China Food

How did Yili, a “double Austrian enterprise”, be refined? Let’s talk about product innovation under the Olympic effect

While Beijing, the “double Olympic city”, has attracted the attention of the world, Yili, the “double Olympic enterprise”, has also ushered in another highlight moment.


Xiaoshidai learned that as the only official dairy partner of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and winter Paralympic Games, Yili is providing nutritional protection for Winter Olympic athletes, coaches and officials around the world. At the same time, Yili has also successively listed its full category line and more than 1000 series of Winter Olympics customized clothing products across the country and all sales channels, contributing to the sense of atmosphere and participation of the “National Winter Olympics”.


As we all know, this is not the first time Yili has become associated with the Olympic Games. What is quite touching is that at that time, Yili, who first joined hands with the Olympic Games, was only a dairy enterprise with a revenue of more than 10 billion. Today, Yili, who serves the Olympic Games again, has grown into a Chinese dairy enterprise with “the first in Asia and the top five in the world”.

In fact, in the legendary rise of this Chinese dairy enterprise, the “Olympic effect” has contributed a lot. For example, xiaoshidai learned that the success of holding hands with the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games has greatly promoted Yili, as a “national business card”, to enter a blowout stage of product innovation and development, and many star large items that will stand up as the “backbone” of its huge business in the future have come out one after another.


Today, while cheering for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, we might as well review the “Olympic driving force” behind the popularity of this Chinese dairy giant in those years.


05-08年: 井喷式的颠覆创新


Back on July 13, 2001, when the whole country was immersed in the joy of Beijing’s successful Olympic bid, Yili had the idea of “becoming a partner of the Beijing Olympic Games”.


However, it is not easy for Yili to become an official partner of the Olympic Games after making up its mind. On the one hand, Olympic partners have a very high threshold, and they should have the qualifications that are consistent with the Olympic standards; On the other hand, as the world’s highest level sports event, many top enterprises are competing for a small number of places.


In November 2005, after fierce competition and strict selection, Yili became the dairy sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Together with the world’s top brands such as Coca Cola and Adidas, Yili successfully joined hands with the Beijing Olympic Games to provide high-quality nutritional support for the global Olympic athletes.



Facts have proved that Yili’s bold move is right.


Since then, not only the title of “Olympic milk” of Yili has spread widely and deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, but more importantly, the successful holding of the Olympic Games in 2005 has become the starting point for this Chinese local dairy enterprise to open “blowout subversive product innovation”.


For example, xiaoshidai noticed that in the year following the signing of the Olympic Games (2006), Yili launched the “Jindian” brand that is very familiar to Chinese consumers for the first time. In 2007, Yili officially listed Jindian organic milk, which is also the first organic milk in China. In 2008, Yili launched Olympic Jindian milk, including organic milk, balanced double protein milk and pure milk, which integrates Olympic and national characteristics in packaging design.



Over the past decade, Jindian has developed into one of the most important brands of Yili, and has won many “global firsts” in the organic milk industry, including taking the lead in opening the organic traceability system. In 2018, Jindian organic milk was officially certified by Guinness and won the “world record of organic milk sales”. Up to now, the annual sales revenue of Jindian has reached more than 10 billion yuan.


In 2007, another “subversive innovation” product of Yili was also launched – nutritional Shuhua milk.


This product is the first milk with high hydrolysis rate and low lactose with hydrolysis rate of more than 90%, which effectively solves the worldwide technical problem of lactose intolerance in Asian milk drinking. Statistics show that nearly 80% of the population in Asia is troubled by lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerant people cannot effectively obtain nutrition in milk, and even have adverse reactions such as vomiting and abdominal discharge.



It is understood that Shuhua milk is the first “low lactose milk” in China that can effectively solve the problem of “lactose intolerance” or lack of lactase. It is also the first high hydrolysis rate low lactose milk with hydrolysis rate of more than 90%, realizing the “full absorption” of milk nutrients by drinkers. Shuhua milk not only won the national patent of “lactose hydrolysis”, but also won the “highly recommended Award for best innovative liquid milk products” at the first global dairy conference.


The birth of Shuhua milk also enables Yili to confidently serve as the “milk messenger” of the Olympic village. In a photo taken that year, Heiberg, then chairman of the IOC market development committee, held Shuhua milk, and Pan Gang, chairman and President of Yili Group, seemed to be introducing him. According to media reports that year, Samaranch and Heiberg praised Shuhua milk as “world-class good milk”, which was put on the table of more consumers after the Olympic Games.


In the same year that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was held, the “golden collar crown”, which has now become a well-known infant milk powder brand of Yili, was also officially listed.


This is China’s first self-developed infant milk powder based on Chinese breast milk data. It is reported that in 2003, Yili began to prepare for the independent research project of Chinese breast milk, which opened the exploration road of studying “milk powder more suitable for Chinese baby’s physique”. In 2008, the golden collar crown came out successfully. The name of the brand also comes from the 2008 Olympic Games, which means “representing the quality of Olympic gold medals and letting Chinese babies win at the starting line”.





Interestingly, after the successful closing of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the driving force and influence brought by the “Olympic halo” to Yili are far from over.


“Driving product innovation is indeed one of the greatest effects and influences brought by the Olympic Games to Yili.” The relevant person in charge of Yili said to xiaoshidai today, “did we have the innovation and development of these products because of the Olympic Games? No. but an effect brought by the Olympic Games has really radiated to all aspects of enterprise operation and innovation. In fact, it is pushing enterprises forward.”


“Because the Olympics represents the high standard of the world level, and the Olympic spirit represents the pursuit of excellence, the so-called higher, faster and stronger. Then Yili, as the official partner of the Olympic Games, has received this recognition and blessing, which represents the ‘Olympic standard’ and ‘Olympic quality’. We need to be a leader and lead the whole industry forward.” The person in charge said.


It can be seen that in addition to greatly improving the popularity and consumer trust of Yili’s products, the halo effect brought by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games also continues to play a great role in Yili’s “cultivating internal skills and accelerating development”.


Xiaoshidai noticed that in 2009, the year after the Olympic Games, another star brand of Yili “Changqing” appeared in public view for the first time. A clinical research report on probiotic yogurt was officially released by Shanghai Nutrition Society and China Society of food science and technology. The clinical research results show that Yili “Changqing” probiotic yogurt with compound A + BB probiotics has a unique dual effect of “achieving patency and promoting absorption”.


Yili’s concept of “low-temperature light fermentation” has been launched in 2018, and Yili’s new brand of “low-temperature light fermentation” has been kept on the market in 2018; In 2019, it will release the spoon type yogurt of fiber cheese dairy products, and increase the market of light body functional yogurt; In 2020, the new “light after meal” series was launched, which contains professional probiotic double strains + dietary fiber.


In July 2021, in order to meet the healthy diet trend of reducing sugar, Yili Changqing recently launched Changqing 0 sucrose yogurt.

At the end of 2021, Yili Changqing added a new series of “protein time” yoghurt, focusing on “high protein”, aiming at young white-collar workers aged 25-30, especially women and fitness people who pay more attention to body management. Up to now, Changqing has remained in the first camp of low-temperature yogurt and ranked first in the brand power of the industry for six consecutive years.


In addition to leading the category of low-temperature yoghurt, Yili also made efforts in the field of normal temperature yoghurt at the end of 2013 and launched amushi Greek yoghurt.


Interestingly, it also has a “turning connection” with the Olympic Games – Greek yogurt originated in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, and is popular all over the world because of its mellow and delicious taste and rich protein nutrition. In 2016, just before and after the Rio Olympic Games, Yili exclusively named the popular variety “Running Man 4” under the banner of “good Olympic yogurt, thick anmushi”.


Up to now, amuxi has covered a variety of products, including cheese Bobo taste, amx sugar free series and 5g spoon yogurt launched last year, ranking first in the domestic market share of this category, with annual sales of more than 20 billion yuan. It is a well deserved “rising star” in Yili brand matrix.




Time comes to 2017.


After Beijing’s successful bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, Yili officially became the only official dairy partner of Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics and winter Paralympic Games on August 30, 2017. So far, Yili has become the only “double Olympic” enterprise in China that serves the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics at the same time.


After passing the test of “Olympic standards” in 2005, Yili has experienced the baptism of large-scale events such as London Olympic Games, Sochi Winter Olympic Games and Rio Olympic Games, supporting Chinese athletes to continuously create good results. This year, as the only official dairy product partner of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and winter Paralympic Games, Yili, who once again serves the international event of the Olympic Games, has the calm and self-confidence of being the host of a large dairy enterprise: “we will do our part to serve the Winter Olympic Games!”



Since the “official announcement” in 2017, the product innovation of this Chinese dairy giant in recent years is still commendable.


Xiaoshidai noticed that at the end of the same year, Yili launched its first medium and high-end vegetable milk brand “Zhixuan” which lasted three years. In March 2020, Zhixuan launched its main new vegetable milk products without sucrose and 6.0g/100ml high protein.


“Just because we have plant selection, Yili can also serve the strict vegetarians among the athletes of the Winter Olympics. They can choose to drink our plant milk, which is also a very important point in the Olympic Games.” The person in charge of Yili told xiaoshidai today.



With the Winter Olympics approaching, Yili’s brands have launched customized Winter Olympics products.


For example, Bing dwen dwen introduced the ice cream adorable ice cream “very Panda” in 2020. It developed the interesting experience of the Olympic mascot, “ice pier pier”. The cake is panda shape, and it is a product with its own Winter Olympic gene. Besides Bing dwen dwen, the new Shuey Rhon Rhon stick has been introduced to the children’s Olympic Games.

Bing dwen dwen understands the sales of Bing dwen dwen, because the ice pier pier has been rising rapidly and “one pier is hard to find”, which has led to the sales of products packed under the ice pier of Yili, and they are all sold out.

Behind these “visible” product innovations is the huge “invisible” investment of Yili in the supply chain and R & D.


“In the process of growing up with the Olympic Games, Yili has created three guarantees for global brands – strong consumer orientation, extreme product sensory experience and strict quality monitoring.” The relevant person in charge of Yili pointed out to xiaoshidai today that, for example, as early as 2016, Yili built a big data radar platform with an effective data level of more than 90% of the whole network to analyze consumer needs by using big data technology.


At the end of product research and development, Yili has focused on building a “sensory evaluation center laboratory”, using advanced research technologies such as EEG and eye movement to capture consumers’ sensory experience feedback, and has established a professional sensory research team called “product appraiser” to carefully describe and evaluate the sensory performance of products from multiple dimensions such as appearance, smell, taste and taste, Accurately position the direction of product optimization and innovation.


An impressive figure is that as of early December 2021, Yili ranked second among the top ten dairy enterprises in the world in 2021 in terms of the total number of patent applications and invention applications in the world.


In terms of quality monitoring, in recent years, Yili has fully implemented the “quality leading strategy”, implemented the strict standard that “the enterprise standard is 50% higher than the national standard and the actual internal control standard is 20% higher than the enterprise standard”, and extended the quality management to all partners in the global industrial chain to create healthy food that meets the Olympic standards.



With the growth of the Olympic cause in China, Yili’s business territory is also growing. After entering the “top five global dairy industry” in 2020, Yili put forward the medium and long-term strategic goal of “advancing to the top three of the global dairy industry in 2025 and the top one in the world in 2030”. According to the latest financial report, Yili achieved a total operating revenue of 85.007 billion yuan in the first three quarters of 2021, a year-on-year increase of 15.23%; The net profit was 7.967 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 31.82%, exceeding market expectations.


Yili said that in the future, it will continue to apply the Olympic standards to all aspects of product quality control, constantly enrich the product layout and quality trust, and simultaneously provide high-quality products serving global Winter Olympic athletes to hundreds of millions of ordinary Chinese consumers, so as to help the national nutrition and health cause and China’s ice and snow cause to a new level.

Pay attention to “xiaoshidai” (wechat: foodinc) “and reply to” Yili “to see the wonderful news.

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