China Food

Crayfish is slowly becoming a staple food

“ 
is crayfish a staple food, a good way to break the “cycle curse”?
 ”
This summer
Crayfish incarnates as the “Red Knight” who rescues restaurants
“Brother, do you want crayfish? It tastes very good. It’s only 39.9 a box…”
One morning in early May, neishenjun ran into Haidilao’s mobile breakfast stand outside a shopping mall in Chaoyang District, Beijing. While selling steamed buns, her little sister was also trying hard to sell her own crawfish. When food is banned, steamed buns and crayfish in season have become the best “explosive products” for Haidilao to fight against the epidemic and actively save itself.
Photo source: zhaibin
In fact, selling crayfish in Haidilao is just a microcosm of the “all in” crayfish group of diners this summer. In May, no matter it is a hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot restaurant or a Cantonese tea restaurant, whether it is a Michelin restaurant or a couple’s shop, it seems that every family can sell crayfish.
Teacher Liu run, a big V of we media, also shared his observations on the crayfish this year in the official account on May 19.
In addition to the food and takeaway, Tiktok, community group purchase and e-commerce platforms, the crayfish with high frequency again set off a long lost “storm”. For a while, the crayfish seemed to have found the highlight of 2018. The booming supply and demand made the crayfish a “Red Knight” to save the catering this summer.
The crayfish with a scale of 400billion is now on the rise again. Will the “old net red” crayfish still have a chance to return to the top stream?
Cost and epidemic situation
Are the two main reasons for the crayfish explosion this summer
In this year’s crayfish season, there is basically no warm-up time for businesses. As soon as they come up, they directly fight hand to hand, which is abnormal. Especially in the Tiktok live broadcasting room, the price of each house is not the lowest but lower. It is not uncommon to get 20% off and 30% off. The floor price of 0.70% off and 148 yuan /6 kg also frequently appears. The crazy price war of

is mainly due to the following two reasons:
the first is the decline in costs
from a macro point of view, the production of crayfish has increased year by year and the supply is sufficient. According to relevant data, in 2020, the total output of crayfish in China reached 2.38 million tons. In 2021, the breeding area and output of crayfish reached a new high. Among them, the newly increased breeding area of crayfish in China was about 2million mu, and the total annual output increased to 2.636 million tons.
from the microscopic point of view, the meteorological conditions during the listing period of crayfish this year are good, and many places have ushered in a bumper harvest of crayfish, while the centralized listing has brought an increase in supply, making the price fluctuate violently and entering a “U-shaped cycle”. In the first ten days of April, the price of crayfish in Hubei, the main production area, began to plummet all the way. Taking the shrimp with cannon head as an example, the market unit price halved from 110 yuan / kg to 40 yuan / kg. After the last ten days of April, the price tended to be stable, but still decreased slightly, and stabilized at about 16 yuan / kg.
data source: the increase of shrimp Valley 360
breeding area, the stability of meteorological conditions, and the decline of breeding feed cost have all created favorable conditions for the “price friendly” of this year’s crayfish season.
the second is the impact of the epidemic
in April and may this year, Suzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Beijing and other places were successively affected by the epidemic. The food in the hall was banned, and the business was only supported by taking out. However, when crayfish came into the market, and this year’s purchase price and cost concessions were obvious, the merchants seized the time window, took crayfish as the guiding fund of the restaurant, adopted the strategy of small profits but quick turnover, and launched a large number of low-cost crayfish packages. At one time, “99 yuan and 100 crayfish” were everywhere, and everyone easily realized “crayfish freedom”. The effect of the low price of
and
is also immediate. Crayfish in many live broadcasting rooms began to burst. Only the 99 yuan 100 crayfish set meal of Beijing Yongdingmen electric roaster in Tiktok sold 14000 orders.

although crayfish helped the restaurants to recover from the epidemic, it is undeniable that behind the seemingly lively situation, it is difficult to hide the helplessness of the merchants. Under the epidemic, the merchants can only make money by discounting.
but if we put aside the epidemic situation and re-examine the circuit of crayfish, although crayfish has become popular for a short time, it still can not improve the dilemma of the category. After years of saturated competition, the crayfish market has long been a red sea, and the degree of involution is no less than that of sauerkraut fish, grilled fish and other circuits; At the same time, the category is aging day by day, and the situation that there are categories without brands has continued for many years. The crayfish market has reached a turning point of change.

Category, scene and channel
Three directions of crawfish breakthrough
As a typical seasonal product, crayfish can only be profitable from April to July in a year. If it is only crayfish in other periods of time, the business will be difficult to sustain, which also leads to market polarization:
for regional brands with strong profitability in a single store, they usually choose to only do business in the peak season. It is a true portrayal of “working for half a year and resting for half a year”. The market share is stable and the money is enough, Therefore, there is no desire to go out and no motivation to adjust categories. The most painful thing about
is that the majority of small and medium-sized brands face a dilemma every year, that is, if they do not do it in the off-season, it is difficult to maintain their business; If you do it reluctantly, because the quality of shrimp in the off-season cannot be guaranteed, it is easy to hurt customers and ruin the reputation; Some businesses blindly introduce new products, such as boiled fish, sheep scorpion, Sichuan food and other products that are not highly related to crayfish, not only have poor results, but will dilute the brand’s professional positioning in the minds of consumers, and the gains outweigh the losses.
these are the reasons why the crayfish track has not been able to run out of national big brands. For many years, the innovation of crayfish has been revolving around the “taste” and has been unable to break the dimensional wall. However, with the annual increase of crayfish breeding area in recent years, the maturity of the supply chain and the impact of the epidemic, crayfish has gradually made new breakthroughs in categories, scenes and channels:
first, break the “crayfish cycle curse” with category innovation.
how to extend the sales cycle of crayfish, In other words, how to normalize the sales of crayfish has become the key to breaking the “cycle curse” of crayfish, and one direction is to adjust crayfish from “social products” to “just need products”, that is, the “staple food” of crayfish. As a category with very mature consumption,
crayfish has emerged many popular models and new brands in recent years, such as Pizza Hut’s online Red Crayfish spaghetti and crayfish pizza. In addition, the popular crayfish sandwich “shrimp Xiaoshi” through social media and the takeaway brand “pirate shrimp rice” which focuses on crayfish covered rice are all “food” to increase the sales period of crayfish. In addition, the positioning of small shops, affordable and just needed brands enrich the sales scene of crayfish and expand the sales of stores.
in addition, the staple food of Zhonghong crayfish, which has recently sprung up in Chengdu, has begun to sweep the country with the fancy eating methods of various crayfish, such as “fried crayfish buns”, “crayfish rice balls”, “crayfish rolls”, “crayfish noodles”, “crayfish pot stickers”, and so on. It has become a new drainage artifact for various crayfish brands.

second, “crayfish + everything”. The epidemic has given birth to a new sales scene for crayfish.
if the popularity of the staple food of online crayfish is more or less “marketing” and “retreat”, the decline in consumption power and the attack on catering caused by the epidemic in the past three years are real.
first of all, in the past three years, the epidemic has had an impact on the real economy. The most direct impact is “consumption degradation”. Due to the high unemployment rate, young people, as the main consumer, are “unable to afford” to face crawfish with a unit price of more than 100 yuan per customer. Therefore, how to beat down the customer unit price of crayfish consumption without damaging the brand value through the price war has become the point of collective efforts of businessmen, and various online Red Crayfish staple foods are their intentional attempts.
secondly, the epidemic has greatly reduced the social attributes of crayfish. Because we can’t eat in the classroom, making “shelling shrimp for you” a scarce scene, and the role of social tools – crayfish is getting weaker and weaker. Therefore, snack products such as “sweet potato skin crayfish” and “Stinky Tofu crayfish” that can “eat while walking” have become the best way to make up for the lack of scenes. In the future of normalization of the epidemic, it can be predicted that “de socialized” crayfish products (staple food, snacks, etc.) will become more and more popular, and the era of “crayfish + everything” is slowly opening.

third, new retail has become an increase
since 2020, due to the epidemic, the offline sales of crayfish have decreased significantly, so major brands have turned to e-commerce and Tiktok. According to relevant data, the online sales of crayfish will exceed the offline sales in 2022, and the online sales are expected to account for 60% of the total sales.
up to now, the sales of crayfish on JD platform has increased by more than 40% year-on-year. The sales of instant crayfish this year has exceeded 100million yuan. The consumption of prefabricated crayfish on taote has increased by nearly twice year-on-year in 2021. The
epidemic has led to hot online sales, and more catering brands have seen opportunities. In addition to Haidilao, Xibei, wenheyou, decadent shrimp, SongGe braised prawn and other brands have launched their own pre prepared crayfish dishes. Among them, Haidilao’s pre prepared crayfish dishes sold more than 10000 boxes a day in stores in Shanghai, 4-5000 boxes a day in online orders in Beijing, and nearly 6000 boxes on May 20.

The evolution of crayfish has no end
Layering only
In the past two years, the industry has been debating whether crayfish will be reduced from “a category” to “a special dish”. Many people think that crayfish’s net red ring has faded and its Jianghu status is no longer.
Now it seems that whether it is crayfish pasta, crayfish dumplings, or “Stinky Tofu crayfish”, “crayfish prefabricated dishes”, the “platform” attribute of crayfish is not weakening, but strengthening. Although the market is constantly fluctuating, under the big waves, the market of 100 billion crayfish is evolving into a different shape:
-The brand potential at the head of the region has been continuously enhanced. For example, the beautiful steamed shrimp in Wuhan has built a flash store miss-u in May, with 9 floors up and down, which has become a new holy land for punching cards and exploding social media; During the Hu epidemic in Beijing, the “Beijing refueling” series packages were launched, which won both public praise and sales;
-There are more and more new cross-border species: the go store of SongGe braised prawns “take out + take out” integrates “crawfish + hot brine + Fried String + tea” into a 20 square meter Street store, focusing on the full-time multi format small store model;
-Category breakthroughs have become increasingly “borderless”: the lobster flavored “hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot with ingredients” spread by the giant shrimp, the western-style special hamburger of the shrimp gentleman, and the pure take away mode of the pirate shrimp rice… The iteration of categories has no end, and is always on the way.
Summary
On June 6, Beijing announced the resumption of hall food. In the early morning, there were a bustling crowd outside the head office of hudazhen street. That was the first wave of customers who came to try fresh food after the lifting of the ban on Hall food. How “popular” crayfish is, caterers naturally understand.
The future industrial road of crayfish is doomed to be full of twists and turns, and the innovation of the industry and category will also go hand in hand. But at the moment, no matter the restaurant owner or the diner who has been depressed for a long time, what they want to do most is to take off the mask, suck their fingers and peel the shrimp wantonly and eat them.
King of night snack, crayfish, please keep the fire on!
Author: zhaibin; Source: internal reference of catering boss (id:cylbnc), reprint has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
food people are “watching”

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