Consumption prosperity comes from consumers' well-being. Growth of consumer goods companies is driven by their capability of inspiring consumer happiness. What kind of happy life do consumers desire amid drastic changes? What food and beverage companies can do to build a happy life with consumers?
Quite a few companies felt powerless when things went astray due to supply chain crises in the past ten years. What companies can do to stay resilient to supply chain disruptions and ensure supply in the face of climbing inflation rate and increasingly strained energy market?
Global economic growth in 2023 is projected to slow down to 1.7%, according to the World Bank’s forecast, the slowest pace outside the 2009 and 2020 recessions in the past three decades. Amid widespread inflation and slower economic growth, emerging markets and developing countries are hindered by multiple factors. What are the future trends of supply chain, energy, commodities etc., as pandemic control is normalized around the world?
Daily milk intake of 300-500g is specially recommended in the Chinese Dietary Guidelines 2022. Have you drunk enough milk?
The dairy industry is going through structural changes amid shifting competition landscape, with more opportunities emerging in certain segments.
Besides ToC, ToB could also be sweet.
It is learnt that both Nestlé and Yili are ambitious in new products this year. It is time for the giants to step up efforts as consumption continues to recover.
NotCo is an amazing company that analyses the organoleptic composition of milk and uses AI to match plant ingredients to make a product that is consistent in taste. The company is also said to be working on products with the taste of falling in love. What does falling in love taste like? Let's ask their AI chef GIUSEPPE.
Make Cheese in the Chinese Way in the Chinese Market.
Just like waiting for a breeze to take aroma afar, natural cheese waits for an opportunity to take off in China.
Apart from the appearance, aroma, and taste, the touch can make a lingering memory. How can cheese be so soft and fine?
What is cheese? It can be little cubes of milky flavor, or a cup of drink that makes you happy, or a flavor!
Daily milk intake of 300-500g is specially recommended in the Chinese Dietary Guidelines 2022. Have you drunk enough milk?
Should regional dairy brands go nationwide? How should premium dairy brands grow their consumer base? Let's talk about how to cross the gap between the niche and the mass.
Here starts the exploration of the balance between technology and perceived value by Chinese consumers.
It is hard, and it has to be done.
Greek yogurt is not new to consumers. With new players joining the game, what waves will the newcomers make?
As a great source of nutrients, dairy products offer more nutritional possibilities apart from the good flavors.
It seems that formula milk for the middle-aged and elderly people has not been made a necessity despite that silver economy has been discussed for many years. The consumer habit is under development. Who will offer the first cup of milk to the middle-aged and elderly consumers?
It is hard to build a long-lasting brand, but some have made it. Brand building and user experience, among all efforts, matter most.
The New Products You Should Never Miss
What makes candy a sweet business when it is getting harder to please consumers’ tastes and adapt to complex market?
Corporate strategies of snack food companies are re-assessed in the perspective of channels.
The DNA of bakery industry is ridden with molecules called “complexity.” What does it take for bakery brands to hit ten-thousand stores?
The secret behind the booming business of roasted snack food stores is not just seeds.
There is always something new in consumer snacking trends, but innovation is a lasting theme. It is key, therefore, to align snack innovation with industry outlook.
When savvy young consumers start to yangsheng, self-cultivation practices aimed at enhancing health and longevity, the Chinese dietary approach to "life nourishment" wins a broader consumer base and is expected of higher product standards. Selling concept is already water under the bridge to health-nourishing food brands.
Will super foods bring super growth?
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.
To buy or not to buy? When price is not the any determinant anymore, winning the hearts of consumers becomes increasing important. From the sound of the crunch of potato chips, beautifully designed creative ice pops, to super engaging candy toys, it seems that the fun element matters no less in snacks for adults.
The frozen confections market has seemingly never cooled.
Tasty towers, sweet rockets, crunchy cats … imagine and build your own “cracker wonderland” with crackers. Here we build with crackers and eat building bricks!
As demographic structure continues to evolve, what kind of drinks can stay with consumers for a lifetime?
From making the next-gen drinks to making drinks for the next gen.
As sparkling drinks grow fast, vending machines for sparkling drinks offer a more sustainable option for both brands and consumers—fit for new scenarios, personalized experience, and less plastic...
There is no shortcut in building channels as the lifeline of beverage companies.
All the beverage products that have survived the fast-iterating market have been refined time and time again throughout product development. The last 1% of coming face to face with consumers is particularly important. From frosted packaging for hot drinks, capacity tailored to channels, to localized development...It takes both meticulousness and agility.
What hardcore technologies shall be used to please mild-yangsheng consumers?
Bain statistics show that juices inject great momentum to beverage market: in the first three quarters of 2022, both sales volume and average price of juices in China went up, with revenue hitting over 20% growth against a downturn market. As super fruits gain popularity this year, what more to expect from juices?
Thick coconut milk, coconut milk latte, coconut water...More and more coconut-based products have penetrated everyday scenarios. What are good coconut drinks from?
If by smell you were deceived,
Don’t be dismal, don’t be wild!
In healthy drinks, sugar can be less.
Merry days will come, believe.
—Written by Stress, Drinks R&D
Resident baristas put distinct flavors within everyone’s reach.
Coffee that is made without coffee beans.
Lemon slices in cups, rosemary stems decorating mugs—every detail of a cup of special blend coffee enriches sensorial experience. This is why special blends mean more than “good tastes”.
Coffee brands such as Starbucks, Nestlé, Manner, etc., have launched coffee products based on Yunnan beans one after another. All of a sudden, Yunnan becomes a strategic position for coffee brands. Why not go back to where the wind comes from and see what is going on about Yunnan coffee?
Consumers start to pay more attention to brand culture and product customization when market is flooded with new tea. What new tea brands should do to highlight brand differentiation and exhibit their special talents in such circumstances?
What are the new models for the traditional tea industry?
- Product differentiation and upgrading
- Channels: User cases underpinned by experience
Spirits possess multiple attributes in China – consumption, investment, culture, etc. To understand consumer purchases of spirits as consumer goods is to some extent restrictive. A perspective from the secondary market allows us to see more.
But is the offline still the same with bars, convenience stores, O2O…？
How to allow consumers from different cultural backgrounds to appreciate the inner qualities of spirits by leveraging flavors?
What is the role of design to convey stories behind spirits to consumers at the first sight?
As a traditional alcoholic drink in Japan, how does sake manage to rejuvenate in other parts of the world?
To understand the land by its wine.
Modern Youth: Early Maturity on One Side and Delayed on Another
What do female consumers think differently about alcohol consumption?
How to be the Coca-Cola in alcoholic beverages that accompany consumers at every unforgettable gathering?
When rational drinking is compounded with post-pandemic stronger health awareness, what kind of consumers that spirits companies are dealing with exactly?
Lars, previously the head chef of Michelin 3-star restaurant Noma, is the master mind behind the self-described flavor company. Through the vehicle of spirits, new definitions are created around flavors to tell individuals’ life stories.
Will there be less cooking at home when lockdown is over? What changes merit expectation on consumer behaviors and preferences?
Tremendous changes are emerging on consumer goods investments this year. Returning to the nature will be the key topic for catering, condiments and 3R foods? How to initiate to grasp growth opportunites?
Compound condiments, raw materials, equipment, or packaging? What matters most for 3R foods competition?
Higher requirements for umami need both technology upgrade and innovative umami products. What technical innovations are available to upgrade chicken bouillon? Apart from chicken bouillon, what technology can help compound condiments deliver better umami?
Less salt, less sugar, and less fat. Will condiments become less tasty? No, we have the answer today.
Tom Yum, sukiyaki, Italian cuisine...exotic flavors are coming up quietly. Is it possible to bring authentic flavors home in the form of 3R foods?
The vastness and abundance of China have cultivated not only eight cuisine styles but also products marked by over 2400 geographical indications. How can a geographical indication, as the name card of nature, be leveraged to grow consumer base and build successful brands in the realm of condiments and 3R foods?
Sour, spicy, sweet, umami...those flavors are the building blocks of dining experiences that we are so obsessed with. Is there a secret pattern behind all the big trending flavors?
Spiciness is a top celebrity among the primary flavors in the Chinese cuisine. Spiciness can be different in multiple ways. What kind of taste profile of spiciness can be crafted to make it both satisfyingly pungent and addictive?
There is great business potential in lower-tier cities. What are the consumer behaviors and habits in lower-tier cities where the market is not yet saturated? How to set up channels? Is price war the only way to grab shares in lower-tier market?
Rural catering service, group meals, farmer’s markets...There is no lack of opportunity in distributing 3R foods to lower-tier markets.
Quick meal shops, offering noodles mainly, are popular among consumers and investors thanks to its low cost per head, high standardization, and easy duplication. Is it a favorable wind that can help compound condiments and 3R foods take off?
How can foreign products maintain their authenticity in the Chinese market?
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.
TikTok, Taobao, channels, brand platforms...whichever is the path for brands to grow from 0 to 1, product takeoff is just the first step, and the real goal is to win steady repurchases. That is when the brand impact is put to test.
What is the biggest challenge to functional foods? Restrictions brought by advertisement regulations are way ahead of others. How should brands and suppliers deal with stringent advertisement regulations?
Never to be tested positive for Covid again! Ways to strengthen the immune system become a trending topic among consumers. What immunity supplements are available? What may hinder them on the way to market?
Probiotics in sausages, cake, ice cream...how many possibilities do the bacteria in food and beverage?
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"!
Aging, fast pace of life, information over-loading, long recovery after Covid infection...our brain needs a storage clean-up!
Global sales of mushroom in 2021 grew 16.1% compared with 2020, according to Presence, a U.S. company in the food industry. It is estimated that the global market value of mushroom will hit USD 19.33 billion by 2030. What do people see in mushroom that attracts a ten-billion market? Is it a magic one-for-all product – immunity improvement, brain health, and emotional management?
In 2023, GABA benefits not only sleeping but also mood, beauty, and sports nutrition! How many surprises GABA has for us?
Sugar reduction remains a key tone in 2023. However, consumers are scared off by complicated ingredient names. As more brands claim to upgrade recipe with lower sugar content, who will stand out and offer a better choice?
Scientists at Tate & Lyle have seen in a large number of studies that Asian people exhibit a higher risk of developing diabetes, and China is one of the most affected areas. Many researches show that dietary fiber seems to be a key factor in controlling diabetes. How to manage weight more effectively? What kind of dietary fiber can help lower the risk of diabetes? Where else can dietary fiber play a role?
Additives are both the soul of the food industry and evils in consumers’ eyes. How many additives have been replaced by natural ingredients out of consumers’ strong awareness of heath? What is the right way for brands to communicate with consumers about additives?
Mature contract manufacturing renders similarity in the ingredient list of products from different brands. However, the same ingredients in the same sequence could mean quite different things when dosage differs. How can brands stand out from all the product twins resulted from contract manufacturing?
Plant-based products are more than plant-based meat and milk. What are the high-potential applications of plant-based products to be developed? In no shortage of animal protein, why do consumers put their eyes on plant-based products?
Imagine, will you be interested in building ingredients into food combinations just like playing Lego pieces?
Ingredient selection, recipe engineering, product test, ingredient discovery...Is there a boundary to the capabilities of AI?
Meiyijia, NewJoy, Today, Fook, and more community convenience store brands have gained fast growth in recent years. What are the next steps in products, supply chain, store operation, organization, and digitalization after gaining scale?
Stores in the capillaries of cities mean a lot to making consumers’ life convenient. Store downsizing is one of the key solutions taken by retailers to cope with channel evolution.
What are the changes to expect in consumers and channels in the future in the eyes of Yueheji, a platform that has served 26,000 convenience stores? How can brands and channels distribute goods faster? What are the underlying capabilities and collaboration models that are required?
What is the differentiated value provided by snack variety stores compared with small-and-medium supermarkets and convenience stores? What are the opportunities and challenges? What does it mean to snack brands?
Chained operation, cross-region management, national expansion, development in lower-tier cities...
The Journey in China of the King of Discounts
Instant Retail Falls in the Sight of Leading Internet Companies, e.g. JD Home Delivery, Meituan Flash Buy, TikTok Local, TikTok Supermarket, and TikTok Take-away. What is the outlook?
What is the core competence of retailers who have time-tested operations and performance?
The core of membership stores is absolutely not charging a membership fee, but offering higher quality products at higher value deals.
Good taste, good performance, and competitive price...This is how consumers perceive great private labels. When product power weighs more in retailing, how to build a high-quality private label as part of its business moat?
Many retailers have made attempts at establishing their own private labels, but very few of them have made a mark on consumers’ minds. What did the obscure ones do wrong? What are the pitfalls of building private labels?
Product innovation falls more on tier-one cities, e-commerce, and omni-channels, while that for physical channels and for tier-3-and-4 cities seem to be neglected. The latter weighs more in the total market volume, but supply-side innovation is far behind growth in demand. While the brands do see opportunities, challenges also come along.
“A smart brain” manages an integrated supply chain with capabilities in demand forecast, inventory visualization, and smart decision-making.
The efficient functioning of B2C e-commerce unveils the benefits of digital tools to brands. However, B2C e-commerce is not the biggest market in the food and beverage industry. Brands are now shifting to digitalization in traditional retailing channels, hoping to run traditional retailing faster with eRTM.
How do brands plan to achieve this? How to mobilize B-end partners and build a new ecosystem?
Top-down: Put characteristic raw materials, ingredients, and technology together and launch new products to the market.
Bottom-up: Innovate products reversely based on market and consumer insights.
So far Yum China has set up presence in all provinces and autonomous regions in mainland China. Apart from well-known suppliers in the upstream for raw materials, Yum China has established its own supply chain management system with massive resources invested. Yum China has taken a series of key actions since 2020: multiple supply chain support centers, proprietary cold chain companies, strategic investment in key suppliers...
The Global Lighthouse Network is a World Economic Forum initiative put forward in 2018 in collaboration with McKinsey & Company. To be a site selected for the Lighthouse Network, which means to be advanced, lean, and agile along the supply chain and an industry benchmark in value creation, is a goal that many manufacturers strive to achieve.
The importance of supply chain speaks for itself to make a business competitive. Compared with big players who already have established systematic advantages in supply chain, companies at their young age need to find a supply model that suits their phase of development.
In the discerning eyes of investors, what is the right way for a great player to build its own supply chain?
How to see through haze and implement sustainable packaging strategies that are practical to brands amid all the hype around Carbon Neutral and Sustainability?
How to engage consumers deeply in co-creation and communication around sustainability by taking packaging design as the vehicle and make sustainability an opportunity for brand transformation?
There is a lot to learn from the complaints about paper pipes. Why do some plastic replacement initiatives seem to begin the work from the wrong end? What makes a qualified plastic replacement product, taking all into consideration—production, transportation, recycling, cost, carbon emission, and customer experience?
From negligible labels starts the first step of packaging recycling.
There is never enough time, resource, and experience when the world is changing ever faster. How to break the dilemma with creativity and different perspectives?
Four quality images can be generated per minute by AI on Midjourney, a design software. Plug AI, an AI-powered packaging assessment tool developed in Japan, can even forecast how popular a packaging design will be. How powerful are generative AI exactly?
Come to try it live!
Your AI-powered design extension is ready! How has AI been used as an add-on by geniuses to make work better and faster?
When everyone seems to be able to create like an artist with AI's assistance, will this change the game in design? What would be the best balance to strike with AI for brands and designers?
Does packaging have more untapped potential as the first touchpoint with a brand? How to connect emotionally with consumers by using packaging smartly as a touchpoint?
How does design thinking navigate consumers to the ultimate experience? You will need this roadmap.
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?
To see is to crave. I want to try it now!
More consumers read ingredient lists amid stronger health awareness. It makes brands to scratch their heads to demonstrate ingredient advantages through a small label. How to make product information easy to read, understand, and recognize through good label design?
Working on the intangible means to imagine beyond a traditional framework, while working on the tangible is to make happen with practical solutions.
When Chinese food brands start to go to overseas markets, what should the design work of Chinese brands deliver to support a stronger national confidence and performance in the global arena?
It is never innovation for innovation’s sake. How to measure the real value of innovation?
When a brand completely redefines itself every two years, how can it expect to be a centurial brand like Coca-Cola?
As counties gain weight in societal and economic development, they are also becoming a cornerstone in consumption.
From the rise of outdoor sports, agender movement, to local cultural symbols represented by Ding Zhen and Lu Xian Ren, let us walk you into the realm of our new generations.
The context of access to international market has changed dramatically from export trade to building a global brand. What are the opportunities and challenges in taking a brand overseas? How to plan the route?
As Gen Z step into workplace and have more to spend, their passion for food and beverages is unleashed further. This generation is willing to embrace new products and brands, as well as pay for tastes from childhood memories. At the same time, however, they have the countermeasures to cope with fascinating marketing tricks.
Marketing to Gen Z: How to Engage? How can brands get seen, liked, and picked by Gen Z shoppers among endless options? We have Bilibili, content creators, and brands with to explore effective connection with Gen Z and to cut ineffective marketing creativity.
Connect closer with consumers through face-to-face, intermediary-free communication.
Which sense and medium are left when hands, feet, and eyes are occupied? Ears and sounds.
The average listening time per user on Chinese podcasts hit 4.1 hours in 2022, with monthly income at RMB 14,808. Sound media possesses high potential as it features immersive listening and high user value. How can brands make themselves be heard?
Coca-Cola launched global innovation platform Coca-Cola Creations in February 2022. Consumers can wall into Starlight, experience “Concert on a Coca-Cola” with Ava Max via AR, access the world of Byte Island created in Fornite with Pixel by scanning the QR code on bottle, and indulge in the final chapter of Bleach with Soul Blast.
Food for thought: how should brands build internal culture and value propositions, solidify its identity, and innovate communications by tapping into new technologies and ideas?
Metaverse under microscope: development history, fundamental technologies, ecosystem, applications, and outlook.
What will be replaced? Where are higher performance and efficiency expected? How innovation can be stimulated?
Digital tools are like the ISTJ personality in MBTI personality test, which are focused, organized, and accurate. They complete each task with meticulousness. It is an easy job to measure and improve customer experience with their help.
No matter how to define the upgrading or downgrading of consumption, the increasing impact of quality-price ratio, as well as the fit between brand value and consumer perception is a trend that cannot be neglected. As leaders, how would you define the distinctiveness of your brand value? And how would you deliver your sense of value to consumers? What actions would you take to increase the value of the company?
When senior professionals meet with the new generation of "workers", the differences in work experience, personal experience, and thinking patterns may bring potential conflicts to the organization; when the appropriate culture and work processes are established, diversity can build a more robust team - an excellent team with more comprehensive perspectives, more reasonable decisions, more complementary capabilities, and more effective execution.
ChatGPT, Midjourney ...... When technology comes to application, it may have a disruptive impact on human life in a short period.
-How will the technology outbreak affect the way humans understand the world?
-What will brands look like in the future?
-How can companies work with AI employees to lead their brands into the future?
With the evolution of business civilization, ESG has become one of the dimensions for evaluating corporate social responsibility and even potential business returns. A sustainable supply chain is an essential part of corporate ESG practices. How to Tailor the General Strategies for your own Sustainable Supply Chain?
Final consumption expenditure, capital formation, and net export of goods and services accounted for 32.8%, 50.1%, and 17.1% of GDP growth in 2022.
What is the cause-and-effect relationship between consumption and investment, and physical economy and finance? How do they move ahead hand in hand?
Competition seems to escalate among investors and founders. How to do empowerment in the food and beverage industry?
Besides the ups and downs of economic cycles, where are we in the kinetic cycle?
Will technologies build moats for the F&B industry?
I miss that you were earnest and a bit edgy when we first met, but later you were 'unconsciously changed' by users.
Starting a business is not a team-building activity, which is not always fun. What are the responsibilities of the founder(s) to the team? What does it take for a core team to sail through big waves?
Overseas investment is a choice made by many businesses with globalization and technology evolution.
- Does overseas investment mean only financial contribution to a company?
- Things that companies must think through before going overseas.
How to enhance competitiveness through the integration and assimilation of advantages, technologies, and knowledge in M&As?
What do AIGC technologies and applications have in store for us? How will they change the way we perceive the world?
What is working with AI like in the F&B industry? Where AI colleagues can be trusted?
Synthetic Biology is an emerging multidisciplinary field of science that applies combined theories and technologies from biology, chemistry, engineering, and computer science to achieve specific biological functions by redesigning and re-constructing human DNA.
Recruiting! Show time for dreamers and creators!
- Brand Empowerment Session
- Channel Empowerment Session
With tens of billions scale, frozen bakery in China grows at 15%~20% per year. It has inherent advantages in stable supply, long shelf life, and scaled manufacturing. However, it takes a bit more improvement in flavor innovation, taste preservation, and variety expansion in comparison with fresh bakery.
There are numerous regional flavors in China and each flavor has endless variations. Spiceness alone has shown dazzling versatility, less saltiness, sweetness, sourness...When regional flavored dishes, like Fish and Pickled Cabbage, Pig Intestines with Chicken, approach the peak, it is time to go off the mainstream and seek something new.
The era of consumers seeking goods out is gone. It is time to find the right consumers and sell well for products. Products shall be precisely aligned with consumer segmentation from the ideation phase. The new generation of consumers want both great flavors and clean ingredients. Why not target your consumers, work on the ingredients, and develop in high accuracy?
New food and beverage products containing prebiotics, something we see often but know little about, register 11.11% CAGR over the past five years. What is it exactly? What are the benefits? How to drive product innovation with prebiotics?
The global plant protein market is expected to rise from $4.6 billion to $85 billion by 2030. Behind the consumption and capital boom, do people really understand plant protein? It's time to find out the truth!
Behind the trend of functional foods is relentless effort in discovering raw materials. Healthiness and safety of ingredients become key factors in decision-making as consumers are savvier. What are the benefits of insoluble dietary fiber? What surprises resistant starch has to show us when used in food?
When traffic dividend goes away and louder hawking does not bring more attention, product content and interest content come bottlenecks. Take TikTok for example, content operation costs boosts, and content starts to suffer homogeneity despite a large amount of users. How to break content bottlenecks? How to manage content segmentations? How to reflect true brand value through content?
Compared with public Internet domains, private traffic is better poised for social fission, repurchases, fine-grained user management and resource protection. Private traffic makes the pond bigger and closes the loop in the ecosystem, with conversion cost higher and higher. Perhaps it is possible to have it all!
This generation of consumers care more about aesthetic value than 5 to 10 years ago.
Abuse of trending elements? Too forthcoming? No！
It is time for brands to see aesthetics as a long-term trend rather than a short-term dividend.
On its way to chef-free, standardization, and branding, the food and drink industry set the bar higher for all suppliers, demanding unique taste memory points and technical unique selling points be created for each brand. But cost is shockingly high! There must be a way to reconcile between cost efficiency and flavor customization.
The digital intelligence is just like sea, keeping flowing in every part of industrial chain. Although, the digitalization and intelligence of food and beverage industry comes a little slowly, it initially accomplished! Full-chain transparency will make supply-demand coordination easier.
Some consumers claim eating fresh but are honest with their actions, starting to pay for near-expired foods from discount stores that feature good product selections and yet low prices. On the other side, capital flows in, and brands seize the momentum by developing non-near-expired collaboration products and accelerating distribution in channels. However, it is important to figure out the logic behind the discount business in the first step.
In addition to guavas, prickly pears, and sea-buckthorn berries, products with pomelo as a trending ingredient are gaining popularity in Japan, Europe, and America. However, it is still a blue ocean in China. Perhaps playing it reversely is a good idea—building upstream first and then brand, rather than gaining a quick access to market via contract manufacturing. How to tackle challenges with long-termism? How to build an industry based on deep processing?
Upstream suppliers possess materials, technology, and even capital? Suppliers have now put on a different hat, investing in all links of the chain – new consumer brands, raw material suppliers, and processors. What are their tactics in the game? What changes will be brought to the industrial chain and invested companies apart from capital injection?