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Freezer is the symbol of channel.
Some time ago, when talking with Lu Xue, I mentioned their important action to seize the Chinese market, “freezer strategy”.
In fact, laying channels and grabbing freezers are not the first initiatives of he Luxue. Industry giants such as Coca Cola have also used this method to walk around the world.
Let’s put it this way, in the FMCG market, whether you sell ice cream or drinks, fighting the freezer war is a set of tricks that look a little outdated but have been tried repeatedly.
In particular, in the past two years, Coca Cola, Nongfu spring and other traditional beverage overlords have worked together to encircle the rookie “vitality forest”, pushing the ice chest war to a new historical height.
In this issue, I want to talk with you about several famous freezer wars in the domestic commercial market and why everyone refuses to let go of freezers?
First of all, before talking about “ice war”, I don’t know if you have thought about:
Why do we call the vertical one “refrigerator” and the horizontal one “freezer”?
After all, such a title does not seem to conform to our consistent cognition. As Ma Weidu said in the hundred family forum, “in the Chinese concept, the cabinet should have a door and the box should have a cover. The upper cover is the box, and the horizontal door is the cabinet.”
According to this standard, we generally think that refrigerators should be called freezers, and freezers should be called refrigerators. It sounds a little windy. In fact, refrigerators and freezers are not only transliteration differences, but also involve the development history behind them.
In general, both belong to refrigeration equipment. However, the refrigerator has both refrigeration and freezing functions, and the freezer is more focused on freezing.
Their birth is inseparable from the development of refrigeration technology.
Since 1834, a Boston businessman named Frederick Todd transported the frozen ice of the New England Lake to the Caribbean, Europe, India and other places, people have found that refrigeration with ice is a good business and a lucrative business.
But the development of artificial ice production is thanks to a doctor named John gory. In the 1840s, malaria and yellow fever were prevalent in Florida, the United States, and there was not enough ice in the ward. With the kindness of doctors, gory used the way of absorbing heat when the air expanded to cool the air, invented an ice making device to cool patients, and later applied for a patent.
However, the more mature the artificial ice making technology, the more affected Tudor’s ice business, so Tudor began to discredit gory’s invention and spread rumors that the ice he produced was infected by bacteria. Therefore, Gori’s ice machine has not been mass-produced.
However, it was an era of vigorous development of various technologies. Not only Gori, but also many people were thinking about the development of refrigeration technology at the same time.
For example, in 1854, jamesharrison, an Australian, invented the first mechanical ice maker and applied it in a brewery; In 1879, German chemist and engineer Karl Feng Linde invented a refrigerator with ammonia as refrigerant.
After that, after repeated improvements, Swedish engineers Brighton and Mendes invented the world’s first refrigerator in 1922.
After that, refrigerators entered the Chinese market.
In the eyes of people at that time, this kind of refrigeration equipment was very similar to the “refrigerator” that existed in the Qing Dynasty. It was only powered on, so it was called “refrigerator”, and the “refrigerator” with refrigeration function that was later introduced into China was called “freezer”.
Generally speaking, in addition to industrial applications, refrigerators, freezers and other refrigeration equipment are also widely used in the food industry, such as quick-frozen food and ice cream.
Especially for ice cream, freezers are indispensable shelves for storing them, and as a ready to eat item, freezers are also their display shelves.
Therefore, in the ice cream industry, seizing the freezer is the usual means of businesses.
However, it is not the well-known heluxue that first recognized the role of freezers and used them to occupy the market and advertise, but the “beauty brand” ice cream that was popular in Shanghai as early as the 1930s.
Its manufacturer is Haining foreign firm, which originally did egg export business. It was founded by American businessman Haining in 1913. In 1925, hainingyang decided to introduce American cold drink equipment to produce ice cream in order to solve the off-season of egg processing.
Rich foreign capital and technical support made the “beauty brand” cold drinks, including popsicles, ice cream, ice bricks and other products popular as soon as they were listed in the 1930s.
In order to expand the brand influence of the “beauty brand”, Haining Yanghang not only published advertisements in various mainstream newspapers at that time, but also shipped 500 large-scale refrigerators with complete functions from the United States at one time.
These specially customized counter top large refrigerators now seem to be what we call freezers.
At that time, Haining Yanghang stipulated that all distribution points could use “beauty brand” cold drink products for free as long as they could ensure that only “beauty brand” cold drink products were placed in the freezer. This exclusive practice is the same as that used by major manufacturers now.
In the market environment at that time, this move was undoubtedly a dimensionality reduction blow. The similar situation was repeated after he Luxue entered the domestic market in the mid and late 1990s. I won’t go into details.
Then, using freezers to promote their own products has basically become the routine operation of major ice cream manufacturers, but it is the “northeast board” that suddenly became popular a few years ago that plays a new trick.
The manufacturer is ruby, which was established in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province in 1992. Some students in Northeast China may have eaten this brand of popsicles when they were children.
However, its “northeast board” is a new product born in 2013, and from its popularity path, it is more like an out and out online celebrity product.
First of all, as a northeast brand, the first stop of “northeast big board” is in Shanghai.
We know that for a long time, the domestic ice cream market was dominated by two major dairy brands represented by Yili and Mengniu, foreign brands represented by heluxue, and local brands operating separately in various regions.
It is not easy for new brands to break through, especially to open up the market nationwide.
The Northeast board chose Shanghai, which has the most concentrated resources, as the breakthrough. The competition is the most intense, but the opportunities are also the most.
Secondly, the Northeast board takes the differentiation route.
He did not open up channels such as large supermarkets at the beginning, nor did he compete with other mature brands with established market positions. Instead, he focused on various small shops, newspaper kiosks, and even milk tea shops along the road.
In this move, the most important weapon is the freezer. The Northeast board eliminates the middleman link and directly contacts with the retail stores of these terminals to put freezers in their stores.
Moreover, compared with the big brand freezers such as heluxue and Yili, the freezers in the northeast big board are smaller in size, with green as the main color, and the words green on a red background as the main signboard. Even if they are placed together with other freezers, they also have a certain degree of recognition.
It can be said that the small freezer is the first impression of our consumers when they contact the Northeast board.
The simple packaging and relatively low price of the Northeast board itself, combined with a trend of retro nostalgia triggered by film and television in those years, appropriately echoed the feelings of the public.
Supplemented by social media publicity, it has become a rising presence in the ice cream industry since 2014.
Until now, speaking of the Northeast board, its “small freezer” breakthrough strategy is still a topic that cannot be bypassed.
In the beverage industry, freezers are also a necessity. As we all know, the taste of iced Coca Cola rises by more than one grade compared with that at room temperature.
As early as 1927, Coca Cola entered the Chinese market and set up China’s first bottling plant in Shanghai. At that time, Coca Cola also built a special kiosk in Shanghai (similar to today’s newspaper kiosks).
In addition, Coca Cola’s most common places are in Shanghai headquarters building, overseas Chinese club, high-end hotels, Western restaurants and other places.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Coca Cola further opened its popularity with the help of a large number of newspaper advertisements. Moreover, in the form of small freezers, Coca Cola went out of high-end restaurants and into the streets.
At that time, small freezers with Coca Cola signs were standard in street fruit stalls, cigarette hotels, small restaurants, cinemas and other places.
This is the first stage for Coca Cola to enter the domestic market, which also completes the initial brand recognition of Coca Cola by the public.
When Coca Cola returned to the domestic market in the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a more complex market environment, facing not only the rise of domestic brands, but also the constant sniping of its old rival Pepsi Cola.
In addition to price reduction and promotion, and crazy spending on advertising, Coca Cola uses freezers to occupy offline sales channels, which is also an important measure to occupy the market.
For example, Coca Cola launched the “terminal revolution” in the early 1990s.
The freezers were provided to retail stores for free, and a huge team of salesmen was established, equipped with motorcycles, so that they could directly send products to retail stores at various terminals.
Since 2001, Coca Cola has started to implement the “101 plan” and launched close cooperation with distributors in the second and third tier markets.
In addition to providing retailers with refrigerators, freezers, display racks and other hardware equipment, they also provide them with training in relevant industry knowledge.
Because of its first mover advantage, coupled with its wealth, Coca Cola’s practices have effectively suppressed other brands.
However, in the most intense and sticky stage of the market competition, Coca Cola’s freezer strategy was almost useless because of the battlefield.
I don’t know how many students still remember that there was a drink called “very Cola” when they were young?
Launched by Wahaha in 1998, this kind of beverage has skillfully established the public’s brand awareness with the national mission of “patriotism”. It also follows the route of encircling the city from the countryside, and takes the vast rural canteens as the base to occupy the market step by step.
In just a few years, it has become the third largest beverage brand after Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola.
Of course, in addition to big cities, Coca Cola, which has a vast territory in China, has also been eyeing the rural market since 2003.
First, Coca Cola established a factory in Gansu to further ensure its productivity;
Then, taking the villages of eastern coastal cities such as Zhejiang and Fujian as the starting point, a batch of Coca Cola shelves and freezers were put in.
Finally, 7000 freezers are ready to win the rural market.
However, even if Coca Cola wanted to, the overall consumption environment of the domestic rural market could not keep up at that time. Fortunately, later, as the country promoted the construction of rural mom and pop stores, it provided basic facilities for Coca Cola to implement the freezer strategy.
In addition, with the gift of freezers, Coca Cola also implemented the “one yuan coke plan”.
The extremely low price and the consumption method of returning bottles after drinking are also in line with the consumption habits of rural areas, making Coca Cola gradually gain a foothold in the rural market, and even occupy the market share of Coca Cola with a wider coverage.
Similarly, in the domestic beverage market, especially in the bottled water track, Nongfu Shanquan, which once fought against Wahaha and tore Master Kang’s hand, is definitely a victory over Quan.
Its founder is Zhong Huixuan, a journalist, so Nongfu Shanquan is good at making topics and engaging in marketing wars, which I believe everyone has heard.
“Nongfu mountain spring is a little sweet”, “we don’t produce water, we are just nature’s porters” and other advertising words are popular.
But on the other hand, for many years, in order to compete for the market, it is also an old hand in laying channels.
According to the financial report data of Nongfu spring in 2019, by the end of that year, Nongfu spring had covered more than 2.37 million terminal retail outlets across the country, 78.9% of which were located in low-level cities, and more than 360000 terminals were equipped with Nongfu spring freezers.
Therefore, when Yuanqi forest held a dealer conference in October 2020, Tang Binsen proposed to lay 80000 single door six story smart freezers with embedded cameras to the terminal, and made a large-scale march into offline sales terminals, Nongfu Shanquan felt offended.
Of course, it is not just Nongfu spring that is under threat. In a market where the pattern has been stable for many years, such a catfish is the most feared.
Compared with Nongfu spring, Wahaha, Coca Cola, Pepsi and other brands, Yuanqi forest is definitely a new species from another world.
It grew up in the Internet era, took the “lightweight” route, and created a bloody path through online sales channels. Moreover, its main “sugar free bubble” revitalized a new track, which made it a new upstart in the industry in four to five years.
Yuanqi forest is menacing, so when it decides to look at traditional enterprises and develop offline markets, it will naturally encounter heavy resistance.
In fact, in dealing with Yuanqi forest, these traditional brands are like several famous and decent sects in the Jianghu.
Even though there were many Jianghu grievances in the past, at that time and at that moment, for the common goal, they would temporarily shake hands and make peace, unite the front, and then work together to encircle and suppress this demon sect disciple.
Therefore, after the high-profile exit of Yuanqi forest, Nongfu Shanquan immediately launched the “God of wealth” activity. One of its slogans is: “fight for competitive refrigerators and buy back our refrigerators.”
This year, the two major Cola brands have put down their harsh words internally and want to do something to bring down the vitality of the forest.
Yuanqi forest must also know that the road ahead is difficult. After all, before 2019, they had no freezers. When their bubble water was sold offline, they often needed to live in freezers of brands such as Nongfu mountain spring.
Compared with the nearly 400000 refrigerators owned by Nongfu spring and the nearly one million refrigerators owned by Coca Cola, even if Yuanqi forest can put 80000 refrigerators in place at once, it is nothing.
However, Yuanqi forest also takes a short cut. It makes full use of its Internet gene, and the smart freezer is the main one put into the sinking market.
When Tang Binsen was interviewed by “later” in November last year, he was asked “what can Nongfu Shanquan do but you won’t do?”.
His answer was, “we developed our own smart freezer, which can remind the salesperson to replenish when it is out of stock, instead of going to the scene for inspection. The farmer didn’t do this.”
To some extent, the intelligent freezer is not only the product display cabinet and display desk in your impression, but also a terminal database. Through networking, we can collect all first-hand sales data and even user portraits, so as to achieve more accurate advertising.
The change of sales data of Yuanqi forest can also directly reflect the effect of its intelligent freezer.
In March last year, its sales force increased by an average of 118% compared with the sales force without freezers. In addition, compared with the statistics of traditional freezers for half a year, the sales volume of intelligent freezers increased by 74% on average, and the growth efficiency increased by 472%.
However, it is obviously too early for Tang Binsen to comment on Nongfu Shanquan at that time.
Smart freezers don’t have too high technical barriers. Vitality forest can be put into use, which means that Nongfu spring, including Coca Cola and other brands, can also be put into use.
In fact, at the end of last year, Nongfu Shanquan’s chairman Zhong Huixuan announced at the company’s general meeting that he would spend 2billion to fully promote the application of 4-door and 3-door intelligent freezers in terminals, and had placed more than 30000 orders with intelligent freezer manufacturers.
Presumably, the ice war in the beverage market has been ignited, and all parties will end one after another. In the end, it is just who is more willing to pay the price and who has more resources.
At present, the “ice war” will be a protracted war.
In the final analysis, whether it is the traditional freezer or the current smart freezer, for these brands, the freezer is the symbol of the channel. The purpose of fighting the freezer war is to make their own side firmly grasp the sales terminal.
Especially for fast-moving consumer goods such as beverages and ice cream, the hyped advertising and strong value affirmation are often inferior to products that can be bought at hand.
Only businesses can shop their products to the nearest place to consumers, so that everyone can buy them even in remote places, can they complete the closed-loop consumption.
It is conceivable that in such a large market as China, there will always be places that are not covered by various brands. Therefore, whoever can seize these sales terminals faster means having more markets.
When the early “Internet + hot money” game of Yuanqi forest gradually lost its power, it was found that if you want to attract more consumers, you still have to return to the traditional channel battle.
And the old brands that have been fighting in the channel for so many years will certainly not be easy for newcomers to succeed.
It can be said that at this stage, the freezer war provoked by Yuanqi forest is inevitable, and all parties will only work harder.
But the freezer war also has certain limitations. Everyone is fighting for resources with the most essential money. It’s just that whoever gives more profits to dealers and more discounts to retail stores will be relatively easier to win.
Therefore, high-end business wars often only need the most brutal means.
Most of the time, people don’t need to compete with each other about whose quality is better, whose drink is better, and whose ice cream is better. Instead, they directly cut off your production line, destroy your sales, rob your official seal, and make your products have nowhere to sell and nowhere to go.
After all, your products and quality are not important to me, but without you, it is very important to me.
 “Freezers become their battlefield”, Feng Lunfeng, Ma Niu
 In order to protect the freezer, Nongfu spring and Yuanqi forest “fight”, daily people
 “Zhong yingxuan vs Tang Binsen: Nongfu Shanquan’s offline sniper battle, which began with 80000 freezers in the mom and pop store”, Sina Technology
 Why are those like cabinets called refrigerators and those like boxes called freezers, First reading
 Cold drinks in Shanghai