China Food

300 million rabbits are eaten a year. Will rabbit meat explode in 2022?

eating rabbit meat also has a long history in China, and Sichuan is a famous “rabbit eating Holy Land”. Does rabbit have the opportunity to become the next hot single product?

Wen: Lu Chen; Editor: Fan Ning

Source: food brand observation (ID: foodily)

“Rabbit is so cute. Why eat rabbit?” In the face of this torture that directly attacks the soul, Sichuan people will mercilessly break through their fantasies: of course, it’s because it’s delicious!
It’s no secret that Sichuan people like to eat rabbits, but actually eating rabbits is not their patent. Rabbit meat has long been included in the “delicious list” by our ancestors because of its nutrition and easy availability.
It is reported that the earliest time that Chinese people ate rabbits can be traced back to the Yin and Shang Dynasties. At that time, rabbits were a rare “game”. Now, like chickens, ducks, fish, pigs and cattle, they are ordinary meat. In 2019, African swine fever was rampant in China. As an alternative meat product, the sales of rabbit meat increased significantly.
In recent years, many people have also focused on the rabbit meat business. Some people do theme restaurants, and others open up the upstream and downstream of the industry and retail the rabbit meat like a duck neck. But more people believe that eating rabbits is too small to go out of Sichuan and become a national explosive.
Is that true? The observer thinks it’s not necessary to be so absolute.
Don’t forget, at first, bullfrog was just a taste dish at the night snack stall in Changsha, and crayfish was just a 13 spice crayfish belonging to Xuyi, Jiangsu Province. Consumers used to “love and ignore” these foods, but now bullfrog restaurants and crayfish restaurants are blooming all over the country, which once became popular products that consumers “can’t afford to climb up”. Who says rabbit meat is impossible?
Consumer side:
There are more than 6500 rabbit restaurants in Sichuan and Chongqing
Whether rabbit meat has the potential to become a popular product, let’s start from the consumer side.
Rabbit meat is smooth and chewy, and is high in protein, low in fat and low in cholesterol. It is known as “the element in meat”. At present, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guangdong, Fujian and other regions are the main rabbit meat consumption areas, with traditional rabbit meat consumption habits. In recent years, rabbit meat consumption in northern cities such as Beijing and Inner Mongolia is also increasing rapidly.
But at this stage, eating rabbits still depends on Sichuan and Chongqing. Sichuan people’s love for eating rabbits has always confused people from other provinces, but they are not afraid, because there are too many fancy ways to eat rabbits.
△ spicy rabbit head, food brand observation number photo.
1) There are nearly 300 million rabbits a year. Only Sichuan cuisine can conquer rabbit meat
In Sichuan and Chongqing, rabbit eating has formed a set of distinctive culture, especially Sichuan people. They are famous “rabbit eating experts” and boast that “no rabbit can go out of Sichuan alive”.
According to the statistics of rabbit branch of China Animal Husbandry Association, nearly 300 million rabbits were sold in Sichuan in 2016, accounting for nearly 70% of the national market. People from other provinces were stunned at this figure! Isn’t it terrible to eat so many rabbits?
The people of Sichuan are not satisfied, “Sichuan has a permanent population of more than 80 million, and 300 million rabbits. On average, a person eats 3.65 rabbits a year. Where is more?” Therefore, they have to transport 30 million meat rabbits from other provinces into Sichuan every year, which can satisfy their appetite.
Generally speaking, Sichuan is not the only province that produces rabbit meat in China, and Shandong, Jiangsu and Henan are also major rabbit provinces. But why is it that only Sichuan people eat rabbits so fiercely?
This is related to the characteristics of rabbit meat. Although rabbit meat has high nutritional value, it has one disadvantage – “light, oil-free and lack of flavor”.
What do you mean? It means that rabbit meat is tight, lack of fat, stir fry too much meat firewood, braised without oil and water, and the soup is not delicious. It’s not easy to find a suitable way to eat. Shandong cuisine and Huaiyang cuisine are difficult to make rabbit meat delicious. Only the Sichuan cuisine with heavy oil and easy to use spices can cover up the faint and straw smell of rabbit meat and make spicy and palatable rabbit meat.
For this reason, most Sichuan cooks are good at making rabbit meat. Whether it’s fried, stewed, roasted, cold mixed, hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot or dry pot, they can make rabbits from head to foot to internal organs with different methods.
How many ways does a little rabbit eat? For Sichuan people, “there are many ways to eat rabbits as many parts as there are.”—— On this point, there are also many “eat rabbit oil poems” on the Internet to testify: “spicy rabbit waist eat tender gas, burst pulp fresh and tender, test the craft. Stir fried rabbit belly eat crisp and strong, and the heat is excellent and advanced. Tear and roast rabbit as snacks, and hate strangers in previous lives…”
In short, Sichuan diners have almost reached the extreme in exploring the possibility of rabbit cooking.
Moreover, they are also divided into factions. Zigong people are good at making cold eating rabbits, dry pot rabbits and ginger silk rabbits. Luzhou has diving rabbits that are also hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot and dry pot. Nanchong’s hand torn roast rabbits are unique. Guanghan has silk wrapped rabbits, Ya’an has attractive spicy rabbit legs, and Chengdu people especially love spicy and delicious rabbit heads that suck their fingers and marrow.
2) There are more than 5000 restaurants with rabbit meat, but there are few brands
With the consumption base of rabbit meat loved by the whole people, Sichuan and Chongqing have naturally derived the most dense rabbit meat restaurants in China.
According to the statistics of red meal brand research institute, there are nearly 5000 restaurants with rabbit meat as the theme or containing rabbit meat in Chengdu and thousands in Chongqing. However, most of these restaurants are scattered on the street and are good at taste. There are only a few chain brands specializing in rabbit meat, and the scale is not large.
The most famous rabbit brand in Sichuan is “Shuangliu laoma rabbit head”, which was founded in the early 1990s and has a history of more than 30 years. The internal staff of laoma rabbit head told the observer that the number of real Shuangliu laoma rabbit head stores is small, with only four stores. One head office is located in Chengdu and the other three branches are located in Beijing.
It is said that the reason why there is rabbit head is a mother named Shi Jiaru. Because her son likes rabbit head, she makes it for her son. Over time, the delicious food has spread and become a popular food in Chengdu.
Nowadays, although Shuangliu laoma rabbit heads can be seen everywhere in the streets of Chengdu, it is understood that other “Shuangliu laoma rabbit heads” are actually fake under the name of Shanzhai.
The official account of WeChat is the official of Shuangliu rabbit.
There is a rabbit store that has been established in the country for many years, with a total consumption of 200000 rabbits; Hi Island rabbit, the main player who tore and roasted rabbits, has a snack line and a Hall Food + food retail mode, with more than 40 stores across the country; A brand called rabbit into the Jianghu cuts into the blank of rabbit themed restaurant in the market, creates restaurant environment and designs dishes from the perspective of young people, and is currently expanding stores all over the country. In Chongqing, there is a brand of “Laolaifu sour soup rabbit”. Relying on a sour soup rabbit, it has established a reputation for 20 years and rushed to the list of must eat in Chongqing in 2020. It can be seen that it is very popular.
In other cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, rabbit restaurants are searched through public comments. The result is that there are many more rabbit pet stores than rabbit restaurants in most cities. It can be seen that eating rabbits has not been popularized outside Sichuan and Chongqing.
The official account of WeChat is the official of Shuangliu rabbit.
However, you also found that in cities outside Sichuan and Chongqing, rabbit meat mostly appears in Sichuan restaurants in the form of main dishes, and outsiders basically taste rabbit meat through these Sichuan restaurants. Sichuan cuisine with spicy taste has already covered the whole country and occupied a large catering market share. Rabbit meat is a characteristic dish of Sichuan cuisine, which is also a great advantage to promote it.
In terms of food retail, rabbit meat has the same industrial value as Zhouhei duck and Jue Wei food, but the market space needs to be further developed.
Red meal network has interviewed a Xingji in Chongqing. They have entered rabbit breeding and rabbit retail industry from the catering industry. They have created rabbit food brands such as “Dudu rabbit”, “ELA rabbit” and “rabbit excellent”, which are sold through supermarkets, stores, catering and other channels. In addition, Leshan’s “Hago” rabbit, Zigong’s “cold eating rabbit” and other rabbit food brands also performed well in the market.
Generally speaking, there is no phenomenal brand of rabbit meat category. There is a huge market in Sichuan and Chongqing, and the consumption proportion of rabbit meat in other provinces is also increasing, but it is still limited to the characteristic Cuisine of Sichuan and Chongqing, which has not been popularized outside Sichuan and Chongqing. Whether a food material has the potential to become an explosive depends not only on the consumption habits and needs of the consumer, but also on the maturity of the supply chain.
supply end:
Domestic rabbit meat is produced and sold by itself, and the supply is stable
A very important reason why Sichuan people can eat rabbit meat crazily is that Sichuan is a big province of rabbit breeding, and rabbit meat is easy to get.
The regional concentration of rabbit industry in China is very high. Sichuan, Shandong, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Henan and other provinces are the main rabbit selling provinces, among which the rabbit industry in Sichuan lags behind that in other provinces.
According to the data of China animal husbandry and veterinary Yearbook 2018, the slaughter volume of rabbits in Sichuan Province accounts for 51.24% of the national slaughter volume, accounting for half of the country. Followed by the second Shandong, accounting for only 10.65%.
Sichuan has become a big province for raising rabbits. First, there are many mountains and hills, and the temperature is suitable. It is suitable for rabbits to grow. Second, because of the early stimulation of foreign trade export demand and government guidance.
In fact, before the 1980s, the production level of commercial meat rabbits in Sichuan was far lower than that in Jiangsu, Hebei, Tianjin and other provinces, ranking about the tenth in the country. Later, under the guidance of the government, excellent meat rabbit varieties were introduced from abroad, and the rabbit breeding technology was improved. At the same time, stimulated by the increasing demand for rabbit skin foreign trade, the scale of rabbit breeding continues to expand.
In the 1990s, Sichuan became the largest rabbit breeding Province in China, with the number of rabbits exceeding 20 million.
However, it was also at this time that the rabbit industry in Sichuan suffered a Waterloo – when the number of rabbits reached the peak, the international rabbit skin market was weak and the foreign trade was unsalable, so the local people had to change the export to domestic sales. But how to solve so many rabbits?
Eat! Don’t forget, Sichuan people are all delicious. It was from this time on that all kinds of rabbit meat dishes were developed, and the wind of eating rabbits became popular in the local area.
Sichuan people have benefited from the unique natural conditions and historical development factors. If people all over the country love to eat rabbits, will there be enough rabbits to eat? The observer thinks that the demand is growing slowly, and the supply can basically keep up.
Rabbits themselves are animals that reproduce very fast and have advantages in breeding:
  • Growth consumes less food, and unlike chickens, ducks, pigs, cattle and other zoonosis, it is relatively healthy.
  • It has fast growth speed and strong reproductive ability. It breeds 4-6 times a year, and the amount of reproduction each time is about 5.
  • The speed of slaughter is fast. Meat rabbits eat feed for about 70-90 days, and eat forage relatively late.
According to statistics, in 2019, the consumption of rabbit meat in China was about 880000 tons, with a year-on-year increase of about 12%, the average price was about 33.06 yuan / kg, and the market scale of domestic rabbit meat industry was 29.099 billion yuan.
From the perspective of breeding structure, the domestic rabbit breeding structure is changing to the pattern of “strengthening meat rabbit and weakening Rex Rabbit and hairy rabbit” (the latter two mainly produce fur), and the breeding proportion and meat output of meat rabbit are increasing. Corresponding to the export volume data, since 2014, the export of rabbit meat has shown an obvious downward trend year by year.
It can also be inferred that the domestic consumption demand for rabbit meat is increasing, and more and more people and per capita consume rabbit meat.
With the development of domestic economy and technology, in recent years, China’s rabbit breeding industry is gradually moving from the original family breeding to scientific, standardized and large-scale breeding.
More and more leading rabbit breeding enterprises directly introduce excellent rabbit breeds and breeding technology from abroad to improve the reproductive capacity and quality of domestic rabbit breeds. At the same time, many local governments regard rabbit breeding as a poverty alleviation project and vigorously support people’s large-scale breeding. Standardized, scientific and mature breeding will not only promote the upgrading of the whole industry, but also make the cultured rabbits healthier.
How can rabbits go out of Sichuan and become a popular food?
If we want to let “eat rabbit” out of Sichuan and Chongqing, how can we make the public try and accept eating rabbit meat?
In most people’s cognition, rabbits are not used to eat, but to pet and play. To make “rabbit eating” accepted by the public, the first thing to change is this consumer cognition, which is the most critical and difficult.
This problem needs to make great efforts in market education, brand building and marketing promotion. Mr. Guan believes that we can learn from the successful experience of other categories, such as bullfrog and crayfish. The popularity path of these categories has been very clear. Summarizing the key elements may be helpful to promote “eating rabbits”.
1) Focus on the taste needs of young people and transform and package dishes
There are dozens of ways to eat rabbit meat in Sichuan cuisine. There are corresponding eating methods from rabbit head to rabbit leg to viscera, but most of these eating methods and dishes are not packaged, which is slightly rough and primitive. These rabbit dishes can be combined with allusions and background, packaged in the form of stories and conveyed to consumers.
△ ginger shredded rabbit diced, food and beverage brand observation number photo.
We can also combine the tastes and consumption habits of young people to develop more dishes. If rabbit enters the Jianghu, the brand matches rabbit meat with other popular dishes such as turtle and bullfrog to form a new explosive product, and takes a good name for these dishes: turtle and rabbit are called turtle and rabbit race together, bullfrog and rabbit are called beautiful frog falling in love with rabbit together, etc.
Let eating rabbits become an interesting thing, which is more conducive to dispel the public’s dissatisfaction with eating rabbits and improve acceptance.
2) Make marketing selling points and make great efforts in publicity
The rise of a category is inseparable from marketing publicity. Only with a degree of topic can we arouse the curiosity of the masses and lure them to try. Rabbit meat can trigger a lot of words. “Rabbit is so cute, how can you eat rabbit” can become a golden sentence stem, ridiculing Sichuan people for so many years.
In terms of eating methods, the methods and eating methods of hand tearing rabbit, diving rabbit and silk wrapped rabbit are very interesting, which is in line with the mentality of young people who want to eat and have fun. Of course, the most special way to eat is rabbit head. Most people from other provinces have a terrible first impression of rabbit head, but as long as they are persuaded to try it once, the probability is “Zhenxiang” scene. The comparative difference between before and after this consumption behavior is a good publicity selling point.
In terms of culture, there are many allusions and images about rabbits in both local customs and Chinese culture. These regional and cultural backgrounds can be used as a treasure house for the creation of the whole category and brand.
It’s the dull content that attracts young people’s attention, but it’s not the dull content that attracts them. Therefore, in terms of how to market, it is not bad for materials, but whether we can play a lot of new ideas, create a lot of topics and attract many people depends on the brand skills.
In addition, from the nutritional value of rabbit meat itself, it is also a topic.
Rabbit meat has low fat content, low cholesterol content and carbohydrate content of less than 0.1%, which is equivalent to 1 / 4 of the carbohydrate content of chicken, and the fat and cholesterol content is only 1 / 2 of beef. However, rabbit meat is rich in vitamins and protein, which is better than pig, cattle, sheep and chicken in terms of nutritional value. This generation of young consumers pay more and more attention to the nutritional value of food, so the health of rabbit meat will also be a good selling point.
3) People who dare to “eat crabs” are needed to build a benchmark for rabbit brands
The role of head brand is also very important for the development of categories. A bold brand can open up the way for the category and lead the development of the whole category.
Take bullfrog as an example. At first, it was a famous dish in Changsha night market. Bullfrog is also eaten in other places, but it is not so broad-spectrum. Luo Qing’s brother and sister took bullfrogs out of Hunan cuisine, focused and polished them, and created the brand of “Rana laida”. Only then did they promote the category of bullfrogs to the whole country and become a very popular dish today.
Up to now, some people still taboo eating bullfrogs, but people who love to eat have also become diehard fans. So many times, people’s psychological defense against food depends on the outside world. They must have a phenomenal brand and send the delicious rabbit meat to consumers. Only then can they have the possibility to try and further fall in love with and become loyal fans.
Such a brand also needs a bold leader who can resist the depression of exploring the road in the early stage and the cold silence of market education. Only when the categories penetrate into the level of mass consumption can there be an appropriate opportunity to rise in the wind. This will test the patience and insight of brand leaders.
Just like frog laida was founded in 2010, it didn’t start to catch fire until it entered the shopping center in 2015. In addition to honing the internal skills of the enterprise, it was also waiting for the opportunity to wait for the wind.
4) The government supports leading enterprises and promotes rabbit food
From the relevant reports of rabbit industry, it can be found that in recent years, the government’s guidance and support for rabbit industry have basically focused on the upstream breeding field, which has improved the scientific and large-scale level of rabbit breeding, but there is less support for deep processing and sales of rabbit meat.
If the local government can support leading enterprises, establish the brand of rabbit meat and products, and develop small packaging, tourism and other convenient foods to adapt to modern consumption habits, local official media will promote it, which will greatly popularize market education.
Think about the popularity of crayfish. In fact, it began after the official media refuted the rumor that “crayfish is a pest”. Consumers dispelled their doubts and began to eat shrimp at ease. In recent years, the governments of Hubei and Jiangsu have listed crayfish as key agricultural products, promoted the breeding of crayfish, created a “crayfish Festival”, established a crayfish college, specially trained chefs for cooking crayfish, and so on. A series of measures have promoted the sound development of the whole industry.
Nowadays, crayfish has almost become the representative cuisine of Hubei Province. When young people talk about Hubei cuisine, the first thing they think of may not be Chu cuisine or hot and dry noodles, but the delicious crayfish.
Back to rabbit meat, if the Sichuan government intends, it should be able to follow suit. Sichuan is a major tourism province and Chengdu is also a gourmet capital. In 2020 National Day golden week alone, it received more than 23 million tourists, most of whom are foreign tourists. If rabbit meat can be created as a characteristic gourmet product, promoted to the outside world and exported outside the province, the market space can undoubtedly be expanded a lot.
However, there are too many “treasures” in Sichuan, and hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot, string and other hot food categories occupy the main position, so it is a pity to have no time to take into account rabbit meat.
Spicy flavor is popular in China. hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">Hot pot, string, pickled vegetables, fish and other single products have been separated from Sichuan cuisine, and have achieved good market response. Sichuan style rabbit meat is also spicy, with good taste and enough practices. Although it is relatively “small”, it has a wide range of topics and is attractive.
However, at present, Chinese people have insufficient awareness of rabbit meat consumption, which leads to the limited development of rabbit meat. To expand the market of rabbit meat catering, we need to promote it in the early stage, and we need to do enough market education to make consumers accept and love rabbit meat. This requires not only time and opportunities, but also more enterprising market developers.
reference material:
[1] Why hasn’t rabbit meat become the staple food of human beings in most areas| Know
[2] Current situation and trend analysis of rabbit breeding and supply in China in 2019
[3] Why choose rabbit’s head
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