As consumer spending falls back to rationality, product price returns to its intrinsic value. What kind of products are customers willing to pay for? Products that customers see value in them, of course. Where does this perception of value come from?
The release of Q3 financial report by dairy giant Yili Group ushers the dairy industry in China, or perhaps Asia as a whole, into the post-100 billion era. The financial results show that Yili achieved total revenue of 110.595 billion yuan in 2021, an increase of 14.15% year-on-year. Yili also exceeded the 100 billion revenue target set at the beginning of last year, becoming the first dairy company in Asia to exceed 100 billion yuan in revenue. Where can we find the next driver as dairy players move into 100 billion scale?
FBIF is throwing a party! Gen Z may possess the mysterious power that could shake up the whole industry. Growing up in a high-GDP, low-birth-rate environment, people born after 1995 enjoy far richer disposable resource as their birth right and have discerning judgement ahead of their age. As this young generation brings new capabilities to the market, they make it look "prehistoric" too. A group of Gen Z product professionals and their products are brought together to help us get insights into how they think about products.
Glycemic Index (GI) is important indicator of reaction caused by food to blood sugar and equally important as the glycemic index is the glycemic load (GL) which is a measure of both the amount of carbohydrate in a specific food and the amount each gram consumed will raise blood sugar level.
Functional dairy drinks are well received in Japan. Will they thrive in the Chinese market? Some puzzles are not yet solved regarding this question. What is the right approach to get across the functionality of dairy drinks? Is the functionality aligned with what consumers expect of dairy products? How should misalignments be handled?
In this highly competitive dairy market, many brands are striving to grow tenfold. However, the key to high growth is to identify new categories with "full blue ocean markets". Where are the potential new categories hidden?
GIUSEPPE is a cool AI chef. Using AI algorithms, it can combine countless plant ingredients to replicate animal-derived dairy products—NotMilk, which made a splash in the US in 2020, was its result. NotMilk is made from sunflower oil, pea protein, pineapple juice concentrate, cabbage juice concentrate and etc., but has the same colour, texture, taste and texture as milk.
With the development of global pandemic, consumers continue to pay more attention to personal health, especially immune health. This trend has driven the application of probiotics in more fields, not limited to fermented milk.
In recent years we see an upward momentum in the dairy industry in China. Dairy products, as daily necessity, have witnessed a surge prompted by improved living standard. Amid changing competition landscape and evolving industry structure, more opportunities is emerging in segment markets.
Milbock purified milk is a special product from Biru, which has an obvious chievement as a very representative product in catering industry. However, Biru launched its first product in early 2016, called Beyogurt, which was a sugar free yogurt (200g) that not everybody knows. That is mainly sold through ToC distribution. From Beyogurt to Milbock, and from ToC to ToB marketing, Biru has been considering in depth that how their products could match sales channels appropriately while adapting business growth.
No one would deny that PepsiCo owns a kingdom of snacks. No brand has played a better game when it comes to the horizon of flavors. PepsiCo is not short of surprises from its pockets from the cucumber flavor limited to Greater China, luosifen (river snail rice noodle), smell of which makes people back step, to regional limited offerings. Meanwhile, quality consistency of PepsiCo is doubted by none. How is that all achieved? What are the grand strategies behind small snacks? Here goes the snacks giant’s legend about innovation.
Snacks, small portions of food, can be the jack of all trades to consumers – satisfying cravings, replacing meals, giving as gifts. Thanks to its versatility, consumers have pushed snacks to a trillion-scale business, which bears best testimony to the happiness brought to consumers by snacking. However, the snacks business is not that fun to do with tens of thousands of products on shelves, needless to say the hidden ones. What on earth can make a product stand out?
BOOHEE is a special one. From a tool, a platform to a range of products, the company has taken an alternative path for product development. "Meet user' needs" marks the core of its business and is applied to all product lines. Here shows the power of first principles thinking.
In June 2021, GSK announced the spin-off of its consumer healthcare business. It's the biggest restructuring in 20 years. In February 2022, GSK announced the creation of Haleon, a consumer healthcare company, which plans to list on the London Stock Exchange this year. From medicine to consumer health products, change is happening.
It has been harder and harder to please consumers since snacks came into omni-channel competition. But one thing is crystal clear—consumers are paying more attention to the nutritional, functional and health attributes of snacks under the mega health trend. With boundary of snacks expanding and target consumer groups growing, what would be the game changer for brands? Health, health, still health.
There is a long-years battle of courage and wits over snacks between parents and kids. Parents disapprove kids throwing trash food into their mouths, while kids like whatever tastes good. Snacks for kids have their own special attribute—paid by parents and used by kids, so it is important to make both sides happy. The Gen 90s parents and children born after 2010 are two groups having distinctive and harsh criteria of their own.
What snacks for kids can do amid the clash of two sets of criteria and what does the future hold for it?
China Chic is rising assertively and booming in all fields, and Chinese cuisine in no exception. The past one year has seen too many products that went viral, like luosifen (river snail rice noodle) from Liuzhou, milk tofu from Inner Mongolia, emblic fruit from Guangdong & Guangxi as an ingredient in tea drinks, and chickpeas from Suzhou. What is trending now? What the next hit will be?
One simply loses count of great foods in China. Regional specialties become new stars one after another. We'd like to make a collection of snacks reflecting regional charm and invite experts to score. Which one of them has the potential to become the next luosifen that is loved across regions? Is anything missing?
Dim sum has narratives to tell. That is why brands are busy with telling consumers their versions of story. Consumers' expectations of dim sum can be translated into healthy, good branding and scenario-based. How are differentiated, great-looking products created? Where is the new balance between industrial manufacturing and hand making?
Duck necks, duck feet, chicken feet, chicken wings, eggs..., there have come an dazzlingly arrange of luwei (meat braised with soy sauce and spices) snacks. It is a great choice for satisfying your cravings and for pairing with alcoholic drinks. Luwei snacks generated RMB 123.5 billion sales in 2020, and the compound annual growth rate in the past 5 years was over 20%. Amazingly!
Meat × Vegetable may not ring a bell to you. What if I say lemon and chicken feet? You must get its potential to go viral. Vinegar, pepper, lemon, passion fruit, wasabi…those vegetables would set off whole new flavor experiences!
Two things are happening in the bakery market in China – creative products going viral and once viral bakeries fading away. Stronger purchasing power and Covid-19 protocols have bred new consumer needs and scenarios. What are the new trends and opportunities in the bakery market?
Baked products are increasing used for snacking. Biscuits, chocolates, and pastries offered in supermarkets share similar consumption scenarios. How do we understand the relationship among those categories? How to create synergy between pre-packed pastries and other snacks? Are there any other possibilities offered by pre-packed pastries as leisure-time snacks?
A shorter shelf life means fresher ingredients and less preservatives, but is it all that about? As bakeries are rushing into the shorter-shelf-life bread market, what are the challenges and opportunities contained? How to build an agile and efficient supply chain? How to balance production and logistics cost with preserving flavor freshness? How to improve sale-toinventory ratios when shelf life becomes shorter?
Enjoy cakes and pastries and have a good time!
Increasingly occupied by the concept of Yang Sheng (life nourishment), modern consumers have mixed feelings for baked foods. Where is the point of balance between good taste and healthiness? How to develop products that satisfy cravings without causing a guilty feeling?
Instantly melting egg tarts, stretchy bread, soft cake…… consumers have inertial perceptions of different types of food. However, inherent perceptions are broken when mochi and tea-based drinks are blended with baking. New balances need to be found when bakeries try to attract customers with innovative ingredient combinations.
As the hype around cheesecake and messy croissant subsides, a “forgetting curve” has emerged. Phenomenal products are many, competition is fierce, and consumers are slippery. What can be done to stretch the popularity of trending products and prevent it from fast waning, and how to build classic products that stand the test of time?
Listing Portuguese egg tarts on KFC’s menu has turned the pastry from Portugal into a long-time best-seller in China. Qingtuan, a local pastry prepared in Zhejiang for the Tomb Sweeping Day, has gained nationwide popularity within a couple of years. Local specialties easily bring differentiation, but it is a puzzle for brands to solve when it comes to scaling up awareness of and building mainstream popularity for niche products.
Festivals are windows into the romanticism of Chinese pastries. Dispensed with spectacular narratives, their very existence symbolizes the continuation of traditions. Based on insights into consumers’ emotional ties with festivals and themes of traditions, how to develop limited offerings for Chinese festivities?
Beverage shoppers very often make impulsive purchases. What is the trick behind influencing shoppers' impulse buys to get your product picked among a whole shelf of dazzling products? How to create that certainty against uncertainties?
Be it ready-to-drinks or made-on-spot drinks, liquid drinks or solid drinks, coffee, tea, or fruit juice, the drinks business is all about drinking, fighting for that mouthful of space. As scenarios tend to overlap and category boundaries become blurry, it is time to look at the business of drinking with fresh eyes.
How to reach a consensus with consumers?
Recruitment for plant-based drinks~
Plant-based drinks come to market wave after wave since the success of Oatly. However, this category has not been satisfactorily successful in finding itself a role except for being paired with coffee.
With giants' attention and the blossom of variety segmentations, is the upgrade of the bottled water market metaphysics?
Functionality seems to be the top buzzword in the current round of food and beverage evolution towards health awareness. The journey of functional drinks appears to be bumpier than that of functional foods. Why not we take some time returning to the starting point and thinking again: do drinks seriously need functionality?
Everyone has their own perception of "tasty", a qualitative description that is understandingly hard to measure. However, a good taste that pleases certain taste buds, despite not all, is an essential element to all drinks. Is it possible to convert the subjective judgment into a set of standards for reference, and bring tasty new drinks to market by following a relatively standardized protocol?
Colorless, tasteless bottled water seems to be boring, but strong-flavored beverages seem to be "too much" for consumers with increasingly health-conscious. How to balance the need for hydration with a "just right" flavor? Near-water drinks seem to offer an alternative.
How to bring consumers back to their childhood, to their hometown and to the place where love begins with a beautiful flavor?
The flavor journey of a beverage is also an unforgettable journey that goes hand in hand with consumers.
On a land of 9.6 million square kilometers, the taste memories of 1.4 billion people are variety. How to capture the beautiful flavor from the local terroir? How can local flavors go out to the whole country and even the whole world?
New-style teas have not escaped from involution after high-speed growth, can we find more opportunities in segmentation categories?
An increasing number of made-on-site drink brands release pre-packed products, while pre-packed drink brands making attempts at brick-and-mortar stores. Both are doing the business of drinking. What do they have to learn from each other?
The development of new-style teas has released the potential of the entire tea market, ready-to-drink tea has also taken advantage of the rapid development.
However, from the point of view of the product, the innate advantage of the new-style teas in taste, texture has opened a large gap between ready-to-drink teas.
How to upgrade and innovation, so that ready-to-drink tea could replicate the sensory experience of freshly made tea, to gain a competitive advantage in different scenarios?
Originated from China, tea has yet found a branding approach that is truly Chinese. Nationwide tea-producing regions form the basis of product diversity as well as hell-like challenges in standardization in production and brand management. What is the right approach to establish standardization in production and branding?
Love makes a good coffee, let's coffee together~
How long does it take to 'plant' a cup of coffee? It took Yunnan a hundred years. What stage has Yunnan coffee reached today? How can coffee estates, baristas and brands work together to promote the development of China coffee?
Needs a cup of coffee!
The lemon slices in the cup, the rosemary grass decorated on the cup, every detail of the svreative coffee can bring a more complete sensory experience, which is the more important meaning of specialty coffee in addition to "creative".
Light up coffee innovation with technology.
Alcohol, coffee and tea~
Set off with puzzles and hopes.
The alcoholic drinks market in China is perhaps standing at its most exciting moment in history. New players like hard seltzers and RTDs keep emerging, while traditional categories, led by spirits and wines, reinvent themselves with new vitality. Competition heats up as numerous boats are set to sail in the sea of alcoholic drinks.
With all players surging forward, where the torrent is taking them? Will low-alcohol drinks follow the same trajectory and fall back? Do traditional categories still have a chance to be friends with younger consumers?
What should traditional Chinese Baijiu do to win the hearts of young people?
Acceptance by young people comes from respecting and understanding the young lifestyle. New products, new marketing, or new channels may not make brands younger.
The journey is long and arduous. The first step is a strategic shift.
How is alcoholic drinks becoming less alcoholic seen by the giants of soft and hard drinks? What opportunities does it entail?
The non-alcoholic spirit is still a category with mysteries.
Lower alcohol content does not necessarily mean lower prices, less low value. A category that pinpoints the core values for consumers has the chance to attain long-term success.
There are flavored spirits that leave a mark on your memory. Where does the good inspiration come from? Which flavors are more premium? How to build a better layering? Are there any ways to sustainably pin-point flavors that would be loved by consumers?
Alcohol, coffee and tea~
Alcoholic drinks: taste it and FEEL it.
Compared with the last generation of alcohol drinkers, how motivations and preferences of alcohol consumption have changed in the next generation?
Starting from facing up to consumers, how can digitalization, new retailing and other tools be used under a new strategic framework to be closer to consumers? How to become the "other half" to consumers and "call me by your name"?
Baijiu, cognac, dry red wines, and the likes are stereotyped as traditional categories appealing to old-fashioned gourmets. Do the seemingly aged categories still have a chance to make friends with young consumers?
Wine made in China is no worse than that imported, but the lack of cost efficiency and brand value has prevented them from properly building a reputation. Wine-producing regions in Xinjiang and Gansu have done well in recent years, and spirits giants are making bigger bets on domestic wineries. We could not help thinking again if the time has come for domestic wines?
Personalized craft beers are emerging, but standardized production is an important guarantee of quality. How can creativity be nurtured in standardization? How can beer industry move on together with personalization and standardization?
Pairing with food remains the primary alcohol drinking scenario for most consumers, which is why it matters most to the majority of spirits companies. However, the changes in consumers' dining out patterns and further segmentation of hospitality industry requires this channel to be handled with new tactics. What should spirits companies do to make more out of this channel?
Starting from consumer needs, where to find channels that are even newer than "emerging channels" and still lie in deep water waiting to be discovered, developed or incubated?
Tremendous changes have taken place in today's social and economic life, compounded by consequences imposed by Covid-19, lead to emerging needs in kitchen and on table. What changes has the new age brought to cooking and dining? How do we depict the profile of the younger generation of consumers? What can be done by the condiment industry, perceived understated and old-fashioned, to win the young taste buds?
Consumers are demanding more and more umami! This demand not only requires condiment companies to upgrade their technology, but also to create more products that can enhance umami. What kind of technological innovation can condiment companies use to upgrade their chicken essence? Besides, how can compound condiments use technology to achieve the taste of umami?
Umami, the sensory experience that uniquely and significantly characterizes Chinese gastronomy. We expect this taste to be satisfyingly tasty and assuringly healthy. Where is the balance to strike among taste, healthiness, and naturalness for seasoning producers to win the hearts of consumers? Amid the spectrum of umami tastes in the profound culinary culture of China, what is the umami solution that can offer wide applicability to different cuisines? Last but not the least, where is the next innovation for umami taste?
Nowadays soy sauce has to increase added value and differentiate further. Are there any other drivers, apart from zero additive, organic and less salt, on its road to premium? Will higher prices lead to stagnant sales?
Recent years see the zero-additive wind blow to condiments. Many brands expect such "reduction-ism" to be a key step in breaking out from homogeneous competition. But we all know that the core value of condiments stays with taste. How to preserve great flavor in recipe innovations? How should manufacturers gain consumer insights and needs to improve product development in terms of lightweighting of the ingredient list?
Sauce, as important as salt, is the highlight of light food. Traditional salad sauce, however, puts consumers off due to its high calorie. Sauce for light food, which claims to be free of sugar and fat, comes to the fore. Can light food sauce satisfy the actual need of dieters and compensate the plain taste of salad? Will it be accepted by a wider audience and cover more dining scenarios?
Young people do not like to cook, do not want to cook, but the appetite is raised picky. How to solve consumers' cooking problems with one packet of condiments?How to develop capabilities that support fast iteration to keep pace with the fast-changing consumer tastes?
Spiciness not merely dominates the change of tastes favored by restaurants, but also gives rise to hotpot base and chili sauce as constantly popular condiments among others. Apart from the highly competitive realm of spicy condiments, what other taste has the potential to become nationally popular? How can companies develop new segmented tastes, find new opportunities and achieve new growth?
More and more compound seasonings are moving from the B-side to the C-side. What is the difference between 2B and 2C products? How do condiment companies transform?
Catering customized condiment is difficult to do! How to balance between cost and MOQ; how to develop formulas to produce hot products; and team control under high R&D pressure have become pain points for enterprises. How did they make 15,000+ personalized flavors based on the size of a 100-person team?
The restaurant industry is an indispensable driver to the growth of condiments. A report by Meituan shows that nationwide franchising rate grew to 15% in 2020, which was only 8.1% in 2010. Franchising and scaling up entail culinary consistency in taste and quality.
How to make the cake bigger with catering customization as the new trend? How much market space is left for the standard products? Should condiment companies choose customization or standard products?
Condiments have a "fandom" too! How to run a brand private domain to have millions of "super sticky" fans? How to achieve a 450% buyer retention in private domain? And what makes fans so "crazy" that they buy up a offline shelve?
New players join the game with disruptions and inject fresh vitality to the condiment market. So far the battle has not been in their favor in terms of grabbing existing channels from old brands or competing brand image. Will emerging channels be the place where new brands neatly win their first battle?
There are changes of consumption scenarios observed among the young generation. There is a stronger demand for "temporary tables" as in contexts like take-aways, trips, family hotpots, etc. One-person dining has increasingly high occurrence. Responding to these trends, sauces of various flavors in small portions, are introduced. The size gets smaller, but this means tremendous changes in strategies of R&D, distribution, branding and marketing. It has the ambition to revitalize the whole traditional market of sauces.
As a platform of new retail, Freshhema has often explored new ways of product design and development in the past, making a lot of efforts to rebuild the relationship of "comsumer, goods, place". What observation did Freshhema gain from the condiment market? What opportunity will the mindset of new retail bring to the industry?
3R foods have been a popular choice for families during lockdowns thanks to its easy-to-make and easy-storage features. As restaurants reopen and delivery services revive, will its popularity sustain?
What are 3R foods exactly? Fast meal, frozen food, or fresh & cleaned meal? Here are different perspectives of industry practitioners on prepared meals. What are they in the eyes of the industry and consumers?
When 3R foods that are originally intended for businesses go viral among consumers, what priorities shall brands set for future growth, staying with businesses or shifting focus to consumers? Where is the balance point between the B and C ends?
The 3R food segment has long been troubled by volatile raw material prices, over dependency on third party refrigerated warehousing and transport, supplier management, and other unsolved problems. Which approach would be the best, to build a business empire through acquisitions and mergers, to own manufacturing capacity and align suppliers, or to enhance supply chain management for better cost efficiency?
The innovation of cook bags finally cracks the conundrum of room-temperature storage, removing the restriction and cost of refrigeration. When dish washing is left as the only barrier of purchase, will a packaging technology that allows direct steaming and boiling make the last step for prepared meals?
In the end, it is all about the taste. The special making process of 3R foods determines that their taste is slightly inferior to freshly cooked dishes. What innovation can be applied to 3R foods ahead of serving to please the discerning taste buds of Chinese diners?
Here is a top player that has proved excellence in every and each aspect of the supply chain - raw material management, taste reproduction, cold chain network, marketing, distribution models, channel construction …… How does it come about?
"Carbon neutrality" and "sustainability", driven by policy and market trends, are increasingly becoming the key trends that food companies focus on. Through the surface of the "carbon-neutral" boom, how to develop a sustainable packaging strategy that truly suits the brand?
Endless complaints about paper straws are a ready lesson. Why do some "plastic substitution" initiatives feel like putting the cart before the horse? What should a "qualified" plastic packaging substitute be like, weighing up costs, carbon emissions, and experience optimization in production, transportation and recycling?
The 'go labeless' trend emerging in recent years has allowed consumers to visualize the huge role that labels play in packaging recycling. However, labeling is an important vehicle for brand differentiation, and the reckless removal of labels is not only detrimental to brand recognition, but also affects the consumer experience.
Is label removal the only way to 'leave no trace' on the packages? And how to do so without affecting your brand's differentiation?
How can consumers be engaged in the communication and co-creation about sustainability with packaging design as the starting point? How could the trend of sustainability be turned into an opportunity for brand transformation?
Can't finish your food? With a light wipe, the package is sealed; The half-eaten burrito is too difficult to pull out? Just tear along the center line, easily take it out! These are truly packaging designs that "understand you"! What is the design logic behind the more humanized functional design? Yi Zhou, an industrial design expert and jury member of the 2018 iF Design Award, who has led packaging design projects such as Starbucks Delivery and McDelivery, will present the topic.
Packaging is the bridge between product and consumer, creating brand experience all the time. A bad experience detracts from the brand; a mediocre experience makes the brand miss a good opportunity; while an excellent experience, silently, reflects the wonderful brand genes.
How do you get rid of the traditional role of packaged products and enhance the emotional value the brand can provide by penetrating into a more in-depth emotional connection with people through design?
For Italian family food brands which are known for their "specialization" in one category., how does the quality packaging making support their prosperity?
As the old saying goes, it is easy to start a business but difficult to keep it prosperous. How to creatively "re-activate" the brand for the new generation? Should it conservatively optimize the existing, or radically creating something new? How to adapt the strategy to the brand?
The huge ongoing shift that comes only once in a century has spurred China's endogenous designers to gradually turn from learning from foreign branding to leading international trends with its own unique style.
What will be the new interpretation of traditional Chinese culture with the contemporary design code?
What will the oriental design language be like when it integrates the essence of western culture?
What kind of sparks will there be in the future of China's branding design?
The challenges posed by the epidemic are not only economic, but also psychological. How can we "wake up" tired hearts with a sense of life design, bringing vitality and hope?
Do you really understand your consumers, or are you just labeling them?
To be an "interesting" brand, you must first understand how interesting the human heart is.
Sometimes the best ideas come from outside your industry.
When it comes to packaging design, some sum it up as graphic design + brand design + industrial design. Perhaps there is more than one way to see it when you are in the game. The on-lookers may see a different game and an excellent idea may come from outside your field.
"Kids Rule Here!"
This children's food company makes its brand strategy, marketing and packaging design decisions entirely by its target group - children. With the imaginative children's proposal competition, the strictly selected children board of directors, and the final launch of the coolest children products, the creativity-inspired brand ecology is then "successfully activated"!
A noisy environment requires a louder voice, while a quiet place is more suitable for artistic expression. Whether product packaging design emphasizes more on visual impact or more on brand expression may follow a similar logic.
How to understand the visual connection between products and shelves? What are the new characteristics of this connection in the new emerging "shelves" such as boutique supermarkets, chat groups and live selling broadcasters? Will the integrated co-creation of personalized channels and product design become the future trend?
Lifestyle brands are highlighted by the seamless fusion between the brand and a certain lifestyle. It resonates emotionally with its consumer group on the top of meeting their needs for functionality, which is translated into a packaging design that factors in the scenario where products are discovered by consumers. In other words, packaging design shall reflect a life experience that encompasses and extends beyond the packaging.
The fervor in the new consumer market has spawned several promising categories with potentials to become a hundred billion market. How to distinguish between trends and fads, identify the real demand and realize the real market potential? How to really create new things instead of innovate only because you want to innovate? The emergence of ‘new species’ is bound to be accompanied by controversies and questions. How to define the category to help educate the market?
"Young" is tagged with startup teams. When a "freshman" leader meets a group that is passionate and imaginative, unique products only belong to the 21st century will be created but at the same time challenges come with organizational growth. As brands rise and fall, how do founders stand with their teams for the long haul and hold on to the centripetal force, energy and capability of the organization?
Being sensitive to the little happiness in daily life that may trigger micro-innovations, and dare to imagine when setting long-term goals; how can startups define their "category-relating zones" to develop an appropriate product matrix? How to consolidate and better utilize the advantage of your best seller?
In our era, a massive amount of content, in various forms, is created with no definite end and consumed by users on various platforms in a fragmented manner. Creating content that is not top-notch quality equals to creating in vain.
Which is the right media to choose for start-ups and grab the first group of seed users? How to build moats around your content and root deep in consumers' minds?
When the one-time popular joke, which goes "5000 entries on The Little Red Book + 2000 entries on Zhihu + top livestreamers = prototype of a new brand", cools down, it signals that it is time to think calmly about how to build a brand.
For new brands to stand out, touching the bottom of people's hearts is more important than just taking over their attention for a while. Building a brand is like growing a tree. The roots must take hold before branches become strong and leaves green.
When the cheese sticks on the shelves are all packed in bright colors with animated IP, it will be hard for consumers to remember any brands of them. Far more than a gorgeous package, visual design is the expression of brand strategy which can make consumers directly feel the product value. When brands are stuck in ROI growth, will visual upgradng be the next potential breakthrough point?
STARFIELD's first factory was completed, Zihaiguo built 15 factories, SIMPLE LOVE invests all its 800 million RMB funds in supply chain enhancement... When consumers are having constantly evolving demands, exploring deep into the supply chain is a necessary tactics after the 0-1 stage. Achieving product innovation relying on improved supply chain and creating closed-loop supply chain system is the only way to achieve a long-life brand.
Consumers are gaining deeper and more professional knowledge about good products. In front of shelves, an increasing number of consumers read ingredients list and nutrition facts. On the Internet, there is more professional interpretation and discussion.
Less fancy marketing gimmicks, more genuine value, and build a moat of differentiation from the source. First-rate ingredients from the world, healthier substitutes, special processes, functional ingredients, anything else we can do to innovate from scratch?
One of the early-stage challenges of start-ups is that product innovation is often restricted by traditional supply chain or manufacturing system. The new era requires a supply chain that supports small batches, fast iteration, and higher agility.
- How do start-ups look at balance among quality, efficiency, and manufacturing capacity?
- How do start-ups look for partners, integrate resources and make a greater impact with the best combination?
- Is there any new collaborative practice between suppliers and service providers?
Every consumer reach is a "date" with him/ her. In the omni-channel era consumers seem to be everywhere and very discrete at the same time. Most new brands take off online and yet cannot circumvent the step of presenting themselves physically to consumers via offline channels.
- How to pick the channel for the first strike and develop business offline?
- How to create WOW consumer experience?
- How to break the siege of traditional, time-tested brands and win a solid foothold in the battle for shelf space?
Under the epidemic situation in Shanghai, customer's anxiety of food shortage and the whole city lockdown spawned a new pattern of community group buying. Lots of food and beverage brands, including local catering brands, international fast food brands and new consumption brands, all chose to try this new business. Compared to big brands with better infrastructure and stronger brand power, startups were more difficult to confront this challenge.
When the normal production model and sales channels were out of order, how did new brand respond to this new pattern? How to improve the channel and supply chain construction based on this experience?
Far more than meeting the needs of busy white-collars and kitchen novices to eat well and cook more easily, 3R food has also become a good helper in three meals for consumers who are quarantined in home because of the lasting epidemic. It is expected that C-end 3R food will become more homely and of high quality in the future.
- In the product development, how to achieve differentiation and develop popular products?
- In the supply chain, how to continuously improve the quality and richness of product?
- In the channel, how to layout to improve the convenience of purchase and repurchase?
"Self-reliance" is no longer enough to keep up with the new consumption era. "The complementary model of technology and ideas" has built a co-creation ecology and become popular.
How does Nestlé select partners for its R&D accelerator in China? How can the collaboration model between the big players and the startups stimulate innovative ideas? And what kind of new ecology of innovation will be built in the future?
What Values Shall Be Seen in Short Videos Beyond Views?
The meeting of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on September 19th, 2021 ordered Internet companies, led by Tencent and Alibaba, to stop blocking links to websites. Before this meeting backend links, which are closer to transaction, received more brands' attention. When the fence is brought down by the new policy, recognition takes a closer seat to conversion. The marketing value of frontend links is subsequently enhanced.
What are the opportunities for private traffic, the part of frontend links that are better at engaging consumers and fostering interest? Will a solution come up to address the old challenge—low activity and users' resistance?
P&G staged an employer show during the past autumn recruitment in August, sending CVs it has received in the past 20 yeas to old alumni. Half of the founding teams of neo-consumption start-ups have been "trained" by P&G. When the macro environment forces neo-consumption to slow down and think calmly, it is time that we reflect and learn from P&G again about its practice in branding, product management and organization.
FBIF 2022 will invite food & beverage practitioners who "graduate" from P&G to explore this topic.
When your hands, feet and eyes are occupied, what are the senses left for your use? Ears and sounds. In the beginning of 2021 Clubhouse heats up audio social network. Its counterparts in China, Ximalaya, Lizhi and Xiaoyuzhou are growing fervently. There were 570 million online audio users in China in 2020, and the number is expected to be 690 million in 2022. The heat of audio market and the emotional power of audio as an ancient media give us immense room to imagine the potential of audio marketing.
Society always rewards human-friendly brands and companies. There is no doubt that PRODUCT is the solid base of consumer goods. The GOOD product only from when we put the customer needs at the priority, not what a company wants to make. Only by prioritizing customer needs, rather than what a company wants to make, leading to a GOOD product.
- What is the real reason why Chi be outstanding？
- How does a brand conduct the value of "customer comes first"?
- How to create a customer brand through lending an ear in social media, product co-creation, private domain construction, and brand IP development?
How to do strategy planning? How to build brand asset? How to improve individual components of marketing? We are honored to have a marketing professional who has steered many neo-consumption brands and is known widely to traditional food and beverage brands to walk us into case studies.
For a long time, cornering the market through extending the distribution channels has become a typical model for the development of Chinese consumer goods brands. But in the future of material abundance, product involution, and increasing cultural and spiritual consumption, should we put the construction of "Chinese brands" on the schedule? How should food and beverage brands build brand equity and continuously innovate brand matrix?
6.4% market share has been achieved by Buydeem with “life-nourishing” kettle cookers that are priced over one thousand RMB. Such success is mostly attributable to its content marketing based on users’ lifestyle, as it is very likely to see its products in posts by every lifestyle or food influencers and be intrigued.
Coming back to the food industry, how does AG manage to be part of consumers’ lifestyle through audio casting, content and KOLs?
Living an "offline" life starts to be more appealing to young people, city walks, camping, etc. Extremely homogeneous and cloyingly entertaining new media leave brands look superficial. Amid such changes, can brands skip agencies, get in direct touch with consumers, and leave a deeper mark of brand culture on them?
On the first opening day of Blue Bottle (Shanghai Tongyu store), its fans waited in a 5-hour-line to get a cup. lululemon is showered with followers’ passion and loyalty for advocating a lifestyle that has even extended its product categories. Similarly, Coca-Cola and Suntory have earned consumers’ affection in a way that is subtle and yet profound.
What is the inspiration for food brands when it comes to brand power that works on the spiritual level? How to define the cultural core and philosophy for your brand?
Having the topic of digitalization in the session of marketing innovation comes from the understanding that marketing, sales, and products are the motivation, orientation and goals of digital transformation for the majority of businesses. Supply chain, organization management and many other elements are deeply involved in digitalization. Faced with the massive project, how do we build up our knowledge of digitalization? How do we assess where the brand and company stand on the way to digitalization? What is the right path? What are the core goals to focus on in each stage?
ZARA, a global fast fashion brand valued nearly 100 billion USD, needs about 21 days for a cycle from market research, design, production to delivery. The cycle has been shortened to 10-15 days by a Chinese cross border e-commerce brand—SHEIN. SHEIN tests water with a very small batch of products and fast produce those that quickly take off based on data feedback from consumer end. This approach, maximizing efficiency and lowering risks of inventory, is enabled by powerful data and agile supply chain.
With Industry 4.0 and C2M coming, how do food & beverage businesses build up such capabilities?
To put it straightforward, what are the challenges?
- The strategic importance, plans, and schemes of digitalization failed to be conducted from the leader to medium and high-level management and implemented in general operations.
- From data acquisition from multiple sources, money-burning construction of data middleware, to data analytics and application, what is the right pace to proceed? How "fake concepts" can be identified? What is the right way to allocate and coordinate complex resource?
- Talents have composite expertise in data, marketing and business are required. Where to find them or how to develop a talent pool?
Domestic regional convenience stores are looking for their "second curve".
Meiyijia in Dongguan, Tangjiu in Taiyuan, Jianfu in Xiamen, and Today in Wuhan are building on their massive scale and looking for the next breakthrough. Approaches include optimizing portfolio and supply chain efficiency through building their own fresh food manufacturing or cold chain logistics; rolling digitalization and online operation forward; or expansion and store upgrading in other provinces. Together they will represent a major force among the 132,000 convenience stores in China, bringing new opportunities and challenges to the food and beverage industry.
Targeting at consumer groups with high disposable income and advanced spending mindsets is the DNA of boutique supermarkets. It has determined the importantce in all offline sales channels for brands and innovative products. When product and space upgrading become a routine operation, where is the next growth driver for brands and boutique supermarkets? Will a new ecosystem be built from attemps like product co-creation, diversified marketing approaches and supply chain integration?
It has determined the important position of the brand and product innovation in all of its offline sales channels. As ready-to-drink beverage brands gain rocketing popularity in the restaurant channel, a more social place, like bars and BBQ houses, is also a fast-rising segment in the beverage industry. How synergy can be created between RESTAURANTS and DRINKS in such a scenario marketing to unleash more energy from channels and build in-depth cooperation from products to marketing?
Amid continuous changes in consumption patterns, it is a shared task for retailers and suppliers to boost online efficiency, draw consumers to shop offline and integrate online and offline experience seamlessly.
To cope with the ever-changing market environment requires not only constant self-enhancement but also reliable partners. How can suppliers and retailers be moats to each other by driving collaboration closer and deeper?
Production innovation, iteration and upgrade are the approaches to simutaneously meet consumers’ needs and secure profitability for suppliers and retailers. Growing beyond their own roles, how should suppliers and retailers bring new products and experience to consumers by tapping into their strengths along product R&D, production, and sales?
70% retail of consumer goods takes place offline. Disruptive start-ups, building the initial momentum with Internet and new media, have to deploy offline in order to grow into maturity.
How can founders/ founding teams of disruptive brands quickly build know-now when planning and building offline channels? How customer management, products, branding, multi-channel pricing strategy can be coordinated to roll out "sales pulls" and curb risks of getting trapped in skirmishes? How to build offline service capabilities?
From 1 to 10, from niche market to mainstream consumers, new brands and products need broader channel partners that welcome novelty. At the same time, disrupted by O2O, live-stream e-commerce, and DTC brands, traditional distributors must step up efforts to respond to new consumer needs.
The benefits of digital technology are seen by brands thanks to the high-speed functioning of B2C e-commerce. However, B2C e-commerce will not be the biggest piece of cake for the food and beverage industry. Brands are shifting their sights to digitizing the traditional retail channels, hoping to make the "gears" of traditional retail run faster by building eRTM.
How should brands make their plans during the process? How the to-B partners can be involved and mobilized? How to build a new ecosystem?
A true mastery over a channel and a consumer group is what brands seek after. The brand stores and priviate domains are results of such attempts. Does there exist a proprietary channel that matches the instant offline consumer scenario and delivers on A/B test. The Cooler AIoTs that Genki Forest, Nongfu Spring, Coca-Cola and Wall's have all employed in their operation seem to offer an answer.
2021 could be a turning point for China's e-commerce industry, as China's total online retail sales saw negative monthly growth for the first time, with a 4.12% year-on-year decline in November. A return to offline is being widely discussed.
But can the visualization, instant feedback and efficient business model of online retail be realized in the "last mile" of offline retail terminals? What should retailers, brands and small stores do to meet the challenge?
Operation of Omni-channel user coleection and generation through e-commerce platforms, owned platforms, offline stores, ads, etc., see the most complex challenge in the labor-consuming traditional offline channel. Digital technology is required to see through the haze, and digital intelligence is no less important. How can digital intelligence enpower the offline channel and further drive omni-channel operation? What role digital intelligence can play for the offline channel in users identification, operation and retention?
Among various channels, eB2B likes a new planet waiting to be exploited. Around it are several force: Internet-based B2B platforms, retailers' owned infrastructure and brands' owned infrastructure, all of which want to take eB2B in their own possession.
What is the right way for brands to assess the value of exploiting the eB2B?
There is a lot more instant retail can do beyond fast. Its potential lies more in connecting inventory of traditional channels and empowering customer insights, marketing and supply chain efficiency with data from digitalized channels. Where does instant retail stand now in those aspects?
By the end of 2020, domestic GDP per capita reached RMB 72,000 and vehicle ownership 280 million units, which explained the comeback of membership programs in retailing in recent couple of years. However, membership-only retailers is still stressed by challenges from market environment, competitive channels and consumers.
What should membership-only retailers do to defend and attack at the right timing?
Amid the new development model driven by the Dual Circulation Strategy, Chinese brands face opportunities and challenges as they sail into the global market. Strategies precede global expansion. Have the following questions been answered before making strategies: what are the challenges and strengths of domestic brands? What are the characteristics of overseas market? How to fine tune tactics for regional markets?
Amid changes on both the supply and demand sides of retailing, supply chain is stressed by new challenges imposed by continuously evolving consumers, products, and scenarios: difficulty in forecasting market demand, complexity in warehouse management for high SKU varieties, fragmented logistics from one channel to another, high delivery cost...
Customer-centric businesses that help consumers "get what you see" in an efficient manner will outperform the market.
From 3-day to next-day delivery offered by e-commerce, to 30-minute home delivery for citywide retailing; from B2C to C2C; from meal delivery to delivery of everything ...... as business giants compete to grab a bite of the 100 billion scale delivery market, how far we can go with the last-mile delivery?
Excess stock and stockout have become unignorable pains of the logistics silos for online and offline retailing as channels are increasingly diversified and fragmented. Data visibility is enhanced in the process of integrating supply chain for omni-channels, allowing inventory information to be shared by all distribution networks and boosting productivity, accuracy, and cost-efficiency of supply chain.
Changes in the flow of commercial value brought by various marketing tactics have raised the bar for logistics responsiveness, e.g., conventional e-commerce sales and live-streaming sales for the public traffic and brand sales events and social media marketing for the private traffic. Capabilities like accurate demand forecasting and efficient logistics scheduling will help businesses stay composed in all hustle and bustle.
Wave after wave price rise announcements were heard in 2021 in the food and beverage industry, and things have not eased for businesses in 2022 as consumer spending slows down and raw material cost moves up. Ongoing market volatility drains the possibility of business expansion, so boosting cost-efficiency in operations seems to be the certainty that no business can afford to let it go.
ZARA, a global fast fashion brand valued nearly 100 billion USD, needs about 21 days for a cycle from market research, design, production to delivery. The cycle has been shortened to 10-15 days by a Chinese cross border e-commerce brand -- SHEIN. SHEIN tests water with a very small batch of products and fast produce those that quickly take off based on data feedback from consumer end. This approach, maximizing efficiency and lowering risks of inventory, is enabled by powerful data and agile supply chain.
With Industry 4.0 and C2M coming, how do food & beverage businesses build up such capabilities?
Some businesses seem to have gone further in the narrative about building supply chain competence - acquiring and merging upstream players, laying hands on raw material production, etc. Possession and control bring peace of mind as well as larger investments. What are the advantages of and considerations for securing the upstream supply chain? How control can be gained by businesses that haven't gone far in the upstream?
That consumers are drawn to new things and tired of the old urges SKUs to be scrapped, replaced, and added fast, which, compounded with brands' ambition to be bigger and stronger - larger size, more business lines and wider deployment, dramatically complicates management complexity of purchasing. What does digital purchasing have to offer to empower strategic sourcing, strengthen execution and deliver fine-grained supplier management?
Three years into the Covid-19 pandemic, outbreaks still happen in multiple regions in China, and it is still difficult to forecast the end of Covid-19 despite of enhanced control protocols. This immense uncertainty requires players in supply chain to build complete competence in coordination, risk assessment, forecasting demand, capacity planning, warehousing, and delivery in order to eliminate fragility.
Chi Forest led the sparkling water category by erythritol; fiber+ in Coca-Cola hit the first shot loudly and clearly. To fight the way out in such a hot market, ingredients have become a key factor to be seized at the very opening. In 2022, it's time for brands to take the initiative on ingredients!
Consumers are paying more attention to the ingredients list! What kind of strategic awareness do brands need in terms of ingredients to make better products? What new demands are consumers making on ingredients in 2022?
Sugar reduction has been a recurring topic. Discussions on sugar substitutes gain popularity. However, consumers' trust is left shaky by synthetic sweeteners, like acesulfame potassium. As everyone is calling for sugar reduction, what are the natural ingredients that can replace sucrose? Where is the next sweet star?
Sweet proteins can be fully metabolized by human body and are healthier compared with artificial sweeteners. Brazzein is a protein naturally found in the berry Pentadiplandra brazzeana baillon and is 2000 times sweeter than sucrose. As a new protein sweetener, what kind of market opportunities will it have in food and beverage?
In recent years, "involution" has become a social buzzword that is deeply rooted in people's minds. Consumers are turning to food and beverages as an outlet to relieve the stress and anxiety. Science has proven that some probiotics can help us manage anxiety and stress. Will they help us unload the excessive stress?
With the gradual expansion of the probiotic industry, there are more and more benefits being gradually explored. Stress management, immune health, metabolic health... What kind of effects are most suitable for the Chinese market? What kind of strains can do more?
Probiotics are not yet old, but postbiotics have arrived. In the field of intestinal health, postbiotics has become a new force with great market prospect. In this era of national health, we have to say "NO" to "flu" and "allergy"!
You want a lean body mass and a healthy metabolism? What strain has been clinically proven to help significantly reduce BMI by 0.35 in 12 weeks? Can it help consumers get a smaller waist just by "eating"?
Scientists at the Tate & Lyle Nutrition Center have found that Asians are at higher risk of developing diabetes, and China is one of the hardest hit. In a large number of experiments, fibre became the key to the problem. How to manage weight efficiently? How can fibre be reformulated to reduce the risk of diabetes? Where else can fibre be used in new applications?
Drinkable "skincare" products are the new trend in the beauty industry. Hydration, whitening, and antioxidants are now the keywords for a new generation of functional foods. However, can what goes into your mouth really work on your skin? Will the skincare business be simplified to food treatment?
Glycine, serine, arginine, tryptophan, L-tyrosine, L-theanine and γ-aminobutyric acid can all benefit sleeping quality. In addition to the common application areas, in what other areas can they shine? How to combine the market demand and the principle of action to make consumers pay for the products?
Will Liu has gone viral, the sports and fitness craze is sweeping through people's lives like a hurricane. Will this be an opportunity for sports nutrition?
To build and maintain muscle, protein supplementation is not enough! NuliGo's innovative nutritional lipids take an energy perspective that is not only fast and safe but also long lasting. Brands that want to innovate in sports nutrition and senior food are not to be missed!
Whether the label is clean enough affects the consumer's purchase decision, a good clean label can undoubtedly improve the core competitiveness of the product. How to make a completely additive-free product formulation? How to achieve both clean label and good quality?
Functional foods have always been suspected of being an "stupid tax" in the eyes of consumers. How to do products from the perspective of evidence-based medicine? What kind of technology is needed to support the visible effects?
Plant meat and plant milk are not enough! What are the "high potential" applications for plant-based products? Why do consumers who have no shortage of meat, eggs and milk choose plant-based?
Leaders must be able to adapt to volatile situations while having intrinsically strategic determination of leadership.
Talent management exists at all levels of the organizational structure. However, the CEO's top-down observations, perceptions and actions will greatly affect the talent management at the organizational level.
Does the CEO expect team members to be loyal, reliable and stick to decisions, or prefer to see a team being more flexible, innovative while questioning the status quo at times? How much time and presence does the CEO allocate to leadership team building?
From now on, build new time-honoured brands in China.
The e-commerce and digitalization in China have continuously changed the typical ways of supply and the consumer experience. The industrial supply chain system includes five major parts: R&D, manufacturing, circulation and distribution, POS terminals, and consumers. The innovation of key steps or even the entire system is significantly important in matching market requirements agilely and timely.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of local and foreign companies? How to make use of the advantages and learn from each other?
When successors begin to take over familly businesses, should they walk along the original way or jump to another road? How to learn from the past and catch up with the latest trends?
Global food & beverage manufacturers are challenged by higher prices of raw materials, supply chain disruptions, higher labor cost, energy price surges and more stringent environmental regulations. The FAO Food Price Index indicates that global food price hits a 10-year record high. Flexibility and responsiveness in manufacturing and logistics are unprecedently important for brands and manufacturers.
· What are the global trends that are reshaping the food & beverage industry?
· Apart from price upswing, what are the exponential technologies available to companies to cope with uncertainties in the macro environment through agile execution?
We must have talked over 100 times about how to be appealing to younger consumers, and today is time to give some serious thoughts on aging. People aged 65 or above account for 13.5% Chinese population in 2020, approaching where Japan was in 1993. With declining newborns, China is perhaps coming into a moderately aged society sooner than expected. Why not shift our sight to the opportunities contained in the "silver hair" market instead of fighting a hard battle in the unproductively competitive young consumer market. The young generation will grow old one day anyway : )
· Is the "silver hair" market not sexy enough?
· What are the opportunities for innovation?