 33% pay great attention to health preservation.
How to keep healthy? Is it to boil a pot of chicken soup in half a day, or swallow health care products like pills? The answer given by new consumer brands is: it’s not necessary.
In 2018, the herbal health tea brand “Chunfeng” was established, which adds ginseng, medlar and other traditional health raw materials to milk tea and fruit tea. In 2020, tipsyou, buff x, minayo and other brands focusing on “health snacks” and “functional food” were born. They aim at young people and add elements that regulate human function to snacks such as candy to create delicious, convenient and functional food.
These brands have won the dual favor of the consumer market and the capital market. Buff x sold more than 20000 SKUs per month on average within three months of listing, and completed three times of financing within one year of its establishment; Chunfeng, tipsyou and minayo obtained tens of millions of financing in 2021.
What happened to young people’s lives? Why do they need such products? Are these brands the new consumption bubble or the leader of the wave of consumption?
One side is the cruel truth of life, the other is the prosperous consumption scene. These questions may lead to a more grand proposition: where should our life go?
Young man of “Buddhist regimen”
Sophie, who works in the media industry in Shanghai, is 26 years old. Although she has graduated from college for four years, she still misses the days when she cooked soup with her roommates in the dormitory.
That roommate is from Guangzhou, which is the best at making soup. She brought Sophie to cook brown sugar ginger water when she came to her aunt and chicken soup with small ginseng when it was cold.
Sophie is no stranger to these practices, because her mother will tell her what ingredients correspond to what effects when she was a child – if she needs to strengthen her stomach and eliminate food, she will eat yam, hawthorn and radish; If you need to clear the fire, eat balsam pear, mung bean and Lily
This reflects the important concept of traditional health preservation – medicine and food have the same origin, or more popularly, it is “food tonic”. As the name suggests, some ingredients can be used as both daily food and medicinal value. In 2020, there are 110 species in the list of “medicine and food homology” published by the Health Commission, including Chinese yam, hawthorn, black sesame and other food materials.
After work, even if time is limited and she can’t cook by herself, Sophie will pay as much attention to a balanced diet as possible when ordering takeout.
But this does not seem to be the mainstream lifestyle of young people, because among the nearly ten young health care consumers I talked to, only Sophie can always pay attention to her daily health.
More young people choose “Buddhist regimen” and “punk regimen” – the lifestyle is unhealthy as a whole, but they carry out “extensive” and “retaliatory” regimen through limited regimen behaviors, such as putting a few medlar in a thermos cup, and occasionally eating a few vitamin tablets.
Wang zhenglei and Jia beiti are two vivid examples. One of them is in Shenzhen and the other is in Beijing. In addition to being under the age of 30, they also have one thing in common, that is, they take compound vitamin tablets and cod liver oil every day.
In fact, health products are very popular with young people of “Buddhist health preservation”. According to the survey of ipso, a market research organization, the penetration rate of health products in the post-90s increased by nearly 40% year-on-year in 2020. They contain certain functional ingredients, which can regulate human function, but can not treat diseases.
As for why to choose health products instead of traditional “dietary supplements”, Wang zhenglei broke the mystery: “I don’t disagree, but it’s really too troublesome. I feel it will take a lot of time.” Jia beiti also said: “I’m very busy at ordinary times. I don’t have the mind to carefully choose what to eat. What’s more, I don’t know how these ingredients help my body.”
Jia beiti also said that he usually doesn’t exercise enough and doesn’t have enough sleep time, but he wants health. Health care products can quickly alleviate his health anxiety.
Being oppressed by life, under great pressure, always in an “inner roll” and in a state of sub-health — Zhou Zhenyang, founder of tipsyou, described the state of most young people very accurately.
In their lives, time has become a luxury, freedom is out of reach, and even the most basic health seems difficult to grasp. At this time, it is not surprising that “Buddhist health preservation” and “punk health preservation” can become the lifestyle of young people.
In that case, can we create products that can better meet the needs of young people of “Buddhist health preservation”?
Although the traditional “medicine and food homology” regimen is troublesome, it is more effective in daily conditioning, which is in line with many Chinese people’s understanding of health; Although the modern “health care” regimen is efficient, it is too boring and has no change in taste.
So why do “traditional health preservation” and “modern health preservation” have to coexist in such a separated way? Why can’t there be a middle zone, which is convenient and delicious, can meet specific functional needs, and even reflect the traditional Chinese health care thought, so as to achieve daily mild conditioning?
Hericium erinaceus biscuits, black sesame balls and other products took the lead in filling the gap in this market. However, they still seem a little old-fashioned in form, which is difficult to show the personality and values of young people.
Therefore, entrepreneurs use their brains.
Entrepreneurs thinking about the “golden mean” need to solve two problems at the same time: what food form is used to carry the health function? And how to ensure the functionality of the product?
Food can be divided into two categories according to the difference of satiety, and its function can also be realized in two ways: extracting nutritional elements or directly adding food materials. Naturally, functional health food is divided into four quadrants.
From the results, a remarkable phenomenon is that new consumer brands prefer the combination of “low satiety x extraction of nutritional elements”. Tipsyou, buff X and minayo all choose to enter the market with functional soft candy added with nutritional elements. In fact, snack and instant food have become an important trend in the health food market.
As for why we chose candy to cut the market first, Kang Le, founder of buff x, said that at the beginning of product development, the team chose 12 alternative product forms, including jelly, soft candy, hard candy, etc. They did three rounds of tests, one of which invited many young friends to the company for research. The Kangle team put these 12 dosage forms on their table and told them they could pick them up at will.
The result is easy to predict – fudge wins. As for the truth behind this, Kang Le explained that candy always represents happiness and can relieve everyone’s pressure.
Zhou Zhenyang agrees with this statement. In his opinion, innovative “medicine and food homology” products need to abandon consumers’ too serious memory of health preservation. The impression of traditional Chinese medicine in the eyes of consumers is bitter and black, but the “sweet” and “transparent” characteristics of soft candy can awaken everyone’s good memory and bring a sense of relaxation psychologically.
Zhou Zhenyang admitted that he was not optimistic about the shape of biscuits. “It has a strong sense of satiety and can not meet the relaxed and casual requirements of young consumers.”
Chunfeng is a special existence among these brands because it chooses to enter the market with liquid new tea. The idea of Founder Hu Kaiji is very simple: there are many stews in traditional health dishes. He wants to make a drinkable product.
The new tea drinks are flexible in the addition of raw materials, the taste can be adjusted to taste better, the business model is simple and reproducible, and the market scale is huge. In addition, the new tea has a huge advantage – there are stores.
Stores can not only create revenue, but also improve brand awareness and shape brand image, and can become an important sales channel of retail product line. At the same time, the store is also the entrance and starting point for gathering private domain traffic, which helps to establish a closer consumer relationship.
The problem of food form has been solved, so how to ensure functionality?
As Hu Kaiji said, tea has high flexibility in adding raw materials. As long as relevant “medicine and food homologous” ingredients are added according to the traditional Chinese health preservation formula, for example, bird’s nest can be added for positioning beauty, Poria cocos and Lily can be added for positioning dampness removal.
It’s not that easy on fudge. If you want to carry large nutrients in a small volume, component extraction is bound to be a way to break the situation.
Tipsyou has set up a research and development laboratory and invited many herbal health experts with 10-20 years of experience to join. They are mainly responsible for studying the formula of products, that is, what herbal combination can achieve a specific function.
In terms of extraction technology, tipsyou cooperates with Chinese Academy of Molecular Sciences and other institutions to extract the full spectrum of herbal elements of Chinese herbal medicine by using the original “constant low temperature physical cell wall breaking technology”.
The term “I don’t understand what I’m talking about, but it seems very powerful” confused herbal health experts – how can I do that? Is it still effective to extract it like this?
“At the beginning, the old experts had their own persistence in the tradition.” Zhou Zhenyang recalled.
Finally, the data convinced them. Zhou Zhenyang said that this technology carries out 1:1 reduction and extraction of all the effective components in traditional Chinese medicine, so as to ensure that the components of traditional Chinese medicine in the product can achieve the consistency and effectiveness of the molecular level of traditional Chinese medicine itself.
Through scientific measurement and authoritative report, the old experts finally accepted this scheme.
“New health preservation”
With products, the next step is to face consumers.
Since “new health care” brands occupy the middle zone between tradition and modernity, it is inevitable that these brands will face multiple competition due to the complex nature of products – competition with traditional medicine and food homologous products, competition with the category of their own product carrier, competition with modern health care products and other functional products.
For example, Chunfeng Luoshen Hawthorn black plum water has the function of strengthening the stomach and digestion. For consumers with strong demand for tea, its competitors are other new tea brands; For consumers who are more eager for functionality, it will face competition not only from traditional hawthorn tablets and Wumei soup, but also from Chinese over-the-counter drugs such as Jianweixiaoshi Tablets.
However, considering consumers’ use scenarios and purchase purposes, the pressure intensity brought by these three types of competitors to different brands is different.
According to Hu Kaiji, Chunfeng’s main competitor is the new tea brand, while according to Zhou Zhenyang, tipsyou’s main competitor is other functional products. As for those consumers who are keen on DIY health food, they are undoubtedly the most difficult group to penetrate at present. In order to attract them, the brand needs a more long-term layout.
Price is the core reason to explain the difference of main competitors – the unit price of Chunfeng is not different from that of general tea brands, which belongs to “affordable substitutes”; Taking tipsyou Youfang series as an example, the average unit price of a soft candy is 2-3 yuan, which is similar to other functional products, but much higher than traditional candy.
The differences of competitors lead to different emphases in the communication between brands and consumers. Chunfeng emphasizes the shaping of brand concept and image to establish the brand barrier in the tea track; Tipsyou needs to further strengthen the functional attributes of its products in daily physical conditioning in addition to emphasizing the convenience of its products, so as to compete with the efficacy publicity of other functional products.
Hu Kaiji found the cultural foundation for Chunfeng – first, the compendium of Materia Medica and the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic, which are Chinese Medicine Classics; The second is the health preservation culture of Taoism. The name of “Chunfeng” comes from Zhuangzi’s “free travel”.
In the process of daily product promotion, Chunfeng also emphasizes the “timely health preservation” mentioned in the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic, such as mung bean drinks in summer. Chunfeng is also linked to the solar terms by shunshi health preservation, and makes content creation around the solar terms.
Brand IP is an effective way to build consumers’ minds. Chunfeng has created an IP image of rabbit. It is the tampering rabbit in the Moon Palace. The medicine made is an elixir of immortality, which has rich health connotation.
Of course, Chunfeng did not ignore the emphasis on product functionality. Even at this point, Chunfeng has gone through a detour. At first, in order to show the specialty of the product, Chunfeng chose to name the product with a formula, such as ginseng, medlar, Pueraria tea, Sangju honeysuckle tea, etc., but it didn’t sell well. The reason is simple – young people don’t know what the functional properties of these ingredients correspond to.
Therefore, Chunfeng adjusted the naming strategy, defined the products from the scene and function, and launched products such as staying up late water, oil-water scraping, plain face water and so on. Consumers can immediately know what this product has.
Zhou Zhenyang is also thinking about how to more effectively convey the selling point of “daily conditioning function of products” to consumers. It’s just that he needs to work harder. After all, tipsyou’s main competitors are more “serious” health care products, and the content in candy must be less intuitive than that in tea.
At the tmall flagship store of tipsyou, taking the “Taoyan” square candy that can improve Qi and blood as an example, its product introduction page spent a lot of time introducing the product efficacy, formula basis, raw material source, production process and technical advantages, and listed in detail the contents of ginseng and Angelica in a box of soft candy.
Tipsyou “Taoyan” square candy tmall product introduction
Not only that, tipsyou will also give a small raw material package in the express package. For example, “Taoyan” Youfang candy takes Bawei treasure as the core raw material, then the raw material package will have small samples of these eight raw materials, so as to give consumers a more intuitive product experience.
Sophie, who likes tonic, although she doesn’t eat health care products, she recognizes the “new health care” products. She is also a loyal fan of Chunfeng: “wouldn’t it be better to have happiness and health at the same time?”
Changeable and unchangeable
The names of “new health care” brands are very interesting. Except that the name of “Chunfeng” comes from “free travel”, buff X and tipsyou are named in English.
“Add a buff to young people”, the meaning of buff x is obvious, while the name tipsyou is a little difficult to understand.
I was very curious, so I asked Zhou Zhenyang for advice. He replied: “the word tipsyou conveys the relationship between our brand and consumers. We don’t want to change consumers’ lifestyle, which is very difficult. We just want to give young people tips when they feel guilty after doing unhealthy behavior under great pressure, so as to help them alleviate their health anxiety.”
Kang Le and Zhou Zhenyang said the same thing to me: we are both the creators and consumers of this product, because we are also young people and are experiencing the same life.
Why can’t we live a healthy life in the traditional sense – going to bed early and getting up early, less oil and salt, balanced nutrition and relaxed body and mind? Is it really just because young people are “lazy”?
Human’s desire for life is eternal. We can see it from Qin Shihuang’s perseverance in looking for the elixir of immortality and Taoism’s perseverance in refining pills. As a more reliable way, “health preservation” carries the hope for longevity from generation to generation.
But in the new generation, “give time to life” is no longer the only appeal of young people. What they expect more is “give time to life”. The form of fudge is full of Metaphors:
Since life has been so bitter, can’t I add a little sweetness? If I can’t change my life, what else can I do to make my life look less bad?
Zhou Zian is my friend. She just bought health soft candy in December.
At 11:00 that night, she was still revising the materials of the year-end report, and her tired face was reflected on the computer screen. When she began to worry about the state of the next day, she suddenly remembered that she had seen the introduction of relevant products before, and then placed an order on Taobao without much hesitation.
“I don’t know if I want to burst acne and lose hair late at night, but I can’t help it. I just hope it’s still beautiful the next day after staying up late. Isn’t it difficult to understand?” Zhou Zian said.
(at the request of the interviewer, Wang zhenglei, Jia beiti and Zhou Zian are pseudonyms)
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