New brands and new categories are favored by young consumers

  Check the "Quality Check" of Internet Celebrity Food (Online China)

At the food e-commerce supply chain base of Linyi City, Shandong Province, sales staff are recommending food through live broadcast.

  Photo by Xu Chuanbao (People's Picture)

  Self-heating hot pot, semi-finished ramen noodles, instant snail noodles... Recently, many Internet celebrity food brands have risen strongly and are favored by young consumers.

The data shows that influenced by the "one-person food" and "home economy", coupled with the promotion of e-commerce live broadcast and other forms, Internet celebrity food has become a hot growth point in the consumer market.

However, problems such as food safety and false propaganda also follow.

Experts pointed out that only by jointly creating a consumer-friendly Internet market ecological environment by multiple market participants can continue to boost consumer confidence.

  Internet celebrity food is popular

  "After watching the evaluation video of the Internet celebrity ramen, I started with 5 flavors at a time, and now I often'stock up'." College student Xiao Chen is a loyal fan of an Internet celebrity fast food brand, and he knows how to make and taste.

"During the epidemic prevention period, take-out is not good at home, self-heating hot pot, self-heating box lunch, and semi-finished pasta are the'saviors'."

  Internet celebrity foods represented by instant foods have set off a consumption boom, with new brands and new categories constantly emerging, and they have won the support of many young consumers.

According to institutional data, the total turnover of the instant fast food market on Taobao and Tmall platforms in 2020 will reach 21.3 billion yuan, and the market scale is considerable; among them, instant noodles, instant snail noodles, self-heating hot pot and other categories perform the most eye-catching.

In addition, consumers aged 35 and below have become the main force of online celebrity food orders; consumers in Tier 4 and below cities account for nearly 40% of the total number of payers, and the sinking market has a broad space.

According to the White Paper on China Food Consumption Trends in 2021, categories such as packaged foods, self-heating foods, and prepared dishes will continue to accelerate growth in 2021. Health-focused sub-categories such as meal replacements and functional foods will receive more attention and overall consumption The market continues to innovate.

  A number of new brands have risen up, and a number of start-up companies have come to the forefront of the market.

In February of this year, the self-heating hot pot brand "Zi Hi Pot" completed a C+ round of financing of more than 100 million yuan; in January, the instant noodle brand "Ramen Shuo" received the sixth round of financing in the past five years.

In December 2020, the light food brand "Wang Baobao" raised hundreds of millions of yuan in Series C financing... With the help of industry capital, the brand innovation of innovative companies has become increasingly active, and new products continue to "break the circle" and impact traditional food companies. It also brings more upgrade options to consumers and promotes the vitality of the consumer market.

  Live e-commerce helps development

  Liu Junhai, a professor of Law School of Renmin University of China, pointed out in an interview with our reporter that with the acceleration of the development of the Internet, emerging consumer demand, consumption patterns, consumption activities and business models have emerged one after another.

The live broadcast of goods on the web has played a positive role in promoting market activity and economic development during the epidemic prevention period.

  Driven by live broadcast e-commerce, Internet celebrity food brands seize the online traffic entrance and take advantage of the trend.

According to agency statistics, in January this year alone, snail powder products under the well-known Internet celebrity Li Ziqi participated in nearly 1,700 live e-commerce live broadcasts, with live broadcast sales exceeding 850,000 copies and sales exceeding 31 million yuan.

It is precisely because of the mutual empowerment of the live broadcast and the new brand that the sales miracle has been realized.

Data show that in 2020, China's live broadcast e-commerce market will reach 961 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 121.5%.

With the gradual expansion of live broadcast to all areas of e-commerce, it is expected that the overall scale of live e-commerce will continue to grow rapidly in 2021.

In the future, the "live room" will still be a battleground for the flow of Internet celebrity food.

  Some Internet celebrity food brands are also actively opening up offline retail channels, striving to avoid shortcomings in online and offline channels.

At the same time, make good use of the logic of Internet content flow, seize the "storytelling" platforms such as short video apps and interest groups, and use planning that conforms to the product style to promote products to reach target consumers.

  In addition, changes in consumer groups are also one of the reasons for the "explosive" of Internet celebrity food.

Young people have gradually become the new force in the consumer market, and the corresponding "play" of consumer brands should also be adjusted with changes in trends.

Some insiders pointed out that the rapid change of brand consumption habits among young people has created a large number of Internet celebrity brands; the new circles and new preferences of young consumers have also brought opportunities for new brands in market segments.

  Food safety keeps the red line

  Internet celebrity brands lead the trend of consumption, but incidents that infringe consumers' rights and interests such as the deterioration of some products and food products and false propaganda have frequently occurred.

In January this year, consumers complained that the promotion of an Internet celebrity meal replacement brand involved false propaganda; in February this year, a consumer posted a complaint that the heating pack of a well-known self-heating hot pot product suddenly exploded; in March this year, a popular brand of snail noodles Consumers complained about eating out cigarette butts.

The old problems of the food industry have become "stumbling blocks" for emerging markets.

  Liu Junhai pointed out that in business practice, many Internet companies and e-commerce companies focus on development and ignore regulations.

Since the cost of consumer rights protection is higher than the benefits of rights protection, many consumers face the dilemma of rights protection and must work together to create a consumer-friendly modern Internet market ecological environment.

Legislation should be “fine rather than coarse” to improve the operability, litigation and adjudication of the law; in the judiciary, “all litigation must be dealt with”, and through measures such as establishing consumer public interest litigation as soon as possible, improve the judicial remedy system; Administratively, the government is obliged to make full use of the administrative guidance, administrative mediation, and administrative punishment provided by the law to maintain the order of the Internet market.

At the same time, improve the industry's self-discipline system and media supervision system, urge enterprises to be cautious and independent, and enhance their core competitiveness by strengthening quality management.

  In addition, when Internet celebrities participate in live marketing, they must also be alert to violations such as misleading users by publishing false information in the live broadcast room.

Liu Junhai pointed out that the live broadcast mode can easily lead to consumer impulse and irrationality, and it is necessary to regulate the Internet live broadcast marketing market.

If a seller sells food that does not meet the food safety standards on the live broadcast platform, and the legitimate rights and interests of consumers are harmed, the consumer has the right to claim that the live broadcast platform and the food seller bear joint and several liability.

If the live broadcast of celebrities involves false propaganda or causes damage to consumers, the celebrities shall bear corresponding legal liabilities.

The live broadcast marketing platform should also improve the complaint and report mechanism, reduce the difficulty of live broadcast evidence, and assist consumers in defending their rights.

  Experts said that consumption is an important engine driving the sustained and healthy development of the national economy. Only by comprehensively promoting the protection of consumer rights and promoting market turmoil and clearing, can consumer confidence continue to be boosted.

  Lin Zihan