Kraft Heinz Co, an American food and beverage giant, is locating innovations and expanding its product offering to enter the Chinese condiment market.
China, which controls a $ 40 billion market in sauces and condiments, is among the company’s top priorities as consumers display a passion for healthy, good-quality food and well-being, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, said Rodrigo Wickbold, president of Kraft Heinz Asia.
“For me, what’s more important (than the size of the market) is that China is a land of foodies. People have a relationship and connection to food, which is different from a lot of others. places.”
For Kraft Heinz’s global net sales: Around $ 26 billion in 2020, China offers great opportunities to grow its food business exponentially, said Wickbold, who moved to China from Singapore last year to set up the company headquarters in Asia.
A recent report by research firm Mintel showed that home consumption of sauces, seasonings, and spreads increased during the pandemic as more city dwellers began cooking at home while closures and social distancing have become the norm.
Although the frequency of cooking decreased after restaurants reopened, most consumers still find home cooking to be healthier, which is driving demand for products sold by Kraft Heinz.
The demand for condiments is expected to increase steadily over the next 12 months, according to the Mintel report released in December.
Kraft Heinz, which builds a database of recipes, intends to meet this demand by encouraging people to experiment with different types of cooking at home.
“We have strong plans to inspire people to cook through our products as well as our content,” said Wickbold.
The company has launched recipes for western food, including videos showing an easier way to use ingredients found in regular supermarkets.
The company will also support restaurant chefs with new recipe ideas and new products.
Last year, the company, which also owns the Chinese brands Master and Guanghe, invested $ 100 million in a new factory in Yangjiang, Guangdong province, to increase the production capacity of Chinese sauces.
The two brands, currently popular in Guangdong and Fujian provinces, are expected to go national.
At the same time, Wickbold said the company is tapping into all culinary trends in China to expand its offerings by offering a wider range of Chinese sauces that chefs use in the kitchen.
“Over the next two years, I think we will transform our portfolio by offering a range of products,” he said.
“Higher quality, healthier condiments will have more room to grow,” said Xu Ruyi, reporting manager, North Asia, at Mintel.
“Electronic commerce and community commerce will add a new dimension to the category.”
Kraft Heinz plans to double its investments in e-commerce, particularly in infant foods and grains, and plans to expand its sauces business.
“Consumers are still not used to buying sauces through e-commerce… but the segment continues to grow in double digits” since COVID-19 has been better controlled in China, he said.
In China, the penetration of Western sauces is still relatively low at 40 percent. He said the company’s western sauce products, already found nationwide, need to deepen their penetration into more households.
This year, the company is investing more to expand the production capacity of its western tomato sauces and ketchups by building more production lines and “I hope we will set up new factories in the years to come,” he said. he declares.