After holding meizan, the well-known private Chunhua capital launched another attack on the food circle. This time, it is leading the investment in local plant protein food enterprises.
Just now, the plant protein food enterprise headquartered in Shenzhen announced on Monday that it had completed the round B financing of US $100 million. This round of financing is led by Chunhua capital, followed by Zeng Ming, as well as additional investment by the old shareholders joy capital, Jingwei venture capital, Lightspeed China and Yunjiu capital. At the same time, it also announced on Wednesday that its first production base and self built factory had landed in Xiaogan, Hubei Province.
Xiaoshidai learned from people familiar with the situation today that this is the first time Chunhua capital has invested in the plant meat industry. Wang Yang, founding partner of Chunhua capital, said that the products of Zhou zero are in line with the national development goal of carbon neutrality and “more in line with the taste of China’s population and affordable”. In addition, its localized and younger team has the ability to quickly build brand awareness.
Next, let’s have a look.
Post financing planning
It is understood that this financing is the fifth round of financing completed since its establishment in 2019.
Statistics show that since its establishment, it has cooperated with more than 100 brands across the country through the B2B2C business model on Sunday, including Xi tea, family and Dexter, and its products have been stationed in more than 14000 stores across the country. In June last year, Wu Yanzi, its founder and CEO, once told the snack generation, “at present, Sunday zero is the plant meat brand with the highest sales market share in China.”
Behind this position, high cost performance is one of the reasons to help win many businesses on Sunday zero. For example, Xie Yahui, chief marketing officer of Dexter, once told xiaoshidai that one of the pain points of plant meat products is the high price. In order to provide cost-effective vegetable meat hamburgers, Dexter chose Monday zero as the supplier to save costs in terms of freight and so on.
Referring to the planning after this round of financing, Wu Yanzi said in the release today that on zero, more “plant green food with reasonable price, delicious and healthy” will be continuously launched based on plant protein technology, and a better diet experience will be created for the target consumer group of generation Z.
Specifically, on Saturday, the focus will be on the layout of production and research construction and laboratory equipment investment, and constantly explore the innovation of plant protein technology. In its release, it claimed that R & D is “the largest part of weekly zero investment”. At present, it has cooperated with teams such as Beijing Industrial and Commercial University, Jiangnan University and Wageningen University in the Netherlands on Sunday, and has applied for or is applying for nearly 30 patents.
In addition, the company will continue to strengthen team building and improve channel and brand building. “In terms of team, we will build a first-class team, pay attention to talent development and improve various welfare and salary systems. At the channel and brand level, we will continue to focus on catering b-end business and maintain the leading position in the industry. At the same time, we will develop products according to the needs of C-end users and constantly explore more consumption scenarios.” Said on Monday.
First self built factory
In addition to the financing event, it officially announced its first self built factory on Saturday and today.
It is reported that the product scheme of the factory has covered hundreds of plant protein related products, including plant minced meat, plant sausage, plant meatball, plant meat cake, plant steak, plant ham and so on.
Although the production capacity and other details were not disclosed, Wu Yanzi told the snack generation “spoiler” in October last year that the factory “should be the factory with the most complete coverage and the largest production capacity in China”. At that time, three production lines were planned for the factory on Sunday. The first production line is expected to be officially put into operation before the end of December last year, and the second and third production lines will start trial production and production after the Spring Festival this year.
When talking about the blessing role of the first self built factory today, Zhou zero said that the first is to speed up product iteration. Its self built factory can realize the integration of production, research and marketing through flexible production, continuously and rapidly develop and refine relevant products according to market feedback, and improve product iteration efficiency.
Second, quality management. “From cooperating with the middle and upper reaches food OEM enterprises such as Zhengda and Shengnong to building their own factories, we firmly grasp the production initiative by infiltrating into the manufacturing end on Saturday, so as to further ensure the production quality of products from the source.” The company said.
The third is to reduce manufacturing and operating costs. According to its disclosure, by building its own factory, Zhou zero can more effectively control production costs. “At present, the price of weekly zero cooperative meals can be equivalent to that of real meat meals, and some are even lower.”. In addition, the factory located in Hubei has the geographical advantages of central China and a wider logistics network to ensure the timeliness of transportation.
In fact, with the trend of vegetable meat in the Chinese market, many large enterprises have built their own production lines, hoping to establish a competitive advantage in cost and price, and quickly launch new products to seize the market.
Snack generation introduced that beyond meat, the “first share of plant meat”, opened its plant meat production plant in China last April, which is the first end-to-end plant meat production facility built by other meat customers outside the United States. Ethan brown, its founder and CEO, disclosed that the company will continue to expand its production capacity and build a phase II plant in the same park.
Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, is one of the players who completed the layout earlier. In May 2020, Nestle announced that its first plant-based product production line in Asia was located in Tianjin. Ge Wen, senior vice president of Nestle’s professional catering business in Greater China, once told the snack generation that Nestle’s products have been continuously improved since they were listed in China, becoming more suitable for the tastes of Chinese consumers and various applications of Chinese food.
Recently, green Monday, a plant-based diet group from Hong Kong, China, also revealed that its first plant meat factory in Guangdong is expected to be put into operation at the beginning of this year.
“Two legs” walking
Thanks to the claims that it is more environmentally friendly than traditional animal husbandry processing, plant meat was once regarded as a new outlet for the domestic food industry and set off a financing boom. According to the research data quoted by Xinhuanet, China’s vegetable meat market is expected to reach 100 billion yuan by 2030.
As plant meat is still in the early stage of development in China, enterprises are still exploring a growth path more suitable for the local consumer market. At present, the expansion route of many brands is to start from the b-end of catering to provide consumers with well-made plant meat dishes. Then enter entities or new retail channels such as high-end supermarkets or hypermarkets, and enter online e-commerce platforms to expand accessibility.
Zhou zero also chose a similar direction. In the early stage, it mainly focused on the b-end of catering with plant meat. After accumulating certain brand awareness, it launched its own brand to the C-end, and expanded the category matrix from plant meat products to plant protein foods.
“China’s catering chain is not high, and there are many choices. If we only do the b-end of catering, it is difficult for us to reach the target population accurately and efficiently, and we can only reach consumers in the scene of dining.” Wu Yanzi once said that, therefore, she hopes to create a C-end product matrix that meets different scenarios and needs, so that consumers can have more contact with plant meat, and gradually form and deepen the impression of this category.
As introduced by the snack generation in June last year, the company officially announced the “flower zero sense package”, opened the C-end layout with the quick-frozen package of plant meat, and then listed two snacks “one mouthful of plant shredded meat” and “week zero protein bar”. Previously, the C-end product line of Sunday zero has covered the offline family FamilyMart convenience store, HEMA, Ole, online tmall, jd.com, youzan, official apps of Sunday zero and other channels.
Wu Yanzi once pointed out to xiaoshidai that the R & D team on Sunday zero will create a future C-end product matrix with consumers around plant meat, plant base and plant protein. In addition, the company will continue to cooperate with customers such as b-end catering, retail and food enterprises to continuously iterate existing products.
In the process of “two legs” walking on Sunday, the newly added Chunhua capital is also expected to provide assistance. Statistics show that in the field of consumer retail, the company has rich investment and service experience. The invested enterprises include Yum China, a catering giant that has tested water, plant and meat, as well as Internet giants such as Alibaba and byte jump.
Today, Wang Yang, the founding partner of Chunhua capital, said that Chunhua has a wide layout in the consumer industry, which can help integrate Zhou zero with Chunhua’s invested ecology and form a good linkage.