General Mills has formed a strategic partnership in China with food and beverage conglomerate Ting Hsin International Group, with the US-based FMCG major’s Häagen-Dazs ice-cream brand at the core of the agreement.
The deal has been inked with Ting Hsin’s subsidiary Golden Field, which supplies products such as branded food, bottled water and wine to group-owned convenience stores in China. Ting Hsin is headquartered in Taiwan and its assortment includes instant noodles, baked goods and soft drinks, with its Master Kong brand distributed widely in China through thousands of retail outlets.
While Häagen-Dazs ice cream is at the heart of the e-commerce and retail agreement, the partnership also encompasses bread production and coffee, along with warehouse logistics and joint environmental efforts to reduce the use of plastics, according to a statement.
“After a half-year-long negotiation, Häagen-Dazs will be the first brand under General Mills to join hands with Golden Field to exploit [the] B2B and B2C fields with the extensive influence of both parties in the food industry,” the statement read.
It continued: “By taking advantage of both parties in branding, product, channel and supply chain, the scope of this cooperation will reach all the sub-brands of Ting Hsin International Group.
“The bilateral in-depth collaboration will not only be conducted in specific areas, but in offline retail as well. Häagen-Dazs will adopt a scenario-based retailing approach in restaurants and retail terminals, and focus on offline experience such as cinemas and Häagen-Dazs’ stores to increase market share and create a closed-loop retailing model.”
Meanwhile, James Chiu, the president and managing director of General Mills in China, said: “China’s market is the future growth engine for General Mills. We are honoured to reach a strategic cooperation [agreement] with the companies belonging to Ting Hsin International Group, which we believe will open a window for us to explore the future lifestyle and consumption scenarios, and is also a prudent attempt for Häagen-Dazs, as an international brand, to expand its channel in the Chinese market.”
Zhengzhang Lv, the chairman and general manager of Golden Field, added: “We are glad to join hands with General Mills and we will make full use of resources of Ting Hsin International Group to explore diversified cooperation models and new projects.”