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China Marketing News and Trends

This post is, or should be a sticky, so if its top of the list, please scroll for current news.

Aim2D.com is a magazine style website of curated news links and stories relating to China Business, Marketing, Technology and Social Media. Tune into the pulse and heartbeat of China today.

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China Top Ten Supermarket Brands

Top 10 China supermarkets based on sales for 2019

Obviously it varies hugely from product sector to product sector and whether you are a B2B or B2C business but one of the more popular ways of entry into China is via Supermarkets. To that end we are often asked which is the biggest, the best, the most upmarket, the most popular the most – whatever! And equally obviously, the answer is not so cut and dried. Again, let’s trudge out our old maxim; China is not one huge 1 billion people market. [ maybe I should get that tattooed on my body somewhere?]

So as a sort of very crude introduction, we offer the following from China Daily as a guide to the top supermarkets in China- as of 2019. A couple of caveats or points worth noting. The top players, over 90 billion yuan in sales, are not necessarily found all over China. As an example Vanguard, a HK brand, can be found in Beijing but not as easily as say Wumart or YH. So again, it depends on your brand, your marketing strategy and where you intend to focus.

In other words ABC brand of supermarket – or anything – might be in the bottom 5 million in China, but in the province you are targeting, it is #1 by a country mile.

Don’t expect to see much change in the leaderboard for 2020, its been, more or less predicable for a few years now. However, having said that, keep an eye out for Alibaba’s Fresh Hippo or Hema stores and Carrefour. Why is that?

Well, beginning with Hema, currently they have just 50 stores, centred in or around Shanghai. And as the link shows, they have made a very strong showing in 2019. Come end of September 2020 they are expecting to double that – 50 in Beijing, 50 in Hangzhou.
The once was French brand; Carrefour was sold to China Electrical Appliance Retail giant; Sunning and is now slowly re branding. Which may explain their drop of 8.3%.

And of course, it goes without saying Supermarkets are NOT the only or even first choice game in town when it comes to China market entry gateway for F&B products.
As we outlined in this article re plant based meat in China.

Courtesy of China Daily:

CR Vanguard topped supermarket brands in China with sales of 95.1 billion yuan ($13.5 billion) in 2019, while Alibaba-owned retailer Freshhema witnessed the biggest jump in sales at 185.7 percent, according to the top 100 supermarket brands list released by the China Chain Store and Franchise Association on June 30.

The top 100 supermarket brands in China registered total sales of 979.2 billion yuan last year, up 4.1 percent on a yearly basis and comprising 18.1 percent of total retail food sales for the whole year. Total sales of the top 10 winners amounted to 580.9 billion yuan, taking up 59.3 percent of sales among the top 100 brands

Now, let’s take a look at the top 10 supermarket brands in sales in China last year.

If you have a question re your brand in China and wondering if we might be able to help- maybe we can. We began as a small family firm in 2003, we are still a small family firm. Just a bit wiser.

Hello, I’m Everlyne Yu, founder and CEO of Uengager and WPBeijing Marketing Studio 2003.

I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the China market and have been privileged to work with many international clients, such as VW and their release of their Bora and the extremely successful CC.

I am happy to chat and discuss any questions, not matter how small or trivial you may think. Probably someone has already asked the same question- many times!

In China Marketing- there is no such thing as a silly question.

To see how your brand can flourish in China, please talk to Everlyne now.

Ev Yu
Everlyne Yu CEO Uengager

China and the Plant Based Meat Saga

A few weeks back we brought you a short story on China and the Meatless Meat Revolution where we outlined the entry of some of the international big players, such as Impossible Foods along with existing local, Honk Kong based Green Monday’s Omnipork.
We also quickly mentioned SUNFED- a NZ faux chicken producer and a very recent Beijing start up- also focused on faux fowl; Zhen Meat.

The interesting thing back then, to us anyway, was the way most of these brands were using fast food tie ups as gateways. Although, to be fair Omnipork had been available via on line E-com stores for 2 or 3 years. A little more recently however [and our original story was only dated 23rd June this year] Beyond Meat announced a tie up with Alibaba- not via Tmall etc where many brands are already omnipresent, but via their Fresh Hippo or Hema Stores.

Initially this just reaches customers via 50 Shanghai based stores but by end of third quarter this will be extended to anther 50 based in Beijing and Hangzhou. Customers can find this in the frozen goods section or use the Hema mobile app or home delivery. If you are keen to know more, you can read this fuller article on Caixin.

As an aside. some observers in China have doubted if, after initial curiosity in the product has peaked, Chinese consumers can be swayed away from their beloved pork. We feel this is fair comment; to wit even during the African Swine Flue when pork prices rocketed and beef was the meaty darling it didn’t take too long before buyers returned to pork. Despite the higher than usual price. So price is probably not going to be a selling point. In fact, even now imitation meat is on a par with the “real thing” price wise.

However, this sort of ignores what we and many other professional marketers have been banging away at for the past couple of decades: CHINA IS NOT ONE MEGA MARKET. So the secret to success here is going to be segmentation. Niches such as vegetarians, health fanatics or religious groups, such as Islam, Bahia and Buddhism whose followers shun animal products.

Moving on

So far we have been looking at “traditional” ways to distribute the product. [ Interesting how quickly we now consider E-com traditional~] This article from China daily [who also provide the image] introduces what maybe the future.
Not just for the imitation beef / meat market, but for the way we order foods generally.
We are talking about 3D printing.

The “finished product’ looks halfway appetising in the leader image, but I am not sure if the hands and nails of the “chef” in later images during the preparation would inspire me to try. Or give me much faith in the standard of health and cleanliness in the manufacturing process.
But then I guess, if you have ever toured a slaughter house you may possibly be put off eating real meat for a while.

So, your turn. What do you think? Would you be tempted to try 3D printed steak? Or plant based meats of any kind? Let us know in the comments section. Now, we know this is a contentious subject, so play nice OK?
Of course, if you have a question or need support for your brand in China [ doesn’t have to be fake :>) as always Everlyne is happy to chat with you, by phone or face to face. Sorry haven’t worked out a way to 3D print her yet~

Hello, I’m Everlyne Yu, founder and CEO of Uengager and WPBeijing Marketing Studio 2003.

I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the China market and have been privileged to work with many international clients, such as VW and their release of their Bora and the extremely successful CC.

I am happy to chat and discuss any questions, not matter how small or trivial you may think. Probably someone has already asked the same question- many times!

In China Marketing- there is no such thing as a silly question.

To see how your brand can flourish in China, please talk to Everlyne now.

Ev Yu
Everlyne Yu CEO Uengager

Perfect Diary in China

You would be forgiven if, from reading the title you thought this post was about writing, memories reminiscences or other pen and paper products. Forgiven- but wrong.
In truth Perfect Diary in China is a beauty product.
Not just any beauty product in China- a C Beauty product- or made in China.

Continue reading “Perfect Diary in China”

Alibaba: from Ma to Zhang

WPBeijing was a marketing studio founded by Peter Bic and Everlyne Yu in Beijing, October 2003. In 2017 it became known as Bicyu NZ Co Ltd. Aim2D is an umbrella media arm of Bicyu. This article is part of a Weekend Series where we dare to share some of our experiences and insights. So, make yourself a pot of Oolong tea, grab a chocolate bar and settle down for a longer read

A Personal Recollection

alibaba
Alibaba


A long, long time back- I had only been in China less than 6 months- I was invited to a meeting.
At the time I was in DongBei, [North East China] Jilin province, circa 2002.
The meeting was more of a presentation. Some funny Chinese guy, an ex English teacher was speaking re some venture he wanted to begin. He was looking for sponsors, funding, trying to create interest generally.

Continue reading “Alibaba: from Ma to Zhang”

Europe China Slowly Build Trade and Exports Post Covid 19

Looking at history, culture and business, Europe and China have, over the centuries shared a lot in common. Despite some setbacks along the way, the two regions have cooperated on many fronts, from the early Marco Polo voyages to today’s tech and businesses exchanges.

Continue reading “Europe China Slowly Build Trade and Exports Post Covid 19”

China and the Meatless Meat Revolution

Chinese food image: Ruthy Yang

For some time now, fake, faux, or imitation meat has been available in many European countries. KFC stores, for example have been offering variations of their menu based on vegetarian ingredients for some time.

Continue reading “China and the Meatless Meat Revolution”

Chinese Customer’s Perception and your Brand

How Loyal ARE Your Chinese Customers- Really?

We originally posted this some time back as a result of a poll taken to test NZ consumers willingness to change brands given environmental concerns. That was back in Feb 2020 before the Covid virus had really became aggressive outside China.

Continue reading “Chinese Customer’s Perception and your Brand”

China’s 6/18 Shopping Gala- quick analysis

WPBeijing was a marketing studio founded by Peter Bic and Everlyne Yu in Beijing, October 2003. In 2017 it became known as Bicyu NZ Co Ltd. Aim2D is an umbrella media arm of Bicyu. This article is part of a Weekend Series where we dare to share some of our experiences and insights. So, make yourself a pot of Oolong tea, grab a chocolate bar and settle down for a longer read.

The shouting is o’er, now’s the time for counting

Chines shoppers
Chines shoppers

Friday June 18th and China 6/18 shopping extravaganza has officially ended. Many of us here in China will be breathing a sigh of relieve. We will be free of the “high rotate” ads playing in the elevator foyers and cars. For almost a month.

Continue reading “China’s 6/18 Shopping Gala- quick analysis”

Mercedes-Benz returns to double-digit growth in China

Originally published by China Daily

BERLIN – Mercedes-Benz sold more than 70,000 passenger cars in May and achieved a double-digit growth in China, German carmaker Daimler announced on Tuesday.

“The retail sales in our biggest market China provide us with optimism,” said Britta Seeger, member of the board of

Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz returns to double-digit growth in China”

The Beauty of China’s Smaller Cities for Foreign Brands Starting out in China.

There has been a lot written and said over the years, by many respectable publications regarding the advantages for foreign brands of considering smaller or “lower tier” cities as their entry location. The term lower or 2nd, 3rd, 4th level etc is unfortunate as this oft conjures up a negative, stereotypical image turning potential businesses away.

This is sad” says Bicyu’s Peter Bic- “I have spent a lot of time in

Continue reading “The Beauty of China’s Smaller Cities for Foreign Brands Starting out in China.”

China Smart Phone Makers Gear up for 2nd and 3rd Quarter War

After a dismal first 6 months driven, dictated and decimated by the Covid virus, Chinese handset makers are gearing up for an increase in fortunes for the second two quarters of 2020. Some are betting big on exports to India and Africa, whilst others are throwing everything at 5G.

Continue reading “China Smart Phone Makers Gear up for 2nd and 3rd Quarter War”

China 6/18 Shopping Festival and Carnival

WPBeijing was a marketing studio founded by Peter Bic and Everlyne Yu in Beijing, October 2003. In 2017 it became known as Bicyu NZ Co Ltd. Aim2D is an umbrella media arm of Bicyu. This article is part of a Weekend Series where we dare to share some of our experiences and insights. So, make yourself a pot of Oolong tea, grab a chocolate bar and settle down for a longer read.

6/18 carries more importance than previous years as it comes right after China’s relaxation after Covid 19 Virus.

Chinese shoppers in Sanlitun Beijing
Chinese shoppers in Sanlitun Beijing

Like most societies, China has several celebrations during the year.
Probably the best known is the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival.
Spring Festival is a longish 7 day break, which is remarkably similar to the mid winter or early spring celebrations Europeans used to celebrate before it became hijacked by the Christian religion and rebranded Christmas.

Continue reading “China 6/18 Shopping Festival and Carnival”

The Importance of Face in China

What brands contemplating China need to know about face.

Maybe you have heard about FACE in China- maybe not. Maybe you have looked on in amusement and amazement as a group or couple of Chinese form a scrum at the cashier in a restaurant. A tussle to see who pays. It looks serious. It is!

Continue reading “The Importance of Face in China”

Content Marketing for Success in China

This article is based on a question from a woman a few years back regarding her WordPress website site.
Of course, it applies to any website, not just WordPress.
There are many excellent articles on the web with more indepth detail- you might find value in reading them also

Continue reading “Content Marketing for Success in China”

Peoples Voice in China Government

Introducing China’s E-ferendums!

We’ve listed this as SOCIAL Media News as it sheds a small amount of light n the way China works- sort of behind the scenes.

Whilst it is true China does not have elections as we in the the west know them, with all the hype and pageantry, their system does provide limited access for people to have some say in the way China is run. Even down to the selection of who in their city, town, village or hamlet is going to be The Party Rep to stand for them in Beijing.

Continue reading “Peoples Voice in China Government”

China’s E-ferendums

How to Fairly Limit the Traffic on Beijing Roads?

In this article we introduced China’s E-feredums, a mechanism where both central and local Governments use social media platforms to “test the waters” before passing pending legislation into law. Much like the British referendum, they are of course non binding, and no Government can ever please or satisfy everyone. But in most cases,

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Why some brands struggle and ultimately fail in China.

WPBeijing was a marketing studio founded by Peter Bic and Everlyne Yu in Beijing, October 2003. In 2017 it became known as Bicyu NZ Co Ltd. Aim2D is an umbrella media arm of Bicyu. This article is part of a Weekend Series where we dare to share some of our experiences and insights. So, make yourself a pot of Oolong tea, grab a chocolate bar and settle down for a longer read.


Winning in China means hard work, impeccable preparation and playing as a team

and grab the opposition where it hurts

Rugby players working as a team
Rugby players working as a team

Since first registration in 2003, Bicyu has worked with many brands of all shapes and sizes, both domestic and overseas. From Midea to VW, to Sodexo to Cushman Wakefield to name drop a few~ We have also counselled and worked alongside many smaller brands hopeful of breaking into the challenging China market.

Continue reading “Why some brands struggle and ultimately fail in China.”

Adidas Strengthens its Position in China

As China slowly starts to move towards a new post Covid future, more intentional big brand names are doubling down on their China investment.

We recently commented on two German automobile brands, VW and BMW, who had increased their stake in their China investment. Today we look at another German brand following in similar foot steps- Adidas.

Continue reading “Adidas Strengthens its Position in China”

Volkswagen strengthens its Commitment to New Energy Vehicles in China

Earlier this year China announced it was relaxing rules around foreign Joint Ventures [JV] in China. Previously, foreign firms had been restricted to a 50/ 50 share.

Among the first of the foreign firms to take advantage of this were the German automotive maker giants BMW and VW . Earlier BMW had moved to take control of its JV “Brilliance Auto” in Liaoning, North China.

Continue reading “Volkswagen strengthens its Commitment to New Energy Vehicles in China”
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