Under the “young” bonus, the To C business of compound condiments

Taste this business

When all kinds of industrialized foods represented by compound seasonings succeed in occupying more of our kitchen space under the promotion of commercial power, the traditional Chinese family’s cooking habits of heavy handcrafting will accelerate the process of change, accompanied by manual production. The resulting food culture will undergo irreversible changes.

China is a delicious country.

In recent years, as the pace of resource integration in the catering supply chain has accelerated, a new generation of food merchants are re-adjusting the taste of the Chinese. Condiments are hailed by capital, which reflects this.

Among the many types of seasoning products, the performance of compound seasoning is particularly prominent, which is a seasoning product made of two or more seasonings. According to statistics from the consulting company Frost&Sullivan, compound seasonings are the only seasoning category that has maintained a double-digit growth rate in recent years, and its market share is second only to soy sauce.

Many new brands of compound seasonings contacted by “New Business Intelligence NBT” ( WeChat public account ID: newbusinesstrend) said that this category itself has huge brand dividends. “All investors understand a truth. Laoganma must have a problem, but no one can replace it yet and come up with a better plan to run out of the channel.” Dai Zhenkai , founder of Zuo Da Shi, told “New Business Intelligence NBT”, their main product is hot sauce compound seasoning.

On the one hand, the opportunity behind this comes from the intergenerational changes in the consumer market-new consumption habits are giving birth to new brands. Compared with the previous generation, the younger generation has shown a stronger demand for compound seasonings, while traditional brands have not yet fully kept up with the new changes in the market. This has become an opportunity for new brands.

On the other hand, the domestic food processing industry is developing towards a more industrialized and standardized direction. It provides a relatively sufficient and mature supply chain support for all new products supported by the food industry, such as compound seasonings and prepared vegetables. This is also the basic condition for all parties to enter the market in recent years.

For most new brands, with the solid support of the back-end supply chain, their competition in the front-end consumer market will only become more intense. The market window period boosted by the epidemic will not always exist. Priority to seize the minds of customers has become a matter that new brands of compound seasonings are stepping up.

Under this wave of turmoil, industry has been involved in the Chinese kitchen in all aspects.

01 “Young” bonus

Its opportunities come from young people.

This is a broad consumer group born since the 1980s. Their taste habits are very different from those of their parents, and their definition of “delicious” is also fuller than the previous generation.

The reason behind this is the increasing per capita disposable income and more frequent population movements. Today, a young man living in an inland city in the west may also love tom yum goong in Southeast Asia and Chaoshan hot pot in the southeast coast.

In addition, after social media has been widely involved in people’s lives, Weibo , Douyin, and Xiaohongshu have become the main drivers of food and fresh flavors everywhere.

In stark contrast to taste perception, this generation’s increasingly poor cooking level has become the soil for the rapid growth of compound seasonings in the past 10 years. Dai Zhenkai believes that food delivery has blocked the generational inheritance of family cooking skills. “Most of our generation’s cooking skills are not as good as our mothers.”

Under the "young" bonus, the To C business of compound condiments

In addition, some social changes have directly or indirectly accelerated this process. For example, the growing number of singles, smaller family units, and more women’s lives shift from the kitchen to the workplace and the realization of self-worth.

But the kitchen is still an indispensable family scene, and the demand for cooking will exist for a long time. The epidemic has verified this. The long-term closed life pushes young people back to the kitchen. Some of them have developed regular cooking habits during this period, but their difficult skills cannot meet their dietary needs.

The epidemic has amplified the contradiction between young people’s cooking ability and actual needs, and new brands of compound seasonings see this as an opportunity. With the help of the power of industry and marketing methods that cater to the trend, they quickly flooded into the kitchens of young people.

This is a new trend that traditional brands have not kept up with. Whether in terms of taste innovation or brand marketing and packaging, traditional brands have not been able to fully adapt to changes. Because of this, the kitchen space that they have not occupied before has begun to be quickly occupied by new brands that have emerged in the past two or three years.

In an interview, Dai Zhenkai cited a vivid example to “New Business Intelligence NBT”-“Almost all girls can’t open the cover of Lao Ganma, but after so many years, it never thought of changing it. In addition, From the aesthetic point of view of the post-00 generation, Laoganma’s packaging is certainly not trendy.”

He analyzed the reason for the obvious conflict of consumer values ​​between the brand and the market. In Laoganma’s internal evaluation system, these details may not be a problem, “but among young people, they will think this is wrong.”

The unmet needs of the young consumer market leave room for new brands. “When new consumer trends emerge, old brands are abandoned very quickly. If a product can truly resonate with consumers from the brand’s mind, culture, values ​​and products, it will have a great deal Chance.” Dai Zhenkai said.

People have a stable demand and long-term memory for taste. Behind the “good food” is supported by a profound regional food culture and family life experience. When taste is a business, these cultural elements constitute its unique brand barrier. This binding relationship is as deep-rooted as the spicy-eating tradition in Sichuan-Chongqing culture.

For this reason, many entrepreneurs of the new compound seasoning brand that “New Business Intelligence NBT” contacted all regard their brand building as their own long-term value investment. “I think it should ultimately be the victory of values, not the victory of simple products.” Dai Zhenkai said.

This generation of new brands has caught up with the window period of intergenerational changes in the consumer market. For new brands that make compound seasonings, they have the opportunity to establish long-term exchanges with young people and develop into the “national” that Dai Zhen speaks about. Type brand” to realize long-term profitability of the brand.

At the same time, based on the country in recent years with the meal the rapid development of drink industry, food processing industry industrialization backend has been maturing, the capacity of the new brand seasonings growth has laid a solid foundation.

“Compound condiments have formed a very deep R&D and accumulation of basic production capacity during the rapid development of the catering industry in the past ten years. They can support the front-end product innovation very flexibly.” Shen Yueren, the founder of Jiawei, is in the front Said at the short FBIF2021 Food and Beverage Innovation Forum.

The improvement of the supply-side infrastructure, coupled with the unsatisfied and exuberant demand presented by the consumer side, has become the “time, place, and people” of this new generation of brands. On this basis, new brands of compound seasonings have emerged in an endless stream in recent years, and the backgrounds of the entrants have become more diverse.

For example, Zuoda Lion, which has grown up by the take-out tying model, officially launched a new seasoning product for retail channels in June; Zihai Pot recently launched its own compound seasoning sub-brand “Xiaoqi Kitchen”, which focuses on the first one. Scenes of young families cooking in second-tier cities.

In addition, catering and retail channels have also launched seasoning products based on their own capabilities. Typical examples are Hema and Haidilao . The former launched its own brand of cold soaked juice last year, and the sales of its own brand of cold soaked juice have increased rapidly, and Yihai International, behind Haidilao, also accelerated the development of compound seasoning products last year. Among the newly developed 55 new products, 15 are Chinese compound seasonings. material.

After many parties entered the game, the competition in the field of compound seasonings has rapidly heated up in the past two years.

02  and grab the old brand “mental”

The vitality of traditional brands is still tenacious.

Their advantage is that the brand influence of the old brands is still there, and their offline distribution network has a wide range of radiation, which makes them deeply rooted in the offline market. In addition, the old brands have a deeper industrial accumulation at the end of the supply chain, and have formed a scale and cost advantage.

Facing the continuous impact of new brands, these traditional brands have realized the crisis and accelerated the pace of adjustment. For example, Haitian Flavour also launched a variety of new compound seasoning products last year and increased its marketing efforts.

One of the most obvious signs is that it has appeared more and more frequently in major variety shows in recent years. High-profile variety shows such as “Wonderful Flower”, “Tucao Conference” and “Singer” have all appeared in Haitian’s naming and implantation. These methods help Haitian strengthen its connection with young people.

In this environment, new brands are seizing online opportunities.

With the help of mature food processing supply chains, stronger demand insight capabilities and younger marketing strategies, they have opened up the kitchen space where traditional compound seasonings have not yet broken through. Compared with the latter, new brands that are naturally not bound by old concepts and organizational structures can always show stronger adaptability and flexibility when facing emerging markets. This is also the advantage of latecomers.

Under the "young" bonus, the To C business of compound condiments

At the level of product innovation, this generation of taste merchants did not essentially create brand-new tastes, but selected tastes that are more likely to be favored by users from the existing tastes. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Coincidentally, China, with its vast territory, also provides a wealth of taste options for these new brands, because the vast hinterland of the mainland has formed a variety of taste preferences.

Previously, due to the standardization and low degree of industrialization of the domestic food processing industry, most flavors were confined to local restaurants and family members at home.

Now as the food industry matures, the threshold for stable supply, processing and circulation of raw materials has been gradually lowered through industrial means, and new brands have quickly squeezed into this market.

For seasoning producers, it is not difficult to restore a flavor, because most of them are ready-made flavors, based on existing cooking techniques. Dai Zhenkai shared, “It’s easy for a master chef with 20 years of cooking experience to restore the taste of Tom Yum Goong. Based on his cooking experience, he can quickly analyze the composition of raw materials and convert them into industrial production. Formula.”

The difficulty lies in how to screen out the tastes that can be widely accepted from the many existing tastes. This is precisely a capability that traditional brands lack.

In the screening mechanism emphasized by the new brands, what kind of flavor can be selected and produced on a large scale depends on the data expression behind the consumption behavior of the majority of people in the society.

Take Xiaoqi Kitchen as an example, its taste selection is mainly based on data. Based on the analysis of market consumption data, Xiaoqi Kitchen discovered the taste suitable for making compound seasoning products. Jin Dan, the marketing manager of the Zihaoguo brand business group, introduced that the data dimensions they referenced in the process of research and development include catering channels, Xiakitchen , bean fruit food and other vertical platforms, as well as social networks such as Weibo, Xiaohongshu, and Douyin. Share the popular and discussed tastes and dishes on the platform.

Under the "young" bonus, the To C business of compound condiments

During the screening process, not all flavors are suitable for being developed into compound seasonings. The method of Xiaoqi Kitchen is to select flavors that are not easy to make at home from the hot flavors. For example, the team of Xiaoqi Kitchen will compare the keywords associated with a certain taste and a specific recipe to judge, “If the keyword search frequency is high, it means that this is something everyone wants to do, but it will not Cooked dishes.” Jin Dan explained.

In terms of marketing, new brands also generally show a stronger desire to interact with users.

Especially with the rapid iteration of the domestic e-commerce industry, the relationship between online content and transactions is getting closer and closer. This has become the key for new brands to successfully attract consumers and quickly complete transaction conversions. The latter is also a capability that traditional brands lack.

For example, Xiaoqi Kitchen has modified the design of the seasoning package in response to the fact that young people love to share their daily lives on social media. The spice recipes they use not only need to take care of the taste, but also the need for toning after cooking. “By adding some small seasoning packages such as edible petals and dried peppers, the visual effect of the whole dish can be created. It looks better.” Jin Dan said. In this way, what brands want to do is to stimulate users to share their products more on social media.

At the same time, short videos are also regarded as excellent communication and interactive tools by this generation of taste merchants. Dai Zhenkai believes that the emerging short video, live broadcast and other media formats have changed the way users recognize and accept a new brand product, which will inevitably lead to changes in people’s trading behavior. New brands must adapt to this media environment to be more likely to impress young consumers. “Grass planting plus final transaction conversion has become the standard model now.”

Not long ago, Zuoda Lion’s retail product “Xiaowanjiang” officially began to be sold through online channels. Douyin is not only the main marketing position for this product, but also an important sales channel.

In Dai Zhenkai’s view, “the ceiling of Douyin is extremely high.” One of the reasons behind this is that as a traffic platform mainly based on video content, video has a low threshold for audience acceptance, and its spread coverage and speed are wider and faster, which will help new brands quickly complete market education. . On the platform, food videos have their own traffic, which naturally strengthens the correlation between food content and seasoning products.

In addition, Douyin opened the Douyin store to allow brands to settle in. The content and transactions are all on the Douyin platform. It can form a closed loop of transactions, which is in line with Dai Zhenkai’s “standard model”. According to his analysis, because Douyin has not been long enough to open its brand on the platform to open stores, compared to traditional e-commerce platforms such as Tmall, new brands for various purposes on Douyin have increased dividends.

“For example, in our condiment category, if you are not a leading anchor like Li Jiaqi and Wei Ya, it will basically take a year to achieve a monthly revenue of 5 million on Tmall. But On the Douyin channel, if we want to achieve a monthly revenue of 5 million yuan, we don’t need to make special efforts. Normal operations can be completed within the next quarter.” Dai Zhenkai said.

Under the "young" bonus, the To C business of compound condiments

The rapid development and fierce competition of domestic e-commerce platforms objectively provides the soil for these new brands. What the platform nourishes is not only new brands of compound seasonings, but also stimulates the growth of more new brands that serve similar scenarios.

At this stage, competition not only exists between the old and new brands, but the competition between the new brands is also becoming more intense.

03Horizontal  competition emphasizes differences

Differentiation has become a key strategy for everyone’s competition today.

The differentiation path between the same category of compound seasonings is closely related to the entrepreneurial genes of each brand.

For example, Zuo Da Shi, which focuses on making hot sauce, has determined a more differentiated positioning around this sub-category. “We finally chose the positioning of famous dish flavor hot sauce.” Dai Zhen think the market is ready to open classes sauce products on the richness of taste, far from meeting the needs of the consumer market, while the country Bo large sophisticated food culture, offers a wealth of choice for their new research and development dimension.

Zihai Pot, which launched its sub-brand “Little Seven Kitchen” strategy, chose to highlight differences in product structure.

Jindan introduced that they designed a double R model (ie Ready to cook & Ready to eat) to create a product matrix around the differences in the life trajectories and usage scenarios of contemporary young people. Among them, stir-fried vegetable sauce is relatively more different. Therefore, the cooking sauce belonging to Ready to cook has become one of the first series.

In addition to the same category of competition, light cooking food dividends generated by the young consumer market incentives, not only characterized by growth in complex seasonings demand is also reflected in the pre deft dishes, hot pot from the heat, from hot rice meals and other prefabricated And ready-to-eat foods.

Together with the compound seasoning, they rob the light cooking scene in the kitchen.

Horizontal competition between products of different categories is inevitable. However, most of the compound seasoning brands we have contacted said that the opportunity is still great. Dai Zhenkai mentioned that horizontal competition does not affect the growth prospects of the compound seasoning category, “because there are many different options for a meal.”

The deeper reason behind this is the increasingly stratified consumer market in China. It brings a multi-dimensional market to the consumer goods industry.

Shenyue people believe that the consumer goods industry is very different from ToB or technology companies. “Winner takes all in the consumer goods industry does not exist. We mainly look at whether the brands can serve their core groups and scenarios well. And so this is a more vibrant market.”

Under the "young" bonus, the To C business of compound condiments

This judgment has also been implemented in the tasteful selection strategy .

The main feature of the current family light cooking mode is that it reduces the difficulty of preparing ingredients and shortens the preparation time. This is also the fundamental problem that various products focus on to solve. But in terms of specific production scenarios, different types of products solve the cooking needs of different dishes.

For example, add flavor when making product choices, consider the contribution of ingredients and seasoning in a dish. Take Buddha jumped over the wall or grilled eel. Shenyue believes that what users need more is to prepare specific ingredients and seasonings. For this kind of dishes, pre-made dishes may be a better idea for solving problems. And To C’s compound seasoning products are better at those dishes whose seasoning contribution is greater than the contribution of specific ingredients.

“With a little bit of flavor, the choices are basically large dishes, hard dishes, and restaurant dishes. In terms of taste, the seasonings we make for boiled chicken, boiled fish, pickled fish, etc., all come from very catering dishes. These are. The characteristic of the dishes is that there are many types of ingredients that users can choose. The ingredients are very inclusive, and the difficulty of preparing dishes is low. Everyone eats more of the taste.” Because of this, these dishes will be selected with a little flavor and a special compound will be developed. Seasoning products.

“What we provide to our customers is Lego-style flavor blocks.” Shen Yueren said. This definition not only applies to this brand, but also summarizes the most prominent characteristics of compound seasonings in the current consumer scene.

With the changes in the competitive atmosphere of the entire industry, this “taste component” has become more diversified, and more regional flavors that are widely welcomed by the national market have been screened out. They have also received constant attention from capital.

Since the beginning of this year, financing news in this area has continued to increase. For example, a new brand that has recently received financing is “Fang Dang Jia”, and its core products are compound seasoning products such as beef sauce and mushroom sauce. Behind this brand is “Grandpa Xianwei”, a food brand that focuses on Chaoshan flavor.

This melee about taste has just begun.

According to the latest industry statistics from iResearch, the market size of China’s condiment industry will grow by 18% in 2020, which is much higher than the growth rate of the past 6 years. The agency also predicts that the scale of this market will exceed 400 billion yuan this year.

The taste that is more likely to be welcomed by the market is the key to customers’ loyalty. In this process, front-end product research and development capabilities and brand building capabilities are indispensable, and the role of back-end supply chain capabilities is crucial. In the long run, the brand’s ability to control the processing technology, raw materials and circulation cost control in industrial links will become the key to the next competition of various brands.

Industrial foundation is the prerequisite for the formation of this entrepreneurial wave , and it is also an indispensable element in this competition. It has brought huge business opportunities to the business of Taste.

But at the same time, this is also brewing a potentially uncertain future-when various industrialized foods represented by compound seasonings successfully occupy more of our kitchen space under the promotion of commercial power, traditional Chinese families rely on craftsmanship. Production-oriented cooking habits will accelerate the process of change, and the food culture that accompanies manual production will undergo irreversible changes.

The ensuing question is, where will the cultural memory grown from direct production experience and the ambiguity behind it go? After all, taste is not just a business.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/under-the-young-bonus-the-to-c-business-of-compound-condiments/
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