China Food

Nestle! The giant stands behind more and more new products of “small and beautiful” start-ups


Snack food noticed that in January this year, the brand of tiktok, a local food startups based in Hangzhou, “solved you” officially launched a new brand of “Yin You” series in Jingdong, jitter and MSY, which is WeChat store. Interestingly, xiaoshidai learned that the new product was developed by Nestle China R & D accelerator – although they don’t have any Nestle mark from the appearance of the product.

Nestle and mansyuan jointly put forward jieyoujing extract series

This is the second cooperation between the two sides after the launch of the first cooperative new product in 2021. It is also the latest example of new product cooperation between Nestle and local start-ups under the new model.

“Since its landing in the Chinese market in October 2020, Nestle China R & D has promoted a total of four projects, including two Jieyou product projects in cooperation with mansyuan and two accelerator projects still in internal promotion, which will be listed in the near future.” Today, Lennart fries (fan Lidong), head of Nestle China R & D accelerator, revealed in response to the inquiry of snack generation.

Let’s pay attention.

Lennart fries (fan Lidong), head of Nestle China R & D accelerator

Market segments

A very special point is that, unlike big beverage manufacturers who shout to catch young people every day, this time, Nestle decided to find another way – it focuses on the market segments for the middle-aged and elderly people that are not too “mainstream” in the current research and development of new beverage products.

“Jieyou jingcui drink has three flavors: Hawthorn flavor, walnut flavor and pineapple flavor. Jingcui drink series is mainly for middle-aged and elderly people. It is a milk beverage with Low Sugar formula.” Fan Lidong told xiaoshidai that the new series is based on fermented yogurt and adds some traditional characteristic ingredients and nutrients loved by Chinese consumers, such as hawthorn, collagen and walnut.

From formula to claim, it is not difficult to see the positioning of the new series for the middle-aged and elderly. For example, xiaoshidai noticed that Hawthorn flavor jingcui drink added phytosterol esters, which are said to be “ingredients beneficial to cardiovascular health”, and its Jingdong introduction page also has product publicity descriptions such as “leisure time, younger mentality”.

Fan Lidong told the snack generation that Nestle is responsible for the product development of jieyoujing extract drink series, while mansyuan is responsible for the listing, sales and marketing.

Xiaoshidai learned that jingcui drink had been on trial sale for several months on multiple online platforms before it was officially launched recently. “In the early sales stage, new products have been recognized by channel partners.” Fan Lidong said.

So, what is the origin of mansyuan holding Nestle?

This is a very young local food company. According to the public information consulted by snack generation, Hangzhou mansyuan food technology was established in August 2020 with a registered capital of about RMB 1.06 million and is positioned as a “professional functional health food solution provider”. The company’s main brand is “release U”. Its e-commerce flagship store describes it as “a cutting-edge brand of functional food incubated by Nestle”.

According to the industrial and commercial data, mansyuan’s business scope includes general projects: technical services, technology development, technical consultation, technical exchange, technology transfer and technology promotion; Tea set sales; Engineering and technical research and test development; Retail of edible agricultural products; Sales of daily necessities; Manufacturing of Arts and crafts and ceremonial articles (except ivory and its products); Digital content production services (excluding publishing and distribution); Sales of food additives. Licensed items: food business; Import and export of goods; Technology import and export; Food import and export.

According to the food business license obtained by mansyuan, the license includes the sales of prepackaged food (excluding refrigerated and frozen food), bulk food (excluding refrigerated and frozen food) and health food.


In fact, this is not the first product launched by Nestle China R & D accelerator.

Snack generation introduced that as early as April 2019, Nestle group announced the establishment of Nestle R & D accelerator in Lausanne, Switzerland, to promote innovation and accelerate the speed of product listing. It is worth noting that this accelerator adopts the increasingly popular “open innovation” model in recent years, because in addition to Nestle scientists, students and start-ups join.

Nestle said in a circular that internal, external or mixed teams can use the non fixed office space in the accelerator within a specified period of time, and can use Nestle’s R & D expertise and infrastructure, including shared laboratories, kitchens, laboratories and pilot production equipment.

“Nestle R & D accelerator and its close combination with our R & D and business teams will enable us to raise open innovation to a new level.” Stefan palzer, Nestle’s global chief technology officer, said at that time that this was a “unique method” that could combine Nestle’s internal expertise, the knowledge of academic and industry partners and the creativity of external entrepreneurs.

Then, in October 2020, Nestle R & D accelerator officially landed in China.

The food giant first focused on the field of “intestinal health” and will cooperate with mansyuan to launch the first new accelerator product: Jieyou probiotic solid beverage in early 2021. It is reported that the product is a powder solid beverage composed of probiotics and prebiotics. The main source of prebiotics (dietary fiber) is snow lotus fruit, which is rich in oligofructose and other nutrients.

“Nestle’s R & D team and the team from the marketing department have given strong support in product development, powder property commissioning, product quality control, laws and regulations and product identification, large-scale production solutions and raw material procurement.” Nestle said.

When talking about the characteristics of the new products, fan Lidong said to xiaoshidai today that the main thing to understand your series of probiotics is high activity and effectiveness. “High activity is not only reflected in the number of live bacteria when leaving the factory, but also includes the number of live bacteria that reach the intestine after probiotics with special embedding technology pass through the digestive system.” “Recently, highly active probiotics have just completed iteration,” he said

“Since its launch, our highly active probiotics have performed well in tmall, and other private channels, and gradually established consumer awareness.” Fan Lidong said that tiktok series can be purchased online (WeChat stores, Jingdong and jockey) and offline (convenience stores) distribution channels.

Interestingly, it forms a complementary positioning with jingcui drink, and the new series of probiotic solid drinks is mainly for young consumers. According to its product page description, this is “a new way for young people to keep healthy in their intestines”. More specifically, it is especially aimed at segmenting young people such as “stay up party” and “takeout food party”.

Potential track

Therefore, from the perspective of listed projects, Nestle China R & D accelerator seems to be inclined to seek opportunities for more subdivided potential tracks.

The snack generation introduced that grasping the minority needs of giants who “have no time to take care of” or “despise”, which was the logic of the rise of many “small and beautiful” brands in recent years, and had an impact on giants in the process of growing stronger and stronger. But interestingly, now, the relationship between the two sides seems to be moving from competition to cooperation.

In order to open up ideas and speed up innovation, more and more large food companies begin to favor diversified innovation models, including leveraging the “good ideas” of start-ups and entrepreneurial teams through “open innovation”. Large food companies with similar practices include Coca Cola, Danone, general mills, Campbell’s soup, Kellogg’s, etc.

So, how does Nestle find “small partners” for cooperation?

So far, Nestle China R & D accelerator has launched two new products in cooperation with mansyuan. When talking about the story behind the marriage, fan Lidong told xiaoshidai that as one of the main topics of Nestle’s global R & D, intestinal health has a high priority. “Through a series of screening on this topic, we finally chose mansyuan because of its unique target population and market positioning.” He said.

This further confirms the “task focus” of the accelerator at this stage, which is an opportunity to “team up” with start-ups to explore unique people and needs.

In addition, xiaoshidai learned that at present, the cooperation between Nestle China R & D accelerator and start-ups is based on the project level, and there is no cooperation at the capital level (for example, establishing joint ventures, holding startups, etc.).

At the same time, fan Lidong also stressed to xiaoshidai today that the goal of Nestle R & D accelerator is to “gather internal expertise and the strength of external start-ups” and accelerate the development of innovative products and systems. “China’s ecosystem is a very complex and dynamic R & D accelerator close to the market, which aims to quickly transform innovative ideas and concepts into tangible models and products that can meet the needs of consumers.” He said.

Judging from the speed of product innovation, this “accelerator” really deserves its name.

Fan Lidong said that Nestle’s R & D accelerator is led by Nestle’s R & D. through a six-month innovation journey, Nestle employees, interns, students in school and external start-ups realize the market test from laboratory proofing to MVP (minimum viable product).

Xiaoshidai learned from Nestle that from product concept to market trial sale, Jieyou jingcui drink series took 6 months, while Jieyou probiotic solid drink only took 4 months.

“In this way, Nestle R & D accelerator creates an entrepreneurial culture and atmosphere, provides opportunities for internal and external innovative talents to learn and improve, and realizes a win-win situation.” Fan Lidong said, “at present, our accelerator project is mainly managed by Nestle employees. In the long run, we certainly welcome like-minded external partners.”

When asked about the 2022 plan, fan Lidong told the snack generation spoilers that Nestle China R & D accelerator plans to launch another innovative product for intestinal health this year, which will also be updated and iterated based on existing products. “Innovation has always been the core driving force for Nestle’s development. We believe that the theme of intestinal health is not only in line with Nestle’s global strategic objectives, but also meet the needs of local consumers in China.” He said.

Pay attention to “snack generation” (wechat: foodinc) “and reply to” Nestle “to see wonderful news.

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