China Food

National tide 𞓜 unintentional young man, melon seed king, what do you rely on to break through 10 billion?

The ceiling of
melon seeds has appeared, and nuts can’t share half of the revenue pressure. Qiaqia still has half the way to go from the revenue target of 10 billion put forward two years ago.

Recently, Qiaqia food released its 2021 annual report. During the reporting period, Qiaqia’s revenue was 5.985 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 13.15%, and its net profit attributable to the parent company was 928 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 15.35%.
By product category, Qiaqia’s sunflower seed revenue in 2021 was 3.943 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 5.86%; The revenue of nuts was 1.366 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 43.82%; Other income was 675 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 9.94%.
In the annual report, Qiaqia also separately disclosed the proportion of revenue of different sales models. According to the data, the direct sales (including e-commerce) revenue of Qiaqia in 2021 was 900 million yuan, accounting for 15.38%, while this figure was 16.35% in 2020.
In the direct channels, the decline of e-commerce revenue is even more significant. In 2019 and 2020, the revenue of Qiaqia e-commerce channels accounted for 10.01% and 9.7% respectively, while this figure decreased to 9.52% in 2021.
Compared with online, Qiaqia seems to pay more attention to offline business. As of December 31, 2021, Qiaqia has more than 1000 dealers worldwide, and the channel digital platform controls nearly 120000 terminal outlets.
When it comes to Qiaqia, almost everyone’s first reaction is melon seeds, and it is indeed the main source of income for Qiaqia. However, it is worth noting that the revenue of Qiaqia’s sunflower seed products in 2021 increased by only 218 million yuan, an increase of 5.86%, far lower than the growth rate of total revenue of more than 13%.
The ceiling of melon seeds has appeared, and nuts can’t share half of the revenue pressure. Qiaqia still has half the way to go from the revenue target of 10 billion proposed two years ago.
From “frying” to “boiling”, melon seeds broke the game
Anhui has a tradition of speculation. From Tao Yongxiang, a hundred year old brand, to the fool melon seeds at the beginning of reform and opening up, and then to the three squirrels rising with the Internet in the past two years, Anhui people’s enthusiasm for speculation has never stopped.
Among the many forces of speculation, Qiaqia can be said to be the most dazzling one. Before starting his business, Chen Xianbao was a cadre of a sugar, tobacco and wine company subordinate to the Department of Commerce of Anhui Province. Like many founders in that era, Chen Xianbao, nearly 40, put down his “iron rice bowl” and resolutely resigned to do business.
Chen Xianbao, who had just gone to sea, did not focus on melon seeds. He aimed at the business of popsicles. The popsicle is made into a double cut shape that can be broken into two halves. It is deeply loved by children. Coupled with the low price, Chen Xianbao’s popsicle quickly opened the market as soon as it was launched.
But the technical content of popsicle is low and there is no threshold. With more and more entrants, Chen Xianbao also had the idea of changing the track.
When selling popsicles, Chen Xianbao accidentally found that Chinese people love to eat melon seeds. Unlike the booming business of popsicles, melon seeds can be eaten to the end in a year, and the sales volume can double during the holidays.
Chen Xianbao, who has a keen sense of business, decided to sell melon seeds. Learning from the experience of selling popsicles, Chen Xianbao decided to put technology first, so he began to investigate the melon seed market all over the country.
After some investigation, Chen Xianbao found that melon seeds on the market generally have three problems: the first is tooth collapse. At that time, most of the melon seeds were fried, and the melon seeds were fried, and the shell was easy to harden; Secondly, the spices added in melon seeds are also easy to adhere to the epidermis, making melon seeds easy to dirty hands; In addition, the process of frying with high fire has also become a big pain point.
These three pain points almost all stem from the frying process of melon seeds. Therefore, Chen Xianbao and his team transformed the original production method, changed “frying” to “cooking”, and adopted an industrialized assembly line to produce melon seeds, so that melon seeds can be mass produced.
In 1995, Chen Xianbao entered the market with his independent Qia melon seeds. In the market full of fried melon seeds, Qiaqia has won the favor of men, women and children with its cooking technology. In addition, in order to make melon seeds more fragrant, Qiaqia added tangerine peel, star anise and other traditional Chinese medicine to melon seeds, which has 56 more volatile aroma than ordinary fresh melon seeds.
In addition to being unique in products, Qiaqia also attaches great importance to brands. Different from other melon seeds, Chen Xianbao chooses to use independent packaging and adopts self-designed environmental protection paper fashionable packaging, so that Qiaqia can get rid of the sense of cheapness in an instant.
In 1999, Chen Xianbao fought back against all opinions and borrowed 4 million yuan to advertise on CCTV, which completely made Qiaqia famous all over the country. The revenue of Qiaqia melon seeds broke 100 million yuan in 2000, and soared to 400 million yuan in the second year.
In 2008, with innovative breakthroughs in products, brands, channels and industrial chain construction, Qiaqia’s sales exceeded 2 billion yuan for the first time, becoming a recognized “melon seed king” inside and outside the industry.
In March 2011, Qiaqia food was successfully listed on the small and medium-sized board of Shenzhen Stock Exchange, becoming the “first stock of speculation in China”. Chen Xianbao’s worth soared by 2 billion yuan and once became the richest man in Anhui.
Not keeping up with the Internet?
The second year after listing, Chen Xianbao chose to retire to the second line and hand over the company to his niece Chen Dongmei for management, and the foreshadowing of the failure of transformation was buried here.
Qia, who left Chen Xianbao, ran all the way on the road of diversification. From jelly, potato chips to condiments, Qiaqia’s development can be described as multi-point flowering.
But the actual situation is not satisfactory. Taking potato chips as an example, after experiencing the rapid growth of revenue to nearly 300 million yuan in 2011, the performance of potato chips began to decline. In 2012 and 2013, the revenue of potato chips decreased by 29.8% and 17.87% respectively.
More “stall” is reflected in other product lines. In 2013, Qiaqia strongly launched the jelly product Bole jelly, but it was stripped out of the product sequence due to a cumulative loss of nearly 20 million yuan in two years; In the same year, the beef sauce business acquired by the company also suffered losses.
From the track layout of Qiaqia in those years, there are many giants such as kebik and Daliyuan in potato chips, and there are old players such as Xizhilang in jelly. As a crossover, Qiaqia can hardly taste the sweetness no matter which track it is in.
In addition to the failure of the diversification process, Qiaqia’s layout in e-commerce business is also significantly slower than that of its competitors. As early as 2010, liangpin store made its business online. In 2012, with exquisite packaging and Taobao traffic, three squirrels jumped up at the outlet of the Internet and became new troublemakers in the old track.
It was not until 2014 that Qiaqia established an e-commerce company. In the annual report of that year, Qiaqia mentioned that “at present, the development of e-commerce is in the period of consolidating the foundation of development, gradually enriching the types of online products, cultivating and introducing e-commerce talents”.
The year before Qiaqia “laid the foundation”, the three squirrels, which had been established for only one year, easily realized a revenue of more than 100 million with the help of Taobao.
Although Qiaqia mentioned the rapid growth of e-commerce business in the 2015 annual report, it did not list the revenue of e-commerce in its main business, which was not broken until 2017. Nevertheless, in the annual report of that year, the revenue of e-commerce accounted for only 5.45%, which is less than that of overseas business.
Until today, Qiaqia’s e-commerce business still seems very lame. In 2021, e-commerce revenue accounted for 9.52%. As a competitor, liangpin store has an online revenue of more than 50%, let alone compared with the three squirrels that started from the Internet.
According to the online development ranking list of snack bag and gift box brands, three squirrels, liangpin shop and other brands have become the primary brands of choice for consumers, and Qiaqia, Wangwang and other old brands have ranked at the end of the top 10.
Under all kinds of disadvantages, the old business of Qiaqia – melon seeds also has a growth bottleneck. According to the Research Report of Minsheng securities, the domestic demand for melon seeds showed a downward trend from 2015 to 2018. The market demand for melon seeds rebounded to 12779.8 tons in 2019, but it was less than the total demand in 2015 (13183.7 tons), an increase of only 3.02% compared with 2016. The consumption demand for edible sunflower seeds in China was close to saturation.
This is also reflected in the financial report. In 2021, Qiaqia sunflower seeds increased by only 5.86%, compared with the nut business, the revenue increased by 43.82% year-on-year, and the growth of melon seed business in China has almost reached the ceiling.
If we lengthen the timeline, we will find that from 2012, the growth rate of melon seed business is almost single digits in other years except 2019 and 2020, and even negative growth in a few years.
Looking at the revenue of Qiaqia food in recent years, from 2012 to 2017, the revenue growth rate was less than 10% for six consecutive years. From 2018 to 2021, the revenue growth rate of Qiaqia was 16.5%, 15.25%, 9.35% and 13.15% respectively. Although the revenue was growing, the growth rate was fast and slow. Overall, the compound growth rate in the past decade is only 8.13%.
Failed to expand new business and keep up with the Internet trend, the former “melon seed king” once stumbled on the road of growth.
The leader returns,
“Little yellow bag” opens the second spring
In 2015, old master Chen Xianbao came out again. It was also that year that Qiaqia’s development took a turn for the better.
“In the past few years, our life has been relatively easy, too comfortable, resulting in our lack of wolf sex.” At an event in 2018, Chen Xianbao responded to the previous trough.
After Chen Xianbao’s return, he cut off many loss making businesses one by one. After the failure of diversified water test, Qiaqia found its original intention, that is, the melon seed field it is best at.
Instead of the bright red packaging in the past, Qiaqia re launched the “small blue bag” with younger visual effect, innovated the taste and launched the melon seeds with pecan taste.
As soon as the new taste was launched, it was sought after by the market. Having tasted the sweetness, Qiaqia took advantage of the victory and launched melon seeds with various flavors such as caramel, ice cream and rattan pepper at one go. The fresh taste constantly impacted the taste of consumers and ushered in the second spring of the long silent old domestic products.
In 2017, Qiaqia, who started making melon seeds, won the track of nuts and launched the “small yellow bag” daily nuts. And this time, after repeatedly changing the track, we finally found the most suitable second engine.
In 2018, the revenue of Qiaqia nut business increased by more than 100%, laying its second position in one fell swoop. According to the financial report of 2021, the revenue of Qiaqia nut business increased by 43.82% year-on-year in 2020, becoming the fastest growing business of Qiaqia. According to the data, the cumulative sales volume of Qiaqia small yellow bag nuts per day has exceeded 1 billion bags.
In addition to launching new categories, Qiaqia began to make efforts in marketing. Previously, Qiaqia and Tsingtao Beer jointly launched “beer flavored canned melon seeds”; And then cooperated with Huaxi bio miber to launch melon seed face facial mask; United leap launches limited amount creative canvas shoes. From food to make-up to shoes and clothing, old Chinese goods have played a cross-border game.
When the scale of the domestic melon seed market gradually peaked, Qiaqia’s hand also extended abroad. As early as 2008, Qiaqia established its first overseas office in Vietnam. At present, Qiaqia has representative offices in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Middle East and other regions to formulate product strategies by understanding local customs and market orientation.
Qiaqia has also opened social media accounts in most of the core countries of overseas sales to enhance local consumers’ awareness of categories through online interaction and marketing. On July 1, 2019, the Thai factory of Qiaqia food was put into operation, covering from the sales end to the production end. In 2021, Qiaqia’s overseas business revenue reached 510 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 10.16%.
Besides its main business, Qiaqia has also made investment. According to the financial report, Qiaqia’s investment in 2021 was 146 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 467.64%.
In 2021, Qiaqia issued four announcements about participating in private equity funds, two of which were invested by Chuangwei, a wholly-owned subsidiary established in 2021, and the other two were invested by Qiaqia food.
Among them, chuangwilai contributed 70 million yuan to Hunan shudaicao private equity investment partnership and 50 million yuan to Wuxi dingqi Zhongsu achievement transformation investment partnership.
Qiaqia food, together with Juewei and other companies, invested in Sichuan Chengdu Xinjin siyiwu equity investment fund enterprise, which mainly invests in the field of consumption.
In December 2021, Qiaqia food also cooperated with five institutions such as Shanghai Fosun high tech to jointly invest in the establishment of Fosun Qiaqia technology consumption private equity investment fund partnership, which mainly invests in the fields of consumption and technology.
When can nuts hold up half the sky?
In 2018, Qiaqia shouted the slogan of “realizing the strategic leap from the world’s leading melon seed enterprise to the world’s leading nut enterprise” for the first time.
Four years later, Qiaqia said again: in the next 2-3 years, the daily nut category will be absolutely the first in the market. Qiaqia is eager to use nuts to get rid of the market cognition that “Qiaqia is melon seeds”, and the important task falls on the nut business.
According to the financial report, in 2021, the total revenue of Qiaqia’s nut business was 1.366 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 43.82%. Although the growth rate is fast, in terms of the proportion of the overall revenue, the nut business only accounts for 22.83% of the overall revenue, and the proportion of the nut business in the total revenue in the two years is almost 17%.
Compared with the three squirrels with nuts as the core product, the revenue in 2021 reached 9.77 billion yuan, and the revenue of nut category was 5.058 billion yuan, accounting for 51.78%; The revenue of liangpin store was 9.324 billion yuan and that of nut speculation was 1.6 billion yuan, which were much higher than that of Qiaqia food.
Qiaqia also publicly admitted: “at present, the competition in nut categories is still fierce, the market scale of the company’s nuts is not large, and the brand primacy effect of daily nuts is not prominent enough.”
In addition, the problem of homogenization in the nut industry is becoming more and more prominent. Cashew nuts, walnut kernels, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, almonds, hazelnuts and other raw materials have become the standard configuration of almost all nut enterprises. Tear off the trademark of nut products, and it is difficult for consumers to tell which brand it is.
In the fierce “internal volume” of the industry, it is not easy for Qiaqia, as a latecomer, to stand out. Although it shouted the second growth curve, Qiaqia did not invest much in the research and development of nuts.
In 2021, Qiaqia’s sales expenses reached 604 million yuan. In contrast, the R & D cost is only 45.08 million yuan, accounting for only 0.75% of the total revenue. From the perspective of R & D personnel, Qiaqia has 46 R & D personnel, while liangpin store has 165 R & D personnel and more than 200 three squirrels.
Qiaqia once expressed the hope that the company can be the first in the industry both online and offline, but in recent years, it still relies heavily on offline dealer channels, and the proportion of online revenue decreases instead of increasing.
According to the financial report, by the end of 2021, Qiaqia food had more than 1000 dealers, and the offline channel revenue was 5.415 billion yuan, accounting for 90.5%; Online channel revenue was 570 million yuan, accounting for only 9.52%. Moreover, three squirrels and liangpin shop have developed offline year by year, squeezing Qiaqia’s market share.
Rao is so. Compared with three squirrels, liangpin store and other competitors, Qiaqia still has advantages that new brands can’t reach in the short term. Unlike the nut Market, which mostly adopts asset light and low-cost “OEM”, Qiaqia has been building the whole industry chain model for a long time.
The laying of Qiaqia’s industrial chain starts from seed selection, through the introduction and cultivation of excellent varieties, and self built planting bases around the world. In 2018, Qiaqia also took shares in nut pie with nut planting such as Bigan fruit and macadamia nuts as the core business.
Up to now, Qiaqia has more than 1 million mu of nut raw material planting bases and 10 own factories all over the world, firmly holding the control of fresh products in its own hands. At the recent performance meeting, Qiaqia also said that it is planned to cover 1 million terminals in the next 3-5 years, and the new terminals are mainly vulnerable markets, county and township markets and special channels.
In the medium and long-term competition of homogeneous products, production and channel efficiency determine the competitive position. But the premise is that the brand can continue to attract new consumer groups, especially young consumers.
On the “don’t care” line, Qiaqia has little influence on young groups, and the cross-border with MARUMI, ammushi and other brands has not aroused too much spray.
It is also worth noting that Wang Bin, deputy general manager of Qiaqia, submitted his resignation on March 31, 2021. You know, when Wang Bin was also the general manager of the nut business department, he proposed to find opportunities in consumption upgrading and get close to the new consumer group after 90 / 00.
Frost & Sullivan predicts that the compound growth rate of nut speculation will reach 9% from 2020 to 2025, and the total retail scale will be about 217.3 billion yuan by 2025. In terms of penetration rate, China’s per capita daily consumption of nuts in 2019 was 10.3G, which was less than half of the “25 ~ 35g soybean and nut foods per day for all people” proposed in the dietary guidelines for Chinese residents.
Although the prospect of nut market is good, there are not a few players competing in the track. In addition to large leisure snack enterprises such as Wallon, three squirrels, baicaowei and liangpin shop, there are cross-border brands such as Ruixing and Xi tea.
Compared with overseas markets, American packaged nuts are dominated by large packaging and original nuts, and leading companies have the advantages of production resources and brand. Korean packaged nuts take small packaged and flavored nuts as the mainstream products, and the leading companies have the advantages of product differentiation and brand. However, the diversity of domestic nut market is insufficient. In order to break through, the promotion of popularity, product iterative innovation, production and channel efficiency are the key factors.
Vigorously expand online channels, increase the development of “explosive products” and break into young groups, which are urgent problems to be solved by Qia to hit the goal of 10 billion.
Qiaqia, which has been established for nearly 30 years, has experienced multiple cycles compared with young new consumer brands. As an old domestic product, Qiaqia still has the advantage that new brands are difficult to reach in the short term. Even if the revenue is lower than that of similar new brands, Qiaqia can still play, and the net profit is far ahead.
At the beginning of 2021, Qiaqia food again emphasized the sales target of 10 billion yuan in 2023. It is estimated that sunflower seeds, nuts and other snack foods account for about 6 billion yuan, 3 billion yuan and 1 billion yuan respectively.
However, the overall compound growth rate of Qiaqia in the past 10 years is less than 10%. Qiaqia is still far from its 10 billion goal, leaving little time for old domestic snack brands to catch young people.



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