On April 15, the General Administration of Customs issued a consumption prompt to remind consumers not to buy relevant chocolate products produced by the Belgian Arlon factory of Ferrero group through any channels. In case of any way, including various channels to purchase or give the above products produced by the Belgian Arlon factory of Ferrero group, you should immediately stop eating them and contact the original channel for return or Ferrero Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
The incident stems from the recent joint investigation of 134 confirmed or suspected cases of Salmonella infection among children in Europe by the European food safety agency and the European Center for Disease Control and prevention. According to the statement of the European Center for Disease Control and prevention, Ferrero chocolate products were identified as a “possible infection path” and “Jianda surprise egg” was involved.
Subsequently, Ferrero announced that due to possible Salmonella contamination, it would recall any batch, shelf life and packaging of Kinder Surprise, kinder Mini eggs, Kinder Surprise Maxi and kinder schokbons chocolate products produced by its Arlon factory in Belgium.
In response to Ferrero chocolate’s suspected Salmonella infection, Ferrero China’s official microblog apologized on the evening of April 9 and responded that the recall only involved specific batches of products produced at the ellon factory in Belgium, mainly “Jianda surprise eggs”, not “Jianda Qiqu eggs” sold in China, The whole line of Jianda products produced in China and imported into China (including those sold in transit and official channels) have nothing to do with the factories involved and are not within the scope of recall.
The statement also said that Ferrero had suspended the production of the plant in Arlon, Belgium, and was actively cooperating with the local food safety department to investigate the Salmonella incident.
On April 14, Ferrero China’s official microblog released an announcement again. The announcement showed that Ferrero group is currently carrying out preventive active recall in relevant markets for Jianda products made in Belgium suspected to be associated with Salmonella diseases.
As for whether the products of the factory involved may flow into China through other channels, Ferrero told consumer titanium, “we have not officially imported recalled products, and some products may enter the Chinese market through cross-border e-commerce, overseas shopping, entrepot trade and other sales channels not authorized by our company. Based on the concept of being responsible to consumers, our company will provide assistance for the recall of some products.”
As for how domestic consumers should deal with the products produced by the factory concerned, Ferrero said, “if consumers in China come into contact with any of the above Jianda products produced by Ferrero’s Arlon factory in Belgium through any channel, it is recommended not to buy or eat them temporarily. If you have purchased them, please contact the original purchase channel for return processing.”
Ferrero officials said that consumers can judge the problem products through ean VB number (a line of numbers below the bar code), and all affected batches and products are listed on Ferrero’s official website. Remind consumers to discard the following chocolates in time: Kinder Surprise (valid from June to October 2022), kinder schoko bons (valid from the end of April to the end of August 2022), kinder Mini eggs (valid from the end of April to the end of August 2022), kinder happy moments and kinder mix (valid from August 2022).
A trip to China with a little golden ball
Ferrero’s suspected Salmonella infected product is the Jianda series developed in 1968, which has nothing to do with its popular star product “little golden ball” (hazelnut wafer chocolate). In addition, Ferrero’s domestic sales have long been independent of imports, and has established a production base in China.
According to the official website of Ferrero group, Ferrero group was founded in Italy in 1946 and made a fortune with hazelnut jam. With hazelnut chocolate, Ferrero group has achieved success in Italy and developed into a world-famous candy enterprise. According to the “2022 ranking of the world’s top 100 candy companies” released by candy industry, Mars Wrigley, Ferrero group and Yizi international ranked among the top three.
The consolidated financial report of Ferrero group for the fiscal year 2020 / 2021 as of August 31, 2021 shows that Ferrero international has 107 companies and 32 production plants, and its products are sold in more than 170 countries and regions around the world through distribution or authorized agency.
In 1982, Ferrero launched “hazelnut wafer chocolate”, which is between the two categories of chocolate and biscuits. It forms a difference in taste and flavor with traditional chocolate, breaks the flat or prismatic shape of conventional chocolate and biscuits, and will be wrapped with gold tinfoil to form a ball.
Two years later, the “golden ball” took the lead in opening China’s Hongkong and Taiwan China market. In 1994, Ferrero hazelnut wafer chocolate was determined as the official distributor in China. In 2007, Ferrero Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. was officially established, and business development teams were successively established all over the country, mainly engaged in Ferrero Zhenpin chocolate series and Jianda series products.
After more than 30 years of development, Ferrero’s brand image of “Golden Classic, golden moment” is well known to domestic consumers. Aiming at the gift scene of Chinese consumption, Ferrero quickly occupied a seat in the domestic chocolate market. In 2015, Ferrero’s chocolate candy products accounted for nearly 24% of China’s chocolate market share.
In order to meet China’s long-term development needs, Ferrero invested in the construction of a production plant in Hangzhou. On September 23, 2015, Ferrero group’s first production base in China in Hangzhou Jiangdong Industrial Park was officially unveiled, becoming Ferrero group’s 21st factory in the world. “Jianda Qiqu egg” is the first product production line put into operation in Ferrero Hangzhou factory.
However, with other international candy giants encroaching on the Chinese market and the continuous rise of domestic brands, Ferrero’s scenery in the domestic market is no longer good. According to the report on the scale and industry pattern of China’s chocolate market in 2021, the market share of the four major brands represented by Mars, Ferrero, Nestle and Hershey in China’s chocolate market is as high as 80%, among which the market share of famous brands such as dove, M & M and snickers under Mars is as high as 39.8%, and Ferrero’s market share is only 17.8%.
However, according to Zhang Guangyang, an analyst in the food and beverage industry, “the decline of Ferrero’s market share does not mean that this brand has declined in China, because the scale of China’s chocolate market is expanding, Ferrero is in benign competition with other brands, and Ferrero has unique differentiated products that integrate nuts and chocolate.”
The relevant person in charge of Ferrero China once said, “China is one of Ferrero’s most important growth pillars in the world. Ferrero is full of confidence in the prospect of the Chinese market.”
Based on this, Ferrero continues to “localize” and innovate in channels, marketing and other aspects through digital transformation, so as to further attack generation Z consumers.
In order to dig deeply into the domestic gift scene, Ferrero joined hands with tmall to launch the “Mid Autumn Moon Series campaign” for three consecutive years, strengthened the attribute of the product “heart gift”, and launched relevant gift boxes: the Limited gift box of “193 moons” in 2019, the Limited gift box of “little reunion” in 2020, and the national style poetic series gift box of “poetry in the moon” in 2021.
By matching domestic consumption habits, Ferrero has successfully “broken through” among many candy and chocolate brands. According to the top 10 list of online development of Chinese New Year snack package and gift box brands in 2021 released by AI media gold list, Ferrero ranked seventh.
In addition, in order to cope with the youth of consumers, Ferrero has made changes in channels and marketing through digital transformation. Ma Rucheng, general manager of Ferrero China, once said, “It is particularly important for us to reach more young consumers. Young consumers represent the future and, to some extent, the future of our (Tangqiao) market and Ferrero group. Ferrero now spends 70% of its expenses on digital media. We have completed this work in a few years, which also means that Ferrero’s marketing and media delivery in China has changed dramatically.”
In order to better capture the group of generation Z, Ferrero announced that he would open a new flagship store – “Ferrero young!” in tmall in the first half of 2022. According to reports, “Ferrero young!” Different from Ferrero tmall flagship store, “Ferrero young!” It will not only sell the existing products focusing on youth, but also become a testing ground for new products and new brands.
At present, Ferrero’s online channel sales in domestic traditional e-commerce and o2o have increased significantly to 25% from 15% two years ago. Ecdataway data shows that Ferrero’s market share of online channels is approaching dove.
At the product level, Ferrero’s classic product Jianda binfanle launched a new mini version in November 2021; In December, Ferrero’s star piece “little golden ball” became a “big golden ball” with a large size, earning a lot of topics. Meanwhile, Ferrero said that a large number of new products will be launched in 2022.
In this regard, Zhang Guangyang believes that if chocolate brands want to achieve development in the trend of healthy consumption, fitting young people is an excellent way. “It is Ferrero’s right development direction to cater to the changes of consumer groups and consumption environment, adjust business strategies according to consumer needs, and make traditional products fresh.”
Author: Jia Baixue; Source: consumer titanium degree (ID: xiaofeitaidu), 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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