milk circle is now a “dark horse”. How far can Xinjiang milk run this time?
“That’s it. I’ve never drunk milk better than this.”
This is a note of “planting grass” a certain Xinjiang milk that ye Rong casually sent in Xiaohong book last September. To her surprise, the notes soon caught fire. Ye Rong’s little red book has only more than 400 fans, but this note has received 8900 + praise and 4600 + collection. Up to now, interaction from netizens can often be seen in the comment area.
Since last year, Xinjiang milk has become significantly more popular on social platforms such as xiaohongshu with young users as the main body.
As ordinary consumers, the changes we can perceive are: there are more and more Xinjiang milk evaluation, grass planting and other contents on social platforms. In these posts and videos, Xinjiang milk is known as the “ceiling of milk industry” and has become the “light of domestic milk”. Various compliments such as “mellow milk flavor”, “sweet entrance” and “silky” have been mentioned repeatedly.
Hot words in notes related to “Xinjiang milk” source: number of Yien stars
Driven by this trend, many people also said that they were “planted grass” and began to take the initiative to buy Xinjiang dairy products online. In this way, through the e-commerce logistics network all over the country, Xinjiang milk is continuously sold to other parts of the country, which has become the “good heart” of more and more young people.
According to Xinjiang Daily, Xinjiang milk has been exported to other parts of China in the past three years, with an average annual growth rate of more than 30%. According to the data provided by tmall supermarket, in the first three quarters of 2021, the sales volume of Xinjiang milk in tmall supermarket increased by nearly 200% year-on-year, of which 90% were bought by young people “after 90 and 95”.
The popularity of Xinjiang milk is seen by many as the story of the discovery of “a dusty pearl” and a beautiful talk of consumers’ spontaneous pursuit of simple domestic products. However, the popularity logic of Xinjiang milk can be found that this is actually the result of the joint action of “favorable weather, geographical conditions and people”. It is a typical local industrial development of regional products collectively out of the circle under the new channel and marketing environment.
Since 2021, many head anchors, including Li Jiaqi, have opened a special public welfare live broadcast in Xinjiang. Many Xinjiang milk brands such as maixier, Tianrun, xiyuchun and Huayuan have been gradually known by consumers outside Xinjiang through the live broadcast room.
Followed by the upsurge of Xinjiang milk evaluation on social platforms. According to the data of the number of Yien stars, the number of notes with “Xinjiang milk” as the keyword on xiaohongshu platform is at an obvious high level in the last three quarters of 2021. Although the trend has decreased by 2022, it is also higher than the general situation before March 2021.
Trend analysis of keywords “Xinjiang milk” on xiaohongshu platform
The data also shows that among the more than 2500 Xinjiang milk related notes counted since September 2020, non-commercial notes, that is, users’ spontaneous notes account for 99.84%, and only 4 notes marked as commercial notes by the platform, accounting for 0.16%. However, this does not mean that the Xinjiang milk evaluation notes we see are spontaneously shared by users. There must be promotion cooperation not reached through the official platform of xiaohongshu, which is usually not counted by the data analysis platform. However, it is certain that most people’s evaluation and grass planting of Xinjiang milk is a spontaneous behavior, which is a supportive action taken by consumers on their own initiative.
On the other hand, there is still much room for development in China’s dairy market. Some articles pointed out that although it has developed for decades, China’s dairy market is still growing at a high speed, with an average annual growth rate of 8.6%. Consumers’ milk demands are not only growing, but also iterating. A new generation of consumers want to drink better milk.
For Xinjiang milk, this can be said to create a “time of day” for its development.
Xinjiang milk notes distribution details map source Yien star number
“Geographical advantage” should be rooted in Xinjiang, which has high-quality pasture resources.
There is a recognized golden milk source belt in the world, that is, 40 ° – 50 ° South and north latitude. The temperate grassland climate here is suitable for forage growth. The sunshine duration in summer can reach 16 hours, which is very suitable for the development of animal husbandry. This golden milk source belt corresponds to China, namely Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. According to Zhang Weihua, deputy director of Xinjiang Agricultural Commission, “Xinjiang is the second largest pastoral area in China, with a grassland area of 1.2 billion mu, of which 750 million mu can be used. There are various types of grassland, a wide variety of forages and excellent quality.”
At the foot of Tianshan Mountain, with snow water irrigation, less people and less pollution, dairy cows can enjoy a superior growth environment in Xinjiang. “Consumers’ impression of Xinjiang’s’ good natural scenery, natural pollution-free, pure and delicious food ‘has been established.” Song Liang, an independent analyst of dairy industry, said.
Song Liang told us that Xinjiang has a unique natural environment, excellent forage and good grazing conditions, which makes the fat content and protein content of milk in Xinjiang higher than the domestic average. The protein content of milk produced in Xinjiang can basically reach 3.3% – 3.6%, and some can even reach 4.5%.
However, at present, the protein content of common normal temperature milk on the market has generally been more than 3%, so the protein advantage of Xinjiang milk in finished products is not large. However, due to the good ecological environment and pasture quality in Xinjiang, forages are rich in beneficial substances such as aldehydes and esters, which enter the milk through the blood circulation, making Xinjiang milk more flavorful than the milk produced by ordinary grass fed dairy cows, and better in taste than the products in other places.
Xinnong dairy is located in Alar City, southern Xinjiang. It is an old brand dairy enterprise in Xinjiang that has been established for 20 years. Meng Hailong, assistant general manager of Xinnong dairy, also expressed a similar view to us, believing that the good ecological environment in Xinjiang has created the high quality and taste of Xinjiang milk. “The glacier melt water in Tianshan Mountain is naturally weak alkaline and contains trace elements such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. The cows and forages nourished by this water are more likely to produce milk with good taste.”
Seven points depend on hard work
If the above conditions are the premise of the popularity of Xinjiang milk, the human factor is to directly open up the road to the market outside Xinjiang. Being good at using the “grass planting economy” loved by the post-90s and post-95s has become the secret of the success of Xinjiang milk brands.
Taotao, a food blogger, has nearly 10000 fans in xiaohongshu. His account mainly publishes notes on snacks, food and grass planting. In the summer of 2021, Taotao noticed the popular trend of Xinjiang milk and took the initiative to apply for the promotion of a Xinjiang milk product with the brand of “Ximu Tianshan” on yingtu (the trading platform promoted by xiaohongshu blogger). The way of cooperation is very simple. The brand side sends a box of milk to Taotao. She writes a note and makes recommendations based on her true feelings about the product.
Later, another Xinjiang milk brand took the initiative to come to the door and asked for a grass planting note based on real experience for its products. However, in addition to sending a box of milk to Taotao this time, the brand also has a contribution fee of 200 yuan. When the brand side explained the cooperation requirements to Taotao, it also showed screenshots of grass planting notes of other bloggers. Taotao was just chosen by them as one of the product promotion. Of course, the number of fans is different, and the promotion fees received by bloggers are also different. Taotao’s 200 yuan is still at the bottom of the pyramid.
Sometimes, in order to make the promotion look more natural and true, the brand will also find ordinary users. He Shengsheng has only 51 little red book fans and has only sent a few notes, but there are two contents of Xinjiang milk evaluation. For the first time, she spontaneously evaluated seven Xinjiang milk and won nearly 300 praises. It may also be because of this note that he Shengsheng has attracted the attention of Xinjiang dairy brand. A brand called “Da xinia” came to seek promotion cooperation and gave her hundreds of promotion expenses.
Zhihu respondent @ Sesame Paste in the food and beverage industry once said that the Commission of local milk (including Xinjiang milk) in Zhihu’s good food recommendation is almost 10 times that of Mengniu and Yili, and its profit is higher. This is also the main reason why many respondents market local milk by stepping on Mengniu and Yili.
In other words, in the overwhelming evaluation of Xinjiang milk on the Internet, there is indeed the shadow of brand paid promotion, but the cooperation content is covered with evaluation or grass planting, which is difficult to distinguish for a moment. In Taotao’s view, the popularity of Xinjiang milk is due to the trend of consumers planting grass spontaneously on the one hand, and there is also a marketing element behind it on the other hand. “If the blogger doesn’t recommend it, you may not notice the milk in Xinjiang. We tried it and found it delicious, so we will continue to buy it.”
In addition to seeking cooperation between bloggers and big V, the brand itself is also very active. In 2021, in addition to frequent cooperation with the head up talent live broadcast and delivery platform, the flagship store of tmall dairy will also maintain the brand self broadcast every day to undertake the valuable traffic brought by the head up talent anchor. In the tiktok platform, the Mai Er Er dairy industry is also very active in the master cooperation and brand self seeding layout, keeping the rhythm of 6.5 hours of live broadcast every day.
Tiktok accounts for a number of fans who are commented by Zhu Shimao as a “brother like God” in Xinjiang dairy company. They have attracted many fans to watch the brand and let everyone remember this brand.
Source of tiktok TikTok Video: tremble sound
Meng Hailong said that Xinnong dairy has always been involved in the process of Xinjiang milk out of the circle. “We have been doing the layout of the tiktok market and online platform very early, and promoting marketing on major platforms, such as building a voice account, making live broadcast, etc., making rational use of the effects of social platforms and short videos, so that more people can understand our products.” At this stage, Xinnong dairy has opened up a variety of e-commerce channels such as tmall, jd.com and pinduoduo, and basically achieved the coverage of Xinjiang and East, North and South China outside Xinjiang.
Meng Hailong regarded the popularity of Xinjiang milk as “popular expectation”. In the eyes of Xinjiang dairy enterprises that have been working silently, it is an inevitable trend for Xinjiang milk to go out of Xinjiang. At present, the continuously improved e-commerce channels have broken the bottleneck of market distance that previously restricted the outward development of Xinjiang products. As long as consumers can contact Xinjiang dairy products, it is only a matter of time.
Unlike the previous universal brand image construction and centralized marketing methods of Yili and Mengniu through TV advertising and program sponsorship, Xinjiang dairy enterprises are more willing to catch the traffic express in the era of social media and build their brand image through decentralized marketing methods such as the layout of social platform and big V online popularity. From the current effect, it is also a correct choice.
The category is popular, and the brand hasn’t kept up with
Brand building is a huge challenge for Xinjiang dairy enterprises.
Under the regional collective name of Xinjiang milk, there are many brands of large, small and small dairy enterprises that were not well known by consumers before: Tianrun in Urumqi, garden in Shihezi, Ximu Tianshan, xiyuchun and maixier in Changji, Xinnong in Aksu, NANDA in Kashgar… Although each brand has its own characteristics, it is often recognized as a whole in the process of going out of the circle.
In other words, no brand has succeeded in occupying the minds of consumers. This is illustrated by the “combination suit” commonly used when selling Xinjiang milk through e-commerce channels.
The hot sale of Xinjiang milk has led many businesses to find new business opportunities. They began to sell different brands and different types of Xinjiang milk into synthetic suits and sell them to consumers at random. The customer service of a store selling Xinjiang milk combination packaging told us that some consumers like to taste different brands of milk. In the comment area, some consumers said: if you want to try a variety of Xinjiang milk, this option is just enough. Some people even bought milk and bought the posture of opening the blind box: just after receiving this box, they bought another box, hoping to drink Xinnong in the next box.
Now the Xinjiang milk combination package sold on the e-commerce platform generally has no fixed matching. According to the customer service response, because the arrival time of each batch of milk is different, the warehouse will make the corresponding product combination accordingly, so consumers can’t remark the desired brand. However, it can be seen from the comment area that some consumers who buy 12 bags of suits can offer 7 different brands of milk products, and 20 bags of suits can offer 7-11 brands.
Xinjiang milk photography for collective sales / Li Ying
At present, the situation of combined sale has not appeared in milk in other places. On the one hand, this phenomenon shows that Xinjiang milk does have a variety of brands and types, but it is still welcomed by consumers as a whole. On the other hand, it also shows that Xinjiang milk brand construction is still insufficient, and the value of a single brand is not very prominent.
In this regard, Meng Hailong said that they are not opposed to this situation, but they will not take the initiative to participate. “After all, many people don’t know much about Xinjiang dairy enterprises. The store makes a combination for everyone to taste and feel good. After all, they will choose one in Xinjiang to buy.” In the final analysis, this is also an effective way to help Xinjiang milk go out faster.
Another challenge is channel construction.
As a native who was nourished by Xinjiang milk since childhood, zumu has been used to the taste of Xinjiang milk. But later, when I worked in Shanghai, I could hardly see Xinjiang milk in the offline supermarket. When I wanted to drink, I had to buy it online.
This is also the current dilemma of Xinjiang milk: as a daily consumer goods, people are more used to buying milk at the offline supermarket when needed, but the offline channel layout of Xinjiang milk is insufficient and depends more on e-commerce channels.
In the face of such a situation, Xinjiang dairy enterprises also know well. Taking Xinnong dairy as an example, they are promoting the project of building 100 Xinnong flagship stores nationwide as an offline product display window. At present, Xinnong has opened more than 30 stores in some provincial capitals and municipal cities in East China, South China, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Henan. The location of specialty stores is mainly concentrated in residential areas and other places with high population density. In addition, Tianrun, maixier and other brands also have a similar franchise store system, which has become the development path of Xinjiang dairy enterprises.
Meng Hailong said that the Xinnong brand store outside Xinjiang is a diversified and comprehensive store. The products sold by the store take milk as the main line and connect with other Xinjiang specialties. It plays a role in offline promotion and publicity. It is equivalent to a small consumer experience center to help you better understand and contact Xinnong milk and other Xinjiang products. At present, the annual sales of such a store can also reach about 1 million.
In the face of more than half of the dairy market divided by Mengniu and Yili, as well as various local dairy enterprises, Xinjiang dairy enterprises can be described as seeking survival in the cracks. Song Liang said that at this stage, it is very difficult for Xinjiang dairy enterprises to become bigger and stronger, “because China’s market pattern has been relatively solidified. For Xinjiang dairy enterprises, on the one hand, they should give play to their geographical advantages, on the other hand, they should constantly make product innovation and give full play to the flexibility of small and medium-sized enterprises with the help of retail channels.”
What song Liang said is also what many Xinjiang dairy enterprises are doing. Meng Hailong told us that the hyaluronic acid yogurt just launched by Xinnong is their latest innovative product. In terms of independent research and development, if you don’t advance, you will fall back. “About 10 new products are released every year, and some old products are improved and replaced according to the market law.”
Make complaints about the old products and the plain products that are being tucking away. The new farmers said they were also in contact with some relatively well-known design companies in Shanghai and Hangzhou. There will be a new improvement and upgrading in every aspect of packaging, and gradually will be closer to the younger consumer groups.
“We’re still climbing.” Meng Hailong said. This is also the collective portrayal of Xinjiang dairy enterprises. In the highly competitive dairy track, this popular east wind of Xinjiang milk may make their “Climbing” easier.
Author: Li Ying; Editor: Yu Le; Source: Banshu Caijing (ID: Banshu Caijing), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246); Foodaily Expo 2022] in line with the original intention of providing the whole value chain and one-stop industrial innovation services for the industry, foodaily Expo 2022 (2022.05.31-06.02, Shanghai) is further upgraded. In addition to the upstream and downstream of the food industry, it also covers and gathers multiple resources such as e-commerce, social media, traffic, channels and capital, aiming to bring you an annual innovation feast. Here, products, content, technology, marketing and other aspects related to food & brand innovation will be presented in the form of “professional exhibition + innovative content + interactive experience”, breaking through and differentiating in the consistent form of industry exhibition.
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