At present, the company is providing over 1,000 varieties of snacks covering a wide range of categories, including meat snacks, roasted nuts and seeds, confectionery, dried and preserved fruits, and vegetable snacks.
Bestore’s superior vice-president Zhao Gang spoke to FoodBev about the company’s position in the high-end snacking market and the growing demand for healthy, nutritious snacks in China and around the world.
1. What makes your offering unique compared to your competitors?
For 13 years, Bestore has adhered to the principle of “good raw materials” as the basic rule for making premium snacks. The company carries out constant research and development of quality snacks year by year, and promptly updates through consumer research, omni-channel arrangement and digital transformation.
In order to fulfil its principles, Bestore has always been promoting its supply chain to be more digitalised over the years, to not only connect raw materials, production and channels, but to also allow information sharing and visualisation over the whole process. By strengthening strategic cooperation in all links of the supply chain, Bestore works hard on formulating strict product and process standards, and mastering key production technologies, to promote the upgrading of raw materials and production.
Take shrimp products as an example. Shrimp is well-received among consumers for its sweet and delicious taste and high content of protein. Nevertheless, it is not easy to ensure the fresh taste through the long-distance transportation. So, Bestore vendor travelled far to Malaysia to seek cooperation with the local shrimp base, and tailored a “cook and freeze” solution.
The solution involves the black tiger shrimp being immediately boiled and frozen at ultra-low temperatures once it is caught. As a result, the shrimp is preserved to be delicious and juicy to the greatest extent, even comparable to fresh cooked shrimp.
2. The demand for premium, healthy snacks is growing in many markets, is this also the case in China?
Yes. In the past two years, many snacks of Bestore have been changing quietly: Plum products started to adopt herbal formula with zero additives, and dried mango became less sweet. The nuts series with sea salt and herbs have replaced the synthetic food additives with herbal ingredients like monk fruit, sweet glycoside and stevioside, and dozens of natural spices. And now instant drinks can even serve as meal replacement. Each of these changes demonstrate that health and nutrition will be an important development orientation for our products in the future.
Bestore Institute of Health and Nutrition has recruited advanced R&D talents from around the world to discuss and design several research topics for the development of healthy and nutritious snack products. Besides deducting sugar, fat, salt and additives in snacks, we will also upgrade towards the “Snack 3.0” era. That is to say, functional factors will be added to snacks to meet the specific nutritional needs of different demographics, catering to pregnant women, children, the elderly, body builders, etc.
3. In your opinion, what are the key trends in the snacking sector at the moment, and how are you adapting to these trends?
The output value of China’s snacking sector is estimated to reach 2 trillion yuan in 2019, and will maintain a rapid growth trend in the future. As consumers develop increasingly higher requirements for snacks, it is believed that the market will become significantly more concentrated.
In 2019, Bestore put forward the high-end strategy to target the high-end market, differentiating them from other similar brands in the market. The company will keep differentiating products, branding sales, transforming its organisation into platforms, digitalising channels, and presenting its stores nationwide, to further enhance the brand influence, improve the operational efficiency, and expand the market size. It will thus form a business system focusing on online and offline omni-channel operations of snacks.
4. How big a role does e-commerce play in the Chinese leisure snacking market, and will e-commerce have a similar impact on markets such as Europe in the near future?
Chinese residents have developed a daily consumption habit of online shopping, from primary school students to the elderly. There are world-renowned e-commerce platforms in China, such as Alibaba and JD. In 2019, China’s total retail sales of social consumer goods reached RMB 41.2 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8%, and online physical sales reached RMB 8.5 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.5%. China’s e-commerce has developed an international trend, which will also influence the European market in the future.
Bestore has built multiple contact points for brands and users to perceive and interact with each other, by establishing comprehensive sales channels, such as terminal stores, e-commerce platforms, mobile applications, and O2O sales platforms.
5. Does Bestore have plans to expand into other markets such as Europe?
Our products find sales worldwide via e-commerce platforms. Currently, we have exports to the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. We hope Bestore may gain access to more overseas consumers and become well-received across the world. As China’s e-commerce business expands globally, more of our high-end snacks will also go global through e-commerce channels in the future.
For more information about Bestore, please visit here.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019