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July 23, 2021updated 01 Feb 2022 11:42am

Why The Livekindly Collective’s NPD strategy for China could pay off

The Livekindly Collective is the latest international meat-alternative business to target China and, with its Chinese-centric new products, GlobalData Consumer believes the company stands a good chance of success.

By GlobalData Consumer

It’s taken more than 30 years but significant markets for meat-alternative products have been built in North America and western Europe, so much so the category could now be described as mainstream.

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Unilever- A Deep-dive into Product Launches and Advertising Strategy

Unilever product advertising is mainly through mainstream TV channels. Out of the products advertised so far at least 50% (over 850) of ads have been run on TV, while print media comes second with 496 ads. Unilever also utilizes social media platforms for advertisement. Unilever products are categorized by innovation ratings and tags in our product launch database. The North American region consists of almost 74 products with innovations related to the formulation of the product. Europe and other regions also have more products categorized under formulation-related innovation, followed by the packaging and positioning of the products. Most Unilever products are tagged with “High Vitamins”, “Recyclable”, and “Natural” tags to understand what the product differentiator is from other products available in the market. The majority of products belong to the personal care industry with a total of 5,788 products to date. This report, through the Unilever Example, illustrates how GlobalData Explorer enables you to:  
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by GlobalData
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With competition in these regions intense, investors and meat-free companies with international ambitions have more emerging markets in their sights – and China is often at or near the top of their lists.

Interest among China’s consumers is building but can a substantive market for plant-based meat develop in the country?

Plenty of businesses think so – and joining the ranks is The Livekindly Collective. The US-based group, which has largely built its portfolio through M&A, principally in North America and Europe, has entered China with two new brands developed specifically for the market, the first developed in-house by the company.

Giggling Pig (‘Ge Ji Zhu’) and Happy Chicken (“Ha Pi Ji”) are targeted at Gen Z consumers in China with cartoon characters depicted on the packaging, The products are designed for Chinese traditional cuisine and palates, including plant-based dumplings, mushroom-based dishes, and seasoned mincemeat.

“Chinese consumers definitely have a very distinct set of characteristics,” Tao Zhang, an investor in alternative protein in China, told this website last year. “They are very discerning when it comes to taste. They may be curious about new products but, if they try your product and it does not taste right, they’re not coming back. Product applications for plant-based meat can also be so much more diverse in China than compared with the US, say.”

Gen Z and Millennial cohorts are the key drivers of the plant-based meat trend in China. GlobalData’s 2021 consumer survey validates this, with approximately half of Chinese survey respondents aged 18 to 44 years, affirming they are ‘somewhat’ or ‘extremely likely’ to choose vegan alternatives to red meat, white meat, and pork products. Many of these consumers perceive plant-based meat analogues as healthier, safer and more ethical alternatives to animal-sourced meat.

China is emerging as a global hub for plant-based lifestyles, driven by the increasing adoption of flexitarian diets. Reflecting this trend, the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) recently approved its first standard for labelling plant-based meat products, which are now classified as food products incorporating plant-sourced materials or their processed products.

In 2016, Beijing released dietary guidelines to halve the per-capita consumption of meat in the country to around 14kg to 27kg a year from about 63kg, in a bid to stem the rising prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity, as well as tackle greenhouse emissions.

Unsurprisingly, more alternative protein brands are making a beeline for China, where, according to GlobalData forecasts, the meat substitute market is slated to shoot up from 43.7 million kg in 2020 to 51 million kg by 2025.

Overall, China’s plant-based meat industry, in comparison to its counterparts in markets in North America and Europe, is a nascent one. Activity is picking up but, in the main, there is not yet the kind of category in China’s grocery retail channel as in markets such as the US, the UK and the Netherlands.

However, competition will intensify in China, too. To carve out a foothold in the market, brand owners must have local tastes and meal occasions front and centre in their product development. While affluent Chinese consumers have eagerly embraced certain aspects of western lifestyles (clothing, interior decoration), western food has, relatively speaking, been welcomed with a little less vigour.

Chinese consumers do not always appreciate ‘western’ flavours and some industry watchers believe any success in plant-based meat won’t automatically come from selling burgers in Beijing but through products adapted to the Chinese palate and to local eating and cooking habits. The Livekindly Collective seems to have taken that message to heart.

Related Companies

Free Report
img

Unilever- A Deep-dive into Product Launches and Advertising Strategy

Unilever product advertising is mainly through mainstream TV channels. Out of the products advertised so far at least 50% (over 850) of ads have been run on TV, while print media comes second with 496 ads. Unilever also utilizes social media platforms for advertisement. Unilever products are categorized by innovation ratings and tags in our product launch database. The North American region consists of almost 74 products with innovations related to the formulation of the product. Europe and other regions also have more products categorized under formulation-related innovation, followed by the packaging and positioning of the products. Most Unilever products are tagged with “High Vitamins”, “Recyclable”, and “Natural” tags to understand what the product differentiator is from other products available in the market. The majority of products belong to the personal care industry with a total of 5,788 products to date. This report, through the Unilever Example, illustrates how GlobalData Explorer enables you to:  
  • Track product launches by FMCG companies to get an understanding of the product-level strategies including geographic concentrations, innovation types, product claim, category focus and more
  • Monitoring the advertising strategies of various brands and gain insights into channel focus, regional focus, and more
  • Perform company-level analysis to understand business model, size, and geographic focus
Don’t miss out on key market insights that can help optimize your next investment – read the report now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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