Catalyzed by capital, the competition in the impending food track is moving from online to offline.
In the midsummer of July, near Beijing Wangjing SOHO, customers walked into a physical store called “Good Sale” in groups. Even on weekdays, there is no shortage of passenger flow here. In addition to office workers in nearby office buildings, there are also nearby residents, and a family of three made a special trip. Entering the store, a variety of snacks and personal care products are displayed. The reason why consumers are attracted to buy is that the price of the goods is low enough. Of course, these products generally have another characteristic-the expiration date is approaching.
Huang Shan, who is engaged in IT work, works nearby and frequents here. Before the domestic trend of “provisional food”, she cultivated this consumption habit while studying abroad. “Whether it is from the perspective of environmental protection, food conservation, or economic benefits, overseas started earlier than China, and the system and consumption concepts are also relatively advanced,” she told DoNews (ID: ilovedonews).
When she first returned to China, she was still a little uncomfortable. Because the temporary food store is not easy to find. In the past six months, she found that more and more temporary food stores appeared, which made her feel gratified. “Like the imported chocolate I just bought, it has been planted by Xiaohongshu for a long time, but the price is too high. Now I can spend very little money to try it. If it tastes good, you can buy it. If it tastes bad, Not much loss, Chundang bought a’blind box’ for a few dollars.” Huang Shan said.
Unlike Huang Shan, Li Shuo, who lives nearby, came to the store with a family of three.
“Because today, Friday, tomorrow, the three of us at home, thinking about store some snacks, although here snack species than the 7-11 convenience bee less, but the price is really cheap.” From several angles to a few dollars Snacks, a bottle of Paris water for 5 yuan, Schwarzkopf for more than 30 yuan… After a stroll, the family selected goods in two large bags, which only cost more than 100 yuan.
“Actually, there are not too many people today. On weekends, I often bump into the residents of our community here, buying baskets by baskets,” Li Shuo said.
In fact, impending discount stores such as Hao Special Sale are not new. With the rise of imported e-commerce in the early years, the concept of impending food has already existed, but due to the lack of large-scale brands in the market, impending food is more present in the corners of daily life.
According to several interviewees, DoNews introduced that as young people’s acceptance of impending food increases, the operating costs of businesses such as initial order billing and repurchase will drop, which will promote the development of the industry. When industry players have successively received financing, offline has also become a competitive point of the ad hoc food track.
A business that is not new
Moment, Advent food fiery track, data from the public will be able to know a little two.
According to the “2020 China’s Temporary Food Industry Market Analysis and Consumer Research Report” released by iiMedia, the total output value of China’s snack food industry in 2020 will exceed 3 trillion yuan. Even with 1% inventory precipitation, the market size of the temporary food industry has exceeded 30 billion.
In addition, shops related to temporary food have also sprung up on the e-commerce platform. According to data from Tianyan Check , there are more than 3,000 temporary food stores on the e-commerce platform.
With the huge market size and high growth rate, capital has also poured into the impending food track.
In March this year, Shihuibang completed tens of millions of yuan in angel round financing; also in March, Boom Boom Mart also completed tens of millions of yuan in Pre-A round of financing; in April this year, Little Elephant Life Completed tens of millions of yuan in angel round financing. In addition, as a good deal for an old player of impending food, it has received 4 rounds of financing in two years.
In the opinion of iiMedia Consulting CEO Zhang Yi, there are three main reasons behind the craze of the impending food track: price advantage, policy boost and overcapacity when driving domestic demand.
In terms of price, impending food is cheaper than other foods, and it is not a problem to eat within a safe time period; in terms of inventory, affected by the epidemic, many offline physical stores have been affected, resulting in unsalable food, which has led to the industrial chain There is a backlog of stocks in the upper reaches, and the temporary food thus ushered in development opportunities. At the same time, under the epidemic, consumers are also aware of the disadvantages of advanced consumption such as financial consumer loans, which in turn urges everyone to switch to temporary discounted food in their consumption habits, especially snacks and other shopping.
In addition, Zhang Yi believes that the boom in impending food is also closely related to favorable policies.
For example, in May 2019, the “Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Deepening Reform and Strengthening Food Safety Work” was released, which imposed a strict prohibition on the refurbishment and sales of expired food, which to some extent also played a role in regulating the temporary food industry. In addition, last year, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions issued a notice requesting to resolutely stop food waste and promote the virtues of diligence and thrift, which also played a role in promoting the temporary food industry.
In addition to the above two points, as the domestic consumption structure continues to upgrade, behind the increase in production capacity, there is also an inventory backlog for the market. “For example, as new brands continue to emerge in the market, some of them will always be , Leaving a large amount of inventory, and these inventory also need to have channels to help brands to digest, based on this, the rapid rise of impending products.” Zhang Yi pointed out,
DoNews learned that, in fact, back in the early rise of cross-border electricity supplier, electricity supplier of imports to flourish, but also in this period, has emerged in the earliest first Advent food products to play at home, the more representative of the brand have good food Period , fire sale, etc.
Taking the Hao Shi period as an example, the platform was officially launched in June 2016 and received 110 million yuan in Series C financing led by Alibaba in 2018 . According to its official information, its user scale has reached 100 million.
In addition, the temporary food platform fire sale also received 35 million yuan in strategic financing in 2018.
It was also around 2016 that Liu Zelei, who saw the trend, founded his own online tailings app-“Sweeping App”. At that time, he also won financing including Tencent’s investment.
Choosing to start a business for temporary food and tailings was mainly because I noticed that many traders among imported cross-border e-commerce players had their sales channels blocked, and there was a backlog of imported food. “If this part of the food is returned overseas, the postage cost will increase significantly. However, according to the relevant domestic environmental protection regulations at the time, this part of the temporary goods and food stranded in the warehouse must be destroyed by a certain date. In this case, Traders are often caught in a dilemma, so this is our opportunity.”
At that time, the temporary food was not enough to be called a racetrack, but the model similar to the scanning app was welcomed by distributors and traders. “Some distributors imported red wine that was unsalable, and finally directly contacted our platforms. He said that he was willing to sell us a penny and a bottle, a total of 100,000 bottles. As for how much we could sell, he just asked, it was very common at the time like this.” Liu Zelei said frankly.
As an early practitioner, Liu Zelei believes that the temporary food business has always existed, but it was not seen by consumers because of factors such as the external environment.
“Especially at the level of consumer awareness. When we made impending food around 2015, people’s awareness was not high at that time, so in the process of doing the project, it is even necessary to popularize some common sense about impending food to users. “Liuze Lei said with emotion, consumer goods cheap attitude was relatively conflict, but now the environment is clearly not the same,” especially similar fight a lot of the rise of such a platform, in fact, are the user’s level of education, for the Advent and low The price of food has laid the foundation, and users’ willingness to participate has also become stronger, so the outside world feels as if this track is suddenly on fire.”
The end of the competition is offline
Judging from the current three major platforms in the industry, such as good sale, prosperity market, and good food period, although they are all involved in impending food or commodities, their characteristics are different.
For example, in addition to common impending foods, Hao Sale also covers some daily chemical products, and the price can be 2 to 50% off the original price. As an emerging prosperity market, it reaches new consumers through explosive snacks and new brands of snacks; while Hao Shidai uses popular live broadcasts to find new increments for its own marketing.
It is worth noting that the challenger capital behind the prosperity bazaar has been frequently launched in the consumer sector in recent years, especially new brands, and this has also provided more convenience for the prosperity bazaar to launch new brands of snacks.
Liu Zelei believes that the differentiation of platform operation models will help to occupy consumers’ brand awareness. However, in actual operation, the most important test for businesses is how to manage consumers’ consumption expectations.
For example, for the same category of impending milk, good merchants will tell consumers in an appropriate way that the packaging may be flattened, etc., but if the merchant uses a method similar to “take the price of domestic food and eat imported food” to promote , Then consumers’ psychological expectations are definitely different, and ultimately consumers’ brand perceptions of merchants are naturally different.
In addition to the differentiation of operation and product selection, DoNews found that the above three temporary food brands all have a large number of physical outlets offline. Liu Zelei believes that this is also the biggest difference between this wave of impending food players and the wave of players in 2015 and 2016.
“From our experience in making temporary foods at the time, this wave of track players are heavily placed offline.” Liu Zelei believes that temporary foods are the last, the model is the same as the retail game of convenience stores. During the period of making the sweeping app, although I got the investment from Tencent, an important reason for the failure in the end was “the offline retail and supply chain failed to keep up.”
“I think that through chain stores and other methods, there is no difference between selling off-the-shelf goods and temporary food, and making stocks. In essence, it is a test of merchants to gain a good position in the core area, obtain better passenger flow, and have a strong supply chain. , Enough to support the fact that the offline shelves are covered,” but at the time, the team did it in accordance with the logic of pure e-commerce. Its drawback was that the traffic was too expensive. “We calculated that it would be a loss if we did it. So later We are also gradually shifting offline, and now we are also seeing that this wave of impending food, including good deals and Bianlifeng, is done offline first, and after being seen by offline users, we will touch online ones. , This is a big change. It can even be said that there is no platform to do online alone anymore.” Liu Zelei said.
In addition, he pointed out that the control of user repurchase rates is also a core element for testing various platforms.
“Take the platform I made at the time as an example. The products are mainly snacks, and there are nearly 1,000 SKUs. In order to increase repurchase, we have done some activities to reduce fees for the first order. We want to acquire some new users online, and at the same time The price of the package is set at 88 yuan. According to the 30% gross profit, a single order can earn about 23 yuan, which seems to be a lot, but the packaging cost, logistics cost, etc. are also deducted. In addition, the user spends 88 Basically, one-fifth of the SKUs on the platform can be selected for a dollar. Obviously, users may not be able to eat these snacks in a month, and the repurchase rate will definitely not rise.”
Public information shows that in terms of the layout of offline outlets, Hao Sale currently has about 150 stores across the country, including more than 80 stores in Shanghai; Xiaoxiang Life currently has more than ten stores across the country. In addition, After Shihuibang won 10 million yuan in financing in March this year, it even announced plans to open 100 stores in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei this year.
According to a practitioner in the impending food track, introducing the factors behind the brand’s heavy warehouse offline outlets, the high price of purchase traffic is on the one hand, and on the other hand, for impending food or tailings, even if you buy online There is a lot of traffic, but it is not as valuable as imagined.
“The characteristics of the tail goods themselves determine that the inventory of each SKU is unstable. In other words, the logic of the flow is to make a hot product, but if a product itself is a hot product, it will definitely not flow into the tail product. Therefore, the core advantage of offline compared to online is that it can rely on low prices and a small amount of explosive products to attract traffic, and increase the sales of other niche foods in the store. This is done by online traffic. Not much.” The industry insider said.
DoNews noticed that this wave of impending food craze has also made some distributors try to rely on the advantages of the goods to try to make impending foods by themselves.
Zhang Peng worked as a distributor for several years before, mainly dealing in beverages and snacks. At the beginning of this year, he found out that his friends had started their own temporary supermarkets. “They say that young people now have a high acceptance of impending food, and because they have the advantage of being a distributor of warehouses and goods, after switching to offline retail, they are much more competitive than regular-priced products.”
In Liu Zelei’s view, it is not an easy task for dealers to end up doing impending food in person.
“Before and after 2015, the attitude of traders towards impending foods was to directly give them to the platforms for impending foods. Some traders would even post fees to the platforms so that the platforms could help clean up the inventory.” At the same time, Liu Zelei told DoNews. In the past, traders and distributors used to produce goods in large quantities, and they may not be worthy of the money earned from the input-output ratio and the operation of temporary food.
In addition, traders used to deal with B-end customers. After turning to C-end retail, the business from selecting goods , picking goods , packaging, shipping, and finally to the final after-sales is not a business he is familiar with. Therefore, the complexity and Dealers and traders will also measure the input-output ratio.
50% marginal siege of temporary food
At the moment, the enthusiasm of the temporary food track, in addition to the influx of a large number of brands and distributors, ordinary individuals also have a high degree of enthusiasm for the temporary food brands that are open to franchise.
Working in Beijing, Liu Yu has always been planning to start a business. After seeing several friends around him recently learned about joining conditions and joining fees at Hehao Sale, Liu Yu was also moved. In his words: “I couldn’t join the milk tea shop a few years ago. Last year I didn’t catch up with the popularity of star hot pot restaurants. This time the wave of impending food , we must take a gamble.”
With the enthusiasm of impending food, the franchise costs of top brands such as Haozai have soared, from hundreds of thousands in the past to hundreds of thousands. “It feels to miss this wave of heat, may join after the threshold and the cost will increase, the other probably also understand the data in some industries, said at the gross profit can be up to 30% -50% or even higher, or very attractive to me “Liu Yu said.
In his office building in Huilongguan, Beijing, Maopan rented an 80-square-meter shop as a self-operated temporary food store. “Adventure food is like a siege. People outside want to rush in when they see profits. But now the problem is that the threshold for joining a brand is high. The franchise fee alone can dissuade many entrepreneurs. Doing it yourself can save a lot of money to join. Expenses, but if you do it for a long time, there are too many things to explore.
Compared with Liu Yu, Maopan is not so optimistic. Since opening for a year, the revenue has not been as rumored. Due to the relatively low customer unit price of temporary food, the lack of passenger flow during the cold start, and the operation of private domain traffic, the store flow is not ideal for more than half a year.
In addition, since the first-line impending food brands that suppliers can provide are relatively limited, Maopan mainly sells second- and third-line impending foods at home and abroad, which has lost its appeal to consumers.
But even so, Maopan is still optimistic about the impending food circuit. “Now that there are more customers, we have also found new suppliers, and the profitability in the past two months has improved compared to before. Actually, my kind of investment is relatively small. A friend of mine once tried to imitate those big brands and make it myself. The warehouse was used for temporary food, and it opened stores in shopping malls and office buildings on the Wenjiang side of Chengdu. Seven stores were opened up and down. Just building the warehouse burned several million, but it closed after half a year. Compared with him , I think I am much luckier.” Maopan said with emotion.
In the process of communicating with DoNews, industry insiders said that from the perspective of profit, 30% to 50% of gross profit is not high compared to the characteristics of the industry itself. At the same time, for the merchants, it is necessary to bear behind it. The risk is higher than that of other businesses with the same gross profit level.
“In fact, the 30%-50% gross profit of temporary food will be higher than this value if done well. In fact, looking at many industries, 30% gross profit is not the highest in the industry.” Liu Zelei pointed out that the so-called Behind the high gross profit, some problems are more difficult to deal with. “For example, when different batches of impending food are introduced, the return rate will also fluctuate. These, from the appearance of the outer packaging to the quality control of the product itself, test the operators’ operations. ability.”
Zhang Yi believes that the logistics and warehousing capabilities of the temporary food business are testing merchants or platforms.
“The biggest risk of impending goods is whether they can be sold in an effective time. This also tests whether platforms and merchants have sufficiently wide sales channels. For example, in the c-end consumer, based on membership, The establishment of access methods such as private domains, in addition to warehousing, is even more important for both online and offline stores.” Zhang Yi said.
Regarding whether the impending food is a short-term prosperity or a long-term dividend, Zhang Yi believes that although the impending food has a certain particularity, and there are still consumers who have a certain negative impression of the impending food, as the country With the gradual tightening of food market supervision and the further occupation of consumers’ minds by the temporary food platform, consumers’ confidence in the safety of temporary food will inevitably increase in the future. This is a big plus for practitioners.
In addition, from the perspective of the temporary food itself, in order to prevent the food from exceeding the expiration date, the brand reduces the price to allow consumers to obtain what they need, which is a win-win strategy. In the long run, the temporary food track will flourish.
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