China Food

Dialogue with President of General Mills in China: China is a beacon market for our product innovation

General Mills, which operate well-known food brands such as Haagen Dazs and Wanchai Wharf, once again prove the resilience of its business in China.

“Although we have encountered many challenges under the epidemic, we expect to achieve a high unit growth this year as a whole, which is also in line with our original expectations.” Qiu Zhaoxiang, President and Managing Director of General Mills China, told Xiaoshidai today that this was due to the company’s seizing the opportunity in the home life scene, rich product innovation driven by digitalization, and channel restructuring.

In order to communicate with the above exclusive connection, he further disclosed to the snack agency the innovation strategy of the two core brands of General Mills in China, the latest progress and plan of the pet food business introduced last year, and the major organizational structure adjustment officially completed this year behind the growth expectation.

Qiu Zhaoxiang, President and Managing Director of General Mills China

Now, let’s pay attention to it.

Expand category scenes

“I believe that if any leading brand has been lying in the comfort zone, it will be gradually chased by minority brands, and finally he may become a minority. So we need to have a sense of crisis at all times, keep pace with the times, and constantly innovate. We must not lie flat or stay in the comfort zone.” Qiu Zhaoxiang told the snack agency.

As a fast-food brand under General Mills, Wanchai Wharf’s major product innovation direction is to cut into more home life scenes.

For example, breakfast. “In the past, when talking about Wanchai Wharf, most consumers would think of dumplings and the scenes of Chinese New Year and dinner, but we found that the demand for instant breakfast was also great. So in September this year, we launched the banner of ‘Wanchai Wharf Breakfast Shop’, and launched a series of new products, such as glutinous rice Shaomai, crystal shrimp dumplings, rare oyster sauce glutinous rice chicken, and crisp cakes.” Qiu Zhaoxiang said.

The innovation of these grounding products has achieved initial results. It is revealed that in the past Double 11, the e-commerce channel sales of Wanchai Terminal increased by 18% over last year, with the contribution rate of new products reaching 11.6%. “This shows that consumers have a high acceptance of our innovation.” Qiu Zhaoxiang said.

In fact, quick-frozen food is also one of the few categories that benefit from the home mode under the epidemic situation. Qiu Zhaoxiang told the snack agency that the growth rate of Wanchai Wharf in the past three years was indeed higher than that before the epidemic, and the market share rose because it was higher than the industry average. “Our growth comes from the increase of penetration rate. We have added some consumers who do not normally contact with quick-frozen food. In addition, the usage and scenarios have also increased.”

It is worth noting that the snack agency has learned that the high-end new products such as seafood dumplings launched by Wanchai Wharf have even increased at a double-digit rate. This also seems to be an example of the increasing pursuit of high-end healthy food by consumers in the post epidemic era while consuming more rationally.

According to the data of CCTV market research and Kaidu consumer index, on the whole, China’s FMCG market is still growing steadily, with a year-on-year growth rate of 2.8% in the first six months of the year. Data over the same period shows that high-end frozen food will increase by 17% in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period last year.

“The question of whether to upgrade or downgrade consumption has been discussed for a long time in the industry.

On the other hand, this ice cream brand originated from France also continues to introduce the global pop element into China. For example, at the beginning of this month, Haagen Dazs launched its new autumn and winter product “Red velvet cheese cake flavor ice cream”. According to the data, velvet cake is a classic dessert born in the Victorian era. The authentic red velvet cake recipe is believed to come from the Waldorf Hotel in New York, and has been popular in Europe and America for many years.

“Therefore, our new red velvet products have also chosen to launch in the Waldorf Hotel for a limited time, and have been included in the afternoon tea menu of Waldorf Hotels across the country. This week, we began to promote our new products to 400 offline Haagen Dazs stores. Red velvet is very suitable for the festive atmosphere of Christmas, New Year and so on.” Qiu Zhaoxiang said.

At the same time, as young consumers pay more and more attention to the demands of health, Haagen Dazs has also made an article on low calorie. Earlier this year, the brand launched Leggero Yunyun Pengpeng Italian ice cream, which is reported to “reduce fat by 63% and energy by 39%”.

In the process of promoting localization innovation by GM Mill’s brands, there is also a “behind the scenes hero” who plays an important role: the research and development center set up in Shanghai in 2014.

“Now, we have gradually changed from the experience oriented model that was relatively vague in the past to the data oriented model that is accurate and comprehensive, including testing consumers’ interest in new products using tools such as Tmall Black Box.” Qiu Zhaoxiang said that the product innovation of Haagen Dazs and Wanchai Wharf is “in China for China”. Driven by big data, the company is increasingly able to “feel the pulse” in the Chinese market.

Enter into pet food

In addition to the two core brands of Haagen Dazs and Wanchai Wharf, pet food is becoming a new growth point of General Mills in the Chinese market.

The snack agency introduced that last year, the multinational food giant expanded its business territory in China to a new category – pet food, and introduced its purchase of Blue Buffalo (Chinese name: Blue Food) in 2018, which was purchased by the giant with a large amount of about 8 billion dollars. This is also the first step of Blue Buffalo’s global strategic layout. China is the brand’s first overseas market outside North America.

For General Mills, which intends to expand its international business of pet food, China is naturally a stop that cannot be missed, because it is the world’s second largest pet food market after the United States. According to the data of iResearch, from 2015 to 2020, China’s pet industry is in a stage of rapid development, with a compound growth rate of 32.7%; The pet food market accounts for about 40%, which is the largest segment of pet market consumption.

“In the field of pet food, we are still primary school students and newcomers who have just entered the market. There are still many places to learn and explore.” Qiu Zhaoxiang told the snack food agency, but it was clear that Blue Food would continue its high-end natural pet food positioning in the Chinese market.

This is also a trend approach.

The excrement removing officials are willing to spend money on “family like” pets, and pet food is becoming more and more exquisite or high-end and refined like human food

In addition, in order to cultivate the “leadership team on the next bench”, General Mills China has also set up a new “future leadership college”. It is reported that this is a project jointly developed by the company’s human resources team and business departments to select potential secondary supervisors and provide them with cross field internal and external training and practice, covering areas from change leadership, digital marketing, supply chain management, omni channel and modern channel marketing, finance to compliance.

“This is equivalent to a small EMBA. We selected 50 people with the most potential in the whole company. The research case is the challenge that the company is facing. People who understand the market should understand the supply chain, those who understand the supply chain should understand the sales, and those who understand the sales should understand the legal affairs. One point I will emphasize to them is AB Role (two roles) A is your specialty. It is printed on your business card. B means you want to develop into a generalist. You need to know the fields of other departments. ” Qiu Zhaoxiang said.

“Three years ago, when I was communicating with you, I said that I wanted to build a professional and localized team, emphasizing efficiency, professionalism, hard work and grounding. Now, our organization is moving in this direction, and I am very pleased to have such combat effectiveness.” He said that China is the largest overseas market for General Mills, and will continue to invest in product innovation, talent development and other aspects in the future, Actively layout the Chinese market with a strategic vision of long-term development.

Follow the “snack generation (WeChat: foodinc)” and reply to the “General Mills” to see the wonderful news.

Dialogue with President of General Mills in China: China is a beacon market for our product innovation

尽管目前规模还很小,但这一新业务的增速不容小觑。据他透露,今年蓝馔同比去年实现了30%的增长。另外,今年“双11”期间,该品牌的销售业绩较“618”增长近一倍,单品“Wild Spirit原野精灵”还登上了天猫进口猫粮热销榜第二。








“这就相当于小型的EMBA,我们选出全公司最有潜力的50个人,研究的案例就是公司正在面临的挑战,使大家懂市场的要懂供应链,懂供应链的要懂销售,懂销售要懂法务。我会跟他们强调的一点是AB Role(两个角色),A是你的专长,印在你名片上的东西,B意味着你要往通才发展,你要了解其他部门的领域。”邱肇祥说。



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