China Food

Get rid of homogeneity! Prefabricated vegetable products can also be done this way

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policy and capital both help to prepare vegetables. What opportunities can the enterprises enter the market seize to advance?
 
 ”

Text: Emma Zhang

Source: food daily (ID: food)

 
This summer, prefabricated vegetables have become a key word that affects the nerves of the whole society: first, Luo min’s “developing first and suppressing later” passed the Epiphyllum in front of the prefabricated vegetables’ tuyere. Then, Haidilao set up a community operation center to promote the prefabricated vegetables business in order to save the profits and losses. In Guangdong, Shenzhen and Shandong, summits related to prefabricated vegetables have been held one after another… The popularity of the prefabricated vegetables market is still high. The high-speed growth is not only favored by the domestic market, but also called the next “billions of tuyeres”. From the perspective of the foreign market, there is still a huge growth space.
 
In the second half of the year, local governments have issued policies to regard prefabricated vegetables as an important engine for local economic development. In just a few years, prefabricated vegetables have grown rapidly from the commercial market where enterprises compete with capital, and become a new economic phenomenon that attracts the attention of the whole people. How can the prefabricated vegetable industry move forward steadily in the face of the good situation where the market space suddenly opens up and both policy and capital help? In the case of low concentration in the domestic market and the birth of leading brands, what opportunities can the entering enterprises seize to advance?
 

The market “cake” is huge. How to cut it?

 
In the face of hundreds of billions of “giant” markets, policies and capital have increased their bets one after another. With the geometric growth of the number of players, the market potential and future trend of the prefabricated vegetable industry are more and more worth exploring and studying.
 
According to the 2022 China’s Prefabricated vegetable industry insight report, from 2013 to 2021, 71 investment and financing events occurred in the prefabricated vegetable track, and the total amount of financing disclosed exceeded 1 billion yuan, involving 42 projects. Recently, there are also media reports that, following the layout of prefabricated vegetable tracks by many supermarkets such as HEMA, Sam and Yonghui, Midea, country garden and other enterprises have also quietly entered the market. Although more and more brands of prefabricated dishes have entered the market, there are still obvious problems of homogeneity in terms of product types: for example, too much focus on heavy flavor Sichuan cuisine; Domestic meat and vegetables account for a high proportion; Most require refrigeration; There is no difference in the consumption population.
 
So what are the opportunities and development trends in the future if the prefabricated food brand wants to get rid of the dilemma of homogenization?
 

1. Vegetarian prefabricated dishes

 
In the European market where prefabricated dishes started earlier, in order to meet the growing consumer demand, major manufacturers have been introducing high-end new products. The survey shows that consumers’ preference for frozen non vegetarian packaged food is rising, because the hygiene problem of fresh products in the market is increasingly serious.
 
According to the report released by technavio, from 2021 to 2025, the global frozen food market is expected to grow by 94.99 billion US dollars, of which 46% is from North America. Ready to eat food, especially vegetarian ready to eat food, will continue to promote the expansion of the industry.
 
Source: swift fine foods
 
Another British study also shows this trend. 《Eating
In January 2020, n Ü ty, a start-up company of Indian prefabricated dishes, introduced ready to eat dishes with storage resistance by using non thermal sterilization (high-pressure) technology through its proprietary cooking technology, and extended the shelf life of normal temperature storage to 2 months without adding any artificial additives. Since 2019, n Ü ty has expanded its business to more than 220 locations in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai, providing at least 500000 meals for the market.
 
3. Prefabricated dishes for special people
 
Finally, as consumers demand more dietary varieties in the fields of freezing, freezing, vegetarian and vegan, global manufacturers are focusing on product innovation to adapt to the new health choices of consumers around the world.
 
At present, major European enterprises are providing consumers with various innovative products to meet their preferences. After all, the innovation of sugar free and low calorie food is directly related to the health of consumers. Developed specifically to meet certain medical or nutritional needs, such as weight loss, diabetes, or people with specific food intolerance.

 

(1) Patients with diabetes
 
To a certain extent, prefabricated dishes can help diabetic patients adhere to healthy and scientific eating habits and help type 2 diabetes patients control their blood sugar. According to the report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and prevention in 2019, there were about 1.4 million new cases of diabetes in 2019, of which 69.0% suffered from hypertension and 44% suffered from high cholesterol. The growing number of diabetes patients is also conducive to the growth of the regional market.
 
Diet to go weekly menu for diabetics source: diet to go official website
 
According to the report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and prevention in 2019, there were about 1.4 million new cases of diabetes in 2019, of which 69.0% suffered from hypertension and 44% suffered from high cholesterol. The growing number of diabetes patients is directly conducive to the growth of the regional market. Take diet to go, which was founded in 1991 in the United States, as an example. The company mainly provides four types of meal plans: balanced nutrition prefabricated meals; Low fat vegetarian prepared meals; Ketogenic prefabricated meals; Prepared meals for patients with low-fat diabetes. As early as 1999, they launched the first batch of prefabricated vegetable mail order products in the United States, making its product line throughout the country.
 
(2) Obese people
 
In a large number of obese people, there are always people who cannot accept a vegetarian diet. The low-carbon water prefabricated dishes designed by the European company live well for diabetic patients have won international innovation awards for their unique product positioning. Live well’s Refrigerated healthy low carbohydrate ready to eat food series recipes are all from the company’s internal carbon water program nutrition team. They have collected feedback from more than 10000 members of the low carbon water program, and are specially designed for people who lose weight.
 
Fat reduction package source: live well official website

 

The practice of nearly 470000 people has proved that the low-carbon water nutrition program group can really play a good role in helping consumers lose weight and improving blood sugar control.
 
(3) Other special groups
 
Ekomenu, a start-up company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is committed to consuming for specific needs
However, when professionals conducted spot checks on domestic prepared dishes, they found that the sugar content of a prepared dish with sour and sweet taste was as high as 50.7g, far exceeding the standards of who and the new version of the dietary guidelines for Chinese residents. In addition to the fact that the sugar content in the prepared dishes is extremely easy to exceed the standard, the addition of salt is also not to be underestimated. Food with heavy oil and salt is disastrous for consumers. It will not only lead to hypertension and heart disease, but also lead to osteoporosis, kidney stones and, in the most serious case, stomach cancer.
 
In addition, the prefabricated vegetable products on the market today are mixed, and unhealthy vegetable oil contains many polyunsaturated fatty acids that are harmful to the body. Vegetable oil can cause inflammation and may cause a series of problems such as heart disease. However, the consumption of these basic condiments and the content of additives are often most easily ignored by consumers, whether they are purchased in offline supermarkets or online live broadcast rooms.
 
2. Taste recovery
 
The diversified and characteristic tastes of the major brands in the prefabricated food market will also be a great challenge in the future. Due to the lack of detailed industry standards, how can we avoid “industrial flavor” in the production process of prefabricated dishes? This is a question that deserves deep thought. According to the survey report on the consumption of prefabricated dishes released by the Jiangsu provincial consumer rights and interests protection committee, 62.32% of consumers said that the taste of prefabricated dishes was general, and 3.32% of consumers thought that the taste of prefabricated dishes was poor and not delicious. According to a media survey, among the problems that consumers think the prefabricated food industry needs improvement, the first one is the degree of taste recovery.
 
Source: NutriSystem D official website
 
For the prefabricated vegetable enterprises, the industrial processing technology in China is relatively limited at present. At present, there are less than 1000 varieties. In the face of more than 18000 Chinese dishes, the technology of taste recovery still needs to be vigorously developed. R & D technology should focus on the following four points:
 
First, it is the excavation and quality evaluation of traditional crafts. The basic work of “preserving the pot atmosphere” is to collect the traditional cooking methods in a large scale and carpet style, which will be a long-term process. The second is the formation mechanism of the color and flavor of the products in the processing process, and the process parameters of the products are optimized to maintain the quality of the products. Third, it is the creation of engineering technology and equipment. Many traditional industries are not suitable for industrial processing, and appropriate industrial transformation must be carried out. Fourth, it is to preserve the quality during the storage reheating process, strengthen the research on the changes of flavor substances during the food reheating process, and realize the industrial processing and transformation of Chinese dishes.
 
3. Food safety risk
 
Finally, when it comes to prefabricated dishes, the first thing consumers may worry about is food safety. Ready to eat food containing fake ingredients will be a fatal blow to enterprises, and it is also the basic principle for the development of all food enterprises.
 
As a result, a Chinese refrigerated seafood company in the United States, which had a history of 40 years, closed down and was accused of producing and distributing adulterated seafood products in violation of the law. After investigation by the FDA, it was found that the company failed to keep the food contact source clean, causing serious pollution to its frozen and ready to eat fish balls and other products, and would be mixed with
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Get rid of homogeneity! Prefabricated vegetable products can also be done this way
忙碌的生活方式使得现代人患病率高发,需求也变得多样化,这将进一步为预制菜市场提供巨大的机会。美国疾病控制与预防中心2019年发布的报告指出:在中国和印度等国家,患有高胆固醇、慢性肾病、肥胖的糖尿病患者不断增加,预计将对地区的预制菜需求产生积极影响。
 

诸多行业雷点,该如何规避?

 
20%的高增速下,中国预制菜行业一派繁荣景象。然而,我们也看到:诸多行业“雷点”时隐时现,成为制约预制菜发展的重要因素。其中最为突出的问题就是行业门槛低,很多品牌没有过硬的研发实力,过分依赖代工厂贴牌加工,导致在发展过程中出现令消费者担忧的短板,集中体现在以下三点:
 

1.营养健康均衡问题

 
根据最新版《中国居民膳食指南》指示,清淡饮食习惯,少吃高盐、高糖和油炸食品应该成为当代健康的饮食方式。成年人每天摄入烹调油25~30g,食用盐在5g以下,控制添加糖在25g以下。不喝或少喝含糖饮料,特殊人群不应饮酒。
 
 
 
然而,在专业人士对国内预制菜进行抽查时却发现,一份酸甜口味的预制菜含糖量竟然高达50.7g,远远超出了WHO和新版中国居民膳食指南的标准。除了预制菜中的含糖量极其容易超标外,盐分的添加也是不可小觑的。重油重盐的食品对于消费者而言是灾难性的,不仅会导致高血压和心脏病,还可能导致骨质疏松、肾结石,最严重的情况还会引发胃癌。
 
另外如今市场上的预制菜制品良莠不齐,不健康的植物油含有很多对身体有害的多不饱和脂肪酸。植物油会引起炎症,并可能导致心脏病等一系列的问题。但无论是线下商超还是线上的直播间购买,这些基础调味品的用量,以及添加剂的含量往往最容易被消费者们忽略。
 

2.口味复原问题

 
预制菜市场各大品牌的口味多样化和特色化,在未来也将是一个很大的挑战。由于缺乏细致的行业标准,预制菜在生产过程中如何能够避免“工业味”?是一个非常值得深思的问题。据江苏省消费者权益保护委员会发布的预制菜消费调查报告,62.32%的消费者表示预制菜品口味一般,3.32%的消费者觉得预制菜口味较差、不好吃。更有媒体调查显示,消费者认为预制菜行业需要改进的问题中,排在第一位的是口味复原程度。
 
图源:Nutrisystem D 官网
 
对于预制菜企业而言,目前我国的工业化加工技术相对有限。目前不足1000个品种,面对超过18000种的中华菜肴而言,口味复原的技术仍需大力发展。研发技术应当着重于以下4点:
 
第一,是对传统工艺的挖掘和品质评价,“保留锅气”的基础性工作就是对传统美食菜肴制作方式进行大规模和地毯式收集,将是一个比较长期的过程。第二,就是加工过程中产品的色香味形成机理,对产品的工艺参数进行优化,保持产品的品质。第三,是工程化技术与装备的创制,许多传统工业其实并不适合工业化加工,必须进行适当的工业化改造。第四,是储存复热过程中品质的保存,加强食品复热过程中风味物质变化的研究,实现中式菜肴的工业化加工转换。
 

3.食品安全风险

 
最后提到预制菜,广大消费者可能首先会担心的依然是食品安全问题,含有假冒成分的即食食品将会对企业是致命性的打击,也是所有食品企业发展应该遵循的基本准则。
 
曾经有着40年历史的某美国华人冷藏海鲜公司就因此倒闭,被控违反法律生产与分发掺假海鲜产品的行为。而后经FDA调查发现,该公司对食品接触源未能保持清洁,对旗下冷冻即食鱼丸等产品造成了严重的污染,且将掺假食品引进州际贸易,在州际贸易中运送掺假食品,严重违反了食品安全法律。
 
还有发生在今年5月的“召回门”,美国韦恩农场公司经过农业部食品安全与检验局监督,决定召回58.8万磅即食冷冻鸡胸肉,使得该公司也受到很大影响。生产报告称,这些即食鸡胸肉可能压根没煮熟。生鸡肉经常会被弯曲杆菌污染,有时还会被沙门氏菌和产气荚膜梭菌污染,误食会导致食物中毒。
 
除了基本食品安全的保障,还有产品包装、冷链运输、产品加热等环节的质量保证,每一个环节对于国内的预制菜市场都是考验。更多的预制品公司逐渐将产品包装概念转向更多的植物性和可持续包装,专注于消费和工业包装的walki公司推出了用于包装食品和冷冻食品的托盘组合,这些托盘在纸流中是可回收的。

 

总结

 
8月15日,全国预制菜产业生态联合体宣布成立。从品牌各自为战,单打独斗,到“国家队”隆重登场,预制菜产业迎来全新力量,也在呼唤更大力度的行业创新。
 
相对于海外市场,国内预制菜行业起步较晚,生产链和技术链仍不够成熟,生产标准尚不够明晰,对于各大企业的研发和生产依然是一个巨大的考验。
 
目前业内焦点主要集中在品牌营销和渠道开发层面。如何用产品力吸引广大消费者,如何挖掘更多的品类裂缝,这是预制菜能否成为“全民产业”的关键所在。

参考文献:
1.https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/food/convenience-food/ready-to-eat-meals/worldwide#volume
2.《Ready Meals Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Frozen, Chilled, Canned), By Meal Type (Vegetarian, Non-vegetarian), By Distribution Channel, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 – 2030》
3.《Ready Meals Market 2022 to Showing Impressive Growth by | [No. of pages: 148] Industry Trends, Share, Size, Top Key Players Analysis and Forecast Research| by proficient market insights》
4.《Ready Meals Market Size to Reach USD 408.0 Billion by 2031 at CAGR 11.9% – Valuates Reports》
5.《EUROPE READY MEALS MARKET – GROWTH, TRENDS, COVID-19 IMPACT, AND FORECAST》
6.《Global Frozen Desserts Market Is Expected to Reach a Valuation of US$ 176 Bn by The End of 2032, Future Market Insights Inc.》
7.《How ready meals revolutionised our lives – 40 years since they landed in UK supermarkets》
8.《Ready Meal Market Size 2022 by Industry Trends, Statistics, Competition Strategies, Gross Margin, Revenue Analysis and Forecast to 2028》
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