Shanghai was finally unsealed in June. During the epidemic period, community group buying really helped a lot. From group buying fruits and vegetables, grain, oil, rice and noodles to group buying coke, cigarettes and hairdressers, it really solved many problems of people’s survival under emergency conditions. Many friends in Shanghai joked that “my life was bought by the community”.
Here, community group buying is not only the vigorous self-help of Shanghai residents, but also the end of many brands. Official group buying information is released through wechat, microblog, little red book and other channels, and specific “community group buying” is launched for the containment of the epidemic.
As Shanghai friends’ long-term cooking practice has entered a “kitchen burnout period” and they need to change their tastes, prefabricated dishes have become a new choice for group buying and hoarding because of their long shelf life, diverse tastes and convenient cooking. Foodaily [new Xiu] found that a new “one person food” brand “Aifu dingchu” appeared in the community group purchase. The driving force behind this emerging brand is Nippon cold food Co., Ltd., a giant in Japan’s frozen food industry.
Photo source: Alfred dingchu official account
We have learned that Japanese cold food has served the b-end market in the Chinese market for nearly 15 years. Now it has begun to expand to the C-end market, launching its sub brand Aifu dingchu. At present, it has launched fried rice and pasta products. As a giant of Japanese prefabricated dishes, why do you choose to launch the brand of prefabricated dishes now? What are the similarities and differences between China and Japan?
Foodaily [new Xiu] interviewed Mr. Inoue Fengmao, chairman and general manager of China Daily cold food, and MS. qianpingping, deputy general manager, and invited them to participate in the special live broadcast series activities of foodaily track’s new species of prefabricated dishes 2.0.
Then, in combination with foodaily’s insight and interview sharing, let’s enter the story of “claiming the king” and “going to sea” of solar cold food.
- As one of the first enterprises to enter the frozen food industry in Japan, how did the Japanese frozen food successfully break through the time nodes of development and transformation, and successfully become an industry giant from B to C?
- Around 2010, the “fried rice war” broke out in Japan’s frozen food industry. How can Japanese frozen food stand out and finally win?
- What efforts have been made in marketing when changing the logo, making IP, making theme dances, and making the daily cold food a national brand?
- What are the opportunities and challenges faced by the daily cold food when entering the Chinese market with different environment and eating habits? What will be the layout and innovation of solar cold food in the future?
Japanese frozen food deeply bound with Japanese frozen food,
How did he break through the coronation and become king?
As long as we simply understand the development history of the Japanese frozen food industry, it is not difficult to find that the Japanese frozen food industry is deeply bound with the whole Japanese frozen food industry. The Geyuan chamber of Commerce (now a subsidiary of Nippon cold food) built the first freezer in Japan in 1920, and has started the frozen storage of fish since then. When the 100 year history of Japanese frozen food is listed in the industry, it is often regarded as the beginning of the Japanese frozen food industry. Therefore, the position of Japanese frozen food in the industry can be seen.
Due to the restrictions of cold chain and channels in the early development of frozen food, the frozen food market in Japan has been relatively concentrated, and it is in a pattern of several leading enterprises coexisting. As an industry giant, sun cooled food has been firmly occupying the top five market shares, even ranking first all the year round.
Chairman Inoue of China Daily cold food introduced to foodaily that there are more than a dozen processing plants under daily cold food, including more than 2500 products such as frozen rice, Zhonghua series and frozen snacks. Almost every product line has popular products, including many long-term hot selling commodities, such as frozen hamburgers that have been hot selling for nearly 50 years, fried chicken nuggets for nearly 30 years and frozen fried rice for 22 years.
In 2020, the sales of Japanese cold food and frozen food ranked first in Japan
Photo source: Official Website of sun cold food
School lunches, the Tokyo Olympic Games, the WorldExpo, and the daily cold food can always seize the key nodes and attack quickly
In fact, sun cooled food is not the first company to launch commercial frozen food, but when it smelled the business opportunity of frozen food, it quickly made a response: it not only reorganized the company and made efforts to distribute frozen food, but also immediately launched the first frozen cooked food (prepared frozen food) that is different from the freezing of raw food such as aquatic fish on the market.
The picture shows the first frozen cooked food that can be eaten by heating – tea bowl steamed
Photo source: daily cold food
In 1954, with the promulgation of the school feeding law, day cold food became one of the first companies to enter the school lunch business. In addition to mainly supplying school group meals, the day cold food also began to hold trial activities in department stores to promote and distribute frozen food. Since the 1960s, the daily cold food has continuously enriched the product matrix of frozen food and gradually occupied a higher market share in the field of frozen food.
In addition to following the market trend, it is also very important to timely adjust their own strategic countermeasures if they want to become a giant in the industry. On the one hand, it has to be said that the smell of Japanese cold food for business transformation and development is amazing. Mr. Inoue, chairman of Chinese Japanese cold food, also admitted in an interview that Japanese cold food can be seen at almost the important nodes of the development of Japanese frozen food: in 1964, Japanese cold food was provided for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which brought frozen food to the table of the Olympic village. At the same time, it also expanded rapidly in the field of hotels and restaurants; In 1970, a restaurant was opened at the Osaka WorldExpo and hamburgers made of frozen products were provided, laying the groundwork for entering the family dining table
Picture source: フジテレビュー!! Compilation Department
For family consumption scenarios, help mothers prepare lunch boxes for their children, and take the first step towards C
Chairman Inoue introduced to us that in Japan, mothers need to get up early every day to prepare lunch lunches for their children. If they want to make fried chicken nuggets and beef patties, which are more popular with children, they need more complex processes. With the basic popularization of household refrigerators and microwave ovens in Japan in the 1970s, Japanese cold food immediately launched the “greenbelt” brand household freezing package for the C-end market with great demand.
As soon as the frozen food that can be eaten in a few minutes by microwave “Ding” is put on the shelves in the quick-frozen counter of the supermarket, it has won the recognition of many housewives and mothers. Originally, mothers needed to get up early in the morning to prepare bentos for their children, but the emergence of frozen fried chicken and beef patties has reduced a lot of trouble. Therefore, frozen food has gradually entered the dining table of every household, and Japan’s freezing industry has gradually developed.
Since then, the daily cold food has also launched a series of products. From the lunch Bento series popular with children to the table series rich in home flavor, the frozen food SKU of the daily cold food has become increasingly rich, and it is also the first to subdivide the categories of home frozen food.
Photo source: Official Website of sun cold food
The observation of the industry and the segmentation of categories are also the primary problems to be solved after the Japanese cold food enters the Chinese consumer market. Due to the promotion of the epidemic, the domestic prefabricated vegetable industry is still in a window period of continuous growth. At present, it is still in a state of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend. There are still no industry leaders of a considerable scale, and many segments of the track have not been preempted. Therefore, there are still many opportunities for breakthrough in the prefabricated vegetable market for the daily cold food and domestic brands.
Famous fried rice war
Technological innovation achieves ten billion brands
Throughout the history of the development of solar cold food, it must be mentioned that the “fried rice war” broke out in the industry around 2010.
When introducing the company’s star items to foodaily, Mr. Inoue of Nippon cold food also highlighted the protagonist of the fried rice war – “authentic fried rice” (Benge fried rice). This product is described by the Japanese media as a “signboard product carrying the company’s luck” (social movement carries a Kanban commodity).
Although “authentic fried rice” has been launched for more than 20 years, it is still the most popular and highly rated frozen rice in Japan and Asia. In 2021, “authentic fried rice” also obtained Guinness certification, which is well deserved to be “the world’s No. 1 in sales of frozen fried rice”.
Guinness certified frozen fried rice with the world’s largest sales
Photo source: Official Website of sun cold food
The category of frozen rice on Amazon, Japan, ranks first according to the evaluation. It is “authentic fried rice”. Photo source: Amazon, Japan
Take the lead in launching real “fried rice” and quickly enter the market
Mr. Inoue told us that before the launch of “authentic fried rice” in 2001, the frozen rice on the market was basically Chinese style bibimbap, which was a big difference in taste from the real fried rice.
After receiving a large amount of feedback, it took 4 years to develop a special cooking equipment, which can make the frozen fried rice really “fried”, so that every grain of rice passing through the machine can be wrapped by the egg liquid, and then prevent the rice from sticking together through the lubrication of the egg liquid and grease. In this way, even the frozen rice can have the effect of distinct grains, and direct microwave heating will not affect the taste. As a result, authentic rice was very popular once it was launched and became a star bestseller.
However, after more than ten years, other food companies have also successively entered the market of frozen fried rice, and launched their own products one after another. In order to get a share, the battle between brands is imminent.
Take the initiative, invest 3billion yen, and innovate the “three-step frying method”
Naturally, sun cold food did not wait to die. In addition to some minor updates on product packaging and raw materials every year, in order to cope with the possible strong competitive products, it invested 3billion yen to carry out major reforms on the whole “authentic fried rice” product. This is an unprecedented scale in the history of the Nisan food brand. After all, once the innovation fails, it is likely to affect the future direction of the whole brand.
In order to understand why the fried rice in the restaurant can be more fluffy and delicious, the technology development center of sun Leng food also hired professional chefs to teach them how to stir fry the pot and fried rice. The research results show that the secret of the delicious fried rice lies in the “heat”. Each grain of rice is fried to remove the excess water and become more crisp and fluffy.
Inspired by this, the “three-step frying method” has been innovated in the research of solar cold food. The hot air above 250 ℃ is used to blow onto the rice for frying, so that the taste of fried rice can be closer to that of traditional cooking ranges, that is, “pot gas” fried rice. At the same time, the raw materials and seasonings were further upgraded, and the self-made braised meat soup and fried scallion oil were used to maximize the taste of the whole product.
Photo source: Official Website of sun cold food
The innovation of the sun cooled food was undoubtedly successful. Once the “new authentic fried rice” was listed in 2015, it was highly praised. The street shopping results of the brand also showed that as many as 98.2% of the respondents said it was “very delicious”. Even after half a year, its old rival, weizhisu, also launched the star single product “the ★ fried rice”, and even invited Xiao Lisu, who was very popular at that time, to do TV advertising, but it failed to drag the “authentic fried rice” from the first place in the long-term sales list.
The sun cooled food is the first shot in the “fried rice war”, and the follow-up weizhisu and maruyurilang have joined the competition of frozen fried rice. With the efforts of various enterprises, the market of frozen rice has increased significantly.
The valuable point of the fried rice war is that the participating brands did not attack each other’s products of the same type, but continued to innovate and upgrade their own products, so as to get the recognition of consumers. Even two years after the launch of the new products, the two companies, RI Leng food and Wei Zhisu, are still in a “battle” of equal strength, constantly launching updated fried rice products alternately.
In an interview with foodaily, sun cold food also said frankly that the company would set up a “professional team” to pay special attention to the product trends of competitors, so as to adjust its strategic direction. However, the “fried rice war” has not yet been completely ended, and the competition in the cold fried rice market is still very fierce.
In 2017, the annual sales of “authentic fried rice” exceeded 10billion yen. To maintain the position of the industry, it is still necessary to continuously improve the product quality and expand the category of frozen food. On the basis of authentic fried rice, Japanese cold food has also launched shrimp fried rice, baked rice balls and so on.
In addition, the daily cold food has a brilliant performance in Chinese food products (crispy spring rolls, sweet shrimp and wheat), chicken products (special fried chicken), etc.
Brand building never stops at products
Check the marketing and channels behind the success of daily cold food
Change name and logo! Brand IP was laid out 10 years ago
In the new media era, “the fragrance of wine is also afraid of the depth of the alley”. In addition to the hard product quality of an excellent brand, how to become famous is also a very important step in brand building. In 1985, the company realized that before, the products were directly supplied to catering channels, and the brand name did not appear on the table. The public may have tasted the products of the company, but they are not familiar with the products. Therefore, the company immediately changed its name from “Japan refrigeration Corporation” (Nippon lengho Co., Ltd.) to “Nippon lengho” (Nippon lengho), and changed its brand-new logo.
Current symbol mark (left) and old symbol mark
Photo source: Japan Food News
Of course, renaming and changing the logo is only the first step in building the brand. In the future, we need to focus on the promotion of key new products. In the words of Mr. Inoue, we have also made a lot of efforts in promotion and publicity. Take “authentic fried rice” as an example: in 2012, a number of Japanese companies, including Jiangqi greeko, began to “socialize” with Twitter, which helped to develop products, improve image and promote brands.
Not to be outdone, the “authentic fried rice mascot” Twitter was launched in march2012. Yes, it is the fried rice demon, fried rice king, who holds a spoon on top of the pot and has rice in it, and took the opportunity to launch a new taste of authentic fried rice. Unexpectedly, as early as 10 years ago, riling food company began to create the product IP image and carry out IP publicity, and the twitter of chaofanjun is still on the rise, and often interacts with fans.
Fried rice Jun has its own twitter, four grid animation and surrounding
Image source: Twitter ® ︎
In the spring of 2015, the “new authentic fried rice” was a great success once it was listed, and the “fried rice anniversary” was also established in the summer. “In fact, the most people eat fried rice in a year is’ summer ‘. Because of the intolerable heat and loss of appetite, many people will choose to eat fried rice to supplement their energy.” by holding the “fried rice day” activity, more people have learned that authentic fried rice is not inferior to fresh fried rice.
From generation Z to the whole nation, the marketing age range is fully covered
Of course, the marketing of riling food company is more than that. After enriching the amount of meat in fried rice in 2018, riling food also invited the popular dance in the dance area of station n (the originator of barrage video website) to meet miume and Nina (Mian, 217) to dance a “pa pa Pa Pa” dance for “authentic fried rice”. The dance also connected with the plot advertisement. Now it still looks awkward and at the top. However, this way of publicity also enables the brand to spread rapidly among the young people of generation Z.
Photo source: Official Website of sun cold food
In the 20th and 21st years, Nippon cold food hired Japanese actress Kyoko Morita, who has a high national rating, to shoot several versions of TV advertisements for “authentic fried rice” and put them on popular channels. Through the image charm of Yasuko Morita, the brand image has been strengthened and the national degree of the brand has been improved.
In addition to the successful advertising and marketing on various platforms, the daily cold food also attaches great importance to maintaining interaction with consumers, such as the monthly lottery and the video competition of “sending love lunch”. Consumers can record a video of making Bento with daily cold food products to tell the story behind the food. After the video is selected, the producer will get a bonus, and the daily cold food will also get a higher brand exposure.
If you can tell a story, you should sell your products in a targeted way
Solar cold food has a product line across the B and C ends. In addition to supplying schools, restaurants and hotels, it also has nearly ordinary household prefabricated food products sold in supermarkets. Therefore, it is also important to adjust the sales channels and modes for different ports.
Around 1980, Japanese consumers’ perception of frozen food was still in the impression of “cheap”, “not delicious” and “do not know whether there are preservatives”. At that time, Japanese frozen food was mainly sold in the freezers of supermarkets. In order to attract consumers, they would give a 50% discount every day.
When recalling this period of history, Mr. Inoue also said that this is a point that the daily cold food needs to reflect. The price war has lowered consumers’ expectations for the delicious frozen food. Aware of this problem, sun cooled food gave up the strategy of price war, chose to play the “quality brand”, launched a series of medium and high-end frozen products, improved the taste, and emphasized that the freezing technology did not contain additives on the packaging bag, so as to eliminate people’s misunderstanding of frozen food. At the same time, the good quality and taste of the daily cold food were publicized among housewives by holding cooking workshops and tasting meetings.
In 1999, nisleng food also reformed its sales system, divided its sales teams according to the business types of customers, and matched its products and services according to the subdivided channels: for example, the sales teams directly connected with the major customers of restaurants and hotels, and the small and medium-sized local distributors were connected by local branches; For example, in the catering sector, high-cost or medium to high-end products will be mainly promoted according to the size of customers, while in the retail channel, daily cold food tends to promote convenient, fresh and healthy products.
From Japanese national brand to Chinese rookie
The strength of the sun cold food comes from
Foodaily learned from the interview with the daily cold food that the development of the daily cold food frozen food is actually inseparable from the daily cold food logistics. Mr. Inoue said that the two elements of the success of the daily cold food are “building a long-term best-selling commodity” and “a complete cold chain service system”.
Develop cold chain logistics, lay out the whole industrial chain and improve comprehensive strength
Since the establishment of Japan’s first large-scale ultra-low temperature cold storage warehouse in Tokyo in 1952, Nippon cold has officially started its cold chain logistics business. In 1959, Nippon cold also independently developed a refrigerated transport vehicle, which laid a foundation for Nippon cold food to go nationwide. The follow-up day cooling logistics has been largely deployed in Japan and even the world. Up to now, day cooling has 115 domestic cold chain logistics bases and 23 overseas bases. The cold chain layout ranks first in Japan and sixth in the world.
The total storage capacity of refrigerated warehouses owned by daily cooling in the world is 2.07 million tons
Photo source: Official Website of solar cooling
In addition to the perfect cold chain logistics layout in the world, Nippon cold group has also set up subsidiaries or offices of Nippon cold fresh food companies all over the world to import high-quality food materials at lower prices from more than 30 countries, including shellfish from China and Canada, shrimp seafood from Southeast Asia and Greece, and chicken raised and processed in China and Thailand.
Solar cold food is also one of the first companies to distribute frozen food production and processing plants around the world. Since 2000, the company has continuously transformed its production system into a global system, and has also optimized its production structure, controlled costs and increased sales by integrating production lines, closing inefficient factories, and switching to overseas cooperation mode to overseas self construction and self production. Up to now, Nippon cold food has built 27 factories in Japan, China, Southeast Asia and other places, with rich product supply strength.
Quality as the core, enhance R & D strength and improve product competitiveness
The layout of the whole industrial chain has improved the comprehensive strength of the daily cooling food in the upstream supply chain, but it has more than that. In the past 76 years, solarium has continuously innovated in the product R & D and production technology of frozen food, and has always been in the leading position in the industry.
During the interview, Mr. Inoue, a Chinese sun cold food, mentioned that the brand has always been pursuing delicious food. For this reason, he has specially established a “delicious data” system to conduct physical and chemical analysis of products from the four dimensions of raw material analysis, taste design, process design and coordination design, and established relevant databases to record the evaluation and analysis of product taste and flavor by constantly adjusting the data such as the hardness and brittleness of materials, So as to develop frozen products that can restore the flavor of fresh food. The system has also been providing services to customers in the Chinese market in Shanghai Planning Center, China.
Analyze the taste, freshness and elasticity of raw materials
Photo source: Official Website of solar cooling
Qianpingping, deputy general manager of China Daily cooling food, explained to us that the pursuit of “time” of daily cooling food is mainly reflected in two aspects: shortening the cooking time, improving the convenience of the product, and extending the shelf life of the product, so that it can still restore the original color, flavor and quality of the food after long-term storage and heating. It took decades of research and development and accumulation for this part of the technology, solar cold food, to always be in the forefront of the industry.
For sun cooled foods, the launch of products is not the end of research and development. Out of the long-term pursuit of delicious food, sun cooled foods will optimize the process and packaging of products almost every year.
New attempts by industry giants to go to sea,
How to face the challenges and opportunities under the epidemic situation?
In 2007, Nippon cold food began to serve the Chinese market. Like the Japanese market, the first attempt was the b-end attempt. In addition to supplying the catering side, sun cold food is also actively seeking partners with supply chain advantages. After all, China has a large population and vast territory. If you want to enter the Chinese market, you should adjust measures to local conditions.
Coincidentally, many catering brands rooted in China are also seeking the opportunity of “catering retailing”. The two just hit it off. The daily cold food provides market research, product research and development, technical support and factory production. The catering brands provide channel resources and create a batch of frozen food for catering and beverage brand retail. Ms. qianpingping of China’s solar cold food introduced that the technical support of solar cold food is behind cooking bags, excellent shaped fried rice series and so on.
In addition to continuing to develop the business of fried rice products with ease, Japanese cold food is also conducting Chinese cuisine research in the Chinese market with different eating habits. From the small fried yellow beef in Western Hunan to the cumin grill in Northeast China, the delicious database of Japanese cold food has accumulated various flavor formulas from the North and the south of China, and a considerable number of mature SKUs have been in the product library. Everything is ready. Taking advantage of the popular concept of “one person’s food” in recent years, sun cold food launched a new fast food brand “Aifu dingchu” for generation Z.
Photo source: Alfred dingchu Jingdong flagship store
Alfredo dingchu not only launched a series of microwave frozen fried rice and pasta for one person, but also added Benge fried rice (authentic fried rice), a popular daily cold food product with more concise packaging, and then added a new side dish product of chicken and fish. From staple food to side dishes, the daily cold food has launched mature products that have long been successful in the market step by step.
However, compared with similar products in the Japanese market, the attempt of Alfredo dingchu in China is more focused on the consumption scenario of eating for one person, reducing the weight and adjusting the pricing, which is more in line with the setting of eating for one person. In an interview, Ms. qianpingping also said that more than 10 new products will be launched in this year, and more products with Chinese flavor will be presented.
However, the road to sea of the sun cold food has just begun, and it has been disrupted by the epidemic in Shanghai. The sales and planning center of Aifu dingchu was set up in Shanghai. During the epidemic period, all e-commerce platforms stopped shipping, almost trapping the brand in Shanghai. However, sun Leng food soon adjusted its strategy and quickly turned its attention to the community group buying that is developing in full swing in Shanghai. Through third-party platforms such as official account, small programs and micro League, it actively participated in the community group buying and split the community, completing the accumulation of fans of emerging brands and establishing the brand private domain in another way of curve saving the country.
Image source: Alfred dingchu applet
In addition, Alfredo DINK has adjusted its products in response to the epidemic, and launched fried rice and salad fish packages that are more suitable for group purchase in the community. As Alfredo DINK has a huge and solid back-end reserve of daily cold food behind it, it can cover most areas of Shanghai, thus further promoting the sales and exposure of the brand.
In an interview, Ms. qianpingping of China Sun Leng food said that community group buying has promoted the establishment of D2c communication platform, so the brand has a better channel for information collection and feedback, and can better help the brand in product improvement and product line building in the future.
With the unsealing of Shanghai, foodaily will continue to pay attention to what actions the sun cooled food will make in terms of product innovation, sales and marketing.
In the nearly 100 years’ successful experience of Nippon cold food, it is not difficult for us to find that continuous technological innovation and product research and development, continuous subdivision and deep cultivation of categories, global supply chain layout ahead of the industry, accurate crowd access and brand marketing are all the success factors shown by Nippon cold food on its way to becoming an industry giant.
For the brand that has just started in the domestic prefabricated food industry, the experience of the development of Japanese cold food in its own country may give some enlightenment and reference. What surprises will the sun cooled food bring us if it wants to break out of the siege in the Chinese market? Let’s wait and see.
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