With the “upsurge” of vegetable meat gradually calming down, the global food giant Nestle is trying a more down-to-earth way to seize the Chinese market, starting a patient “protracted war”.
Snack generation noticed today that Nestle’s professional plant-based food brand “jiazhiyao” launched plant meat dumplings in tmall flagship store. When replying to the snack generation’s query, the brand said that this was its first time to market vegetable meat dumplings.
In addition, Jiazhi food also disclosed the research and development direction, recent key work, market outlook, etc. to the snack generation. Let’s have a look.
Aim at busy white-collar workers
“Our new products are food types that people are already familiar with and aware of. They satisfy the Chinese stomach with Chinese flavor. Dumplings are food that everyone eats and often hoards.” The company said to the snack agent.
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On the other hand, jiaozi, as one of the quick-frozen foods, accounts for a large proportion, and its market capacity seems to be considerable.
According to the data of AI media consulting, in 2021, the market scale of quick-frozen food has reached 154.2 billion yuan, 98.0% of Chinese consumers have purchased quick-frozen food, and it is expected to remain in a high penetration state in the future.
It also cited research data to point out that among quick-frozen foods, dumplings and wonton accounted for 73.4% of the total purchases by Chinese consumers in 2020.
The biggest feature of the above new products lies in their convenient and fast cooking form. They can be eaten after being heated for a few minutes with a 700 ~ 800 Watt microwave oven.
“We use a high-temperature steaming process during production, which not only plays a role in sterilization to ensure food safety, but also minimizes the damage to the taste and nutrition of the product.” Jiazhi said.
Through the typical Chinese food category of dumplings, Jiazhi cuisine hopes to “tear a bigger hole” in the young white-collar crowd. The snack generation learned that the target group of Jiazhi cuisine is white-collar workers with a fast pace of modern work and life. The main scenes include “Kwai dinner” and “diet in low negative fat reduction period”.
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“We are targeting not only vegetarians, but also fat reduction enthusiasts and lifestyle seekers. For them, it is very important to eat balanced nutrition, and they do not want to sacrifice the quality of their diet because of their fast pace and high pressure.” Jiazhi food said that it hopes to provide consumers with time-saving, labor-saving and balanced nutrition intake and health choices.
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In order to meet the needs of nutrition, health and delicacy, Jiazhi cuisine has made great efforts in raw materials and technology.
For example, the filling content of Jiazhi dish “microwave dumplings” is at least 40%, which is higher than the current 35% national standard for quick-frozen dumplings, providing more satisfaction. In addition, in order to enhance the taste of dumpling skin, Jiazhi food adopts the “vacuum and flour” technology to extract most of the air from the flour, making the dough smooth and elastic.
Focus on offline development in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and other cities
Grasp the “Chinese stomach”
At present, how can plant meat catch the “Chinese stomach” is also a problem of concern to the industry.
Generally speaking, the common forms of this popular category in foreign countries are meat pie and minced meat, which are not in line with the daily eating habits of Chinese people. If the demand does not go up, the chain that plant meat wants to rely on expanding the production scale and then reducing the cost and selling price to improve the penetration rate will not be able to get through.
Jiazhi cuisine admitted to the snack generation that the difficulty in reducing the cost is also its biggest concern, and believes that the most important thing now is to do a good job in product and consumer education.
The brand believes that the breakthrough of Chinese vegetable meat is to meet local preferences. “We will clarify the needs of local consumers for product taste through professional consumer surveys, cooperate with global R & D centers and other regional R & D teams, continuously improve product taste and taste, and develop products that meet the taste of Chinese consumers.”.
Interestingly, Jiazhi food disclosed that it would work hard to develop normal temperature products this year, hoping to lower the consumption threshold of consumers and create more convenient and richer application scenarios, but it did not disclose more details. The snack generation learned that Jiazhi food has no normal temperature products at present, and the plant meat on the market basically needs cold chain transportation and refrigeration.
In addition, in terms of consumer education, Jiazhi cuisine is trying to let more people try plant meat in person.
“To develop brand-new food, online visual and literal education is not the only thing. The perception is too weak, and offline tasting is more important.” The brand said that this year, it will hold a lot of trial eating activities, including the trial eating promotion in the supermarket, and the “plant flavor Friday” interactive trial eating activity that has been carried out in the shared office space Wework community for a long time.
Jiazhi cuisine also said that in addition to promoting localization research and development and on-site trial, the brand will continue to expand offline business supermarket channels this year, and enter Tiktok e-commerce to attract consumers with multiple contacts.
“Our brand is still in its infancy, and even the whole plant meat industry is still in its infancy in China.” Jiazhiyao said that considering that plant meat conforms to the idea of energy conservation and carbon reduction and people’s pursuit of health in the post epidemic era, it is firmly believed that it will become a major trend in the food industry, “but we need patience”.
Overweight local R & D
Nestle China plant meat center will play an indispensable role behind the “protracted war” of Jiazhi cuisine to break through the localization.
Today, xiaoshidai learned that in 2020, when Jiazhi cuisine landed in China, Nestle established a Chinese plant meat R & D center in Beijing. At present, the global food giant has set up four regional R & D centers for plant meat in China, Germany, the United States and Singapore, and has a global research center in its Swiss headquarters. Its global plant meat research team has more than 300 experts and more than 35 related patents.
In China, Jiazhi cuisine told xiaoshidai that the R & D center here is responsible for product concept output, formula and process design, laboratory product prototype development and optimization, application evaluation and product sensory testing.
“The Chinese plant meat R & D center will also closely cooperate with the Swiss scientific research center, rely on global technology solutions, and optimize and customize products to meet the needs of Chinese customers and consumers.” Jiazhi said. At the beginning of 2022, the center completed the comprehensive upgrading of a variety of products, including vegetable beef minced meat, pork minced meat and beef pie.
Jiazhi cuisine said that the key direction of the Chinese plant meat R & D center is localization, that is, to study the plant meat products that are suitable for China’s local dining habits and applications, so that the products can be better and more conveniently applied in different Chinese dishes, “bringing health, nutrition and delicious choices”.
Whether in China or the world, there is still much room for the early development of plant meat. Nestle CEO Mark Schneider once said at the recent Barclays exchange that although the growth rate of global vegetable meat is not as fast as before, consumers are still interested in new vegetable meat dishes.
“No one wants to live on hamburger patties, chicken nuggets and hot dogs all day long. Obviously, diversity is the name of the game. I think we have good channels and brands to provide these, as well as some prefabricated and frozen food.” Schneider said that from the very beginning, Nestle considered hamburger patty or chicken nugget as a good carrier to enter the vegetable meat industry, but the real opportunity is far more than this.
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