China Focus: Pepsi, Mondelez and Coca-Cola China specials, e-commerce and more feature in our round-up

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Pepsi, Mondelez and Coca-Cola China specials, e-commerce and more feature in this edition of China Focus. ©Getty Images
Pepsi, Mondelez and Coca-Cola China specials, e-commerce and more feature in this edition of China Focus. ©Getty Images

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Pepsi, Mondelez and Coca-Cola China specials, e-commerce and more feature in this edition of China Focus.

Pepsi goes local in China: Osmanthus-flavoured drink first to tap local culture and comfort

PepsiCo is putting local culture and comfort at the heart of its NPD strategy in China with the launch of its first domestic market-inspired launch – an Osmanthus-flavoured soft drink.

In an exclusive interview with FoodNavigator-Asia​, Lilly Yip, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo APAC, said the company previously tried to drive demand for new flavours from its global portfolio, such as vanilla, cherry and fruity.

“We found that these fruity flavours generated some interest, but the relevance for local (China) consumers was not very significant​."

‘Consumption evolution’: Further boom predicted for China’s fresh food e-commerce platforms post-COVID-19

New industry analysis suggests that China’s fresh foods sales by e-commerce will continue to boom​, after the Chinese New Year period and COVID-19 lockdowns initially caused trade to spike.

China first introduced a COVID-19 lockdown on Hubei on January 23,and imposed strict restrictions on the rest of the country not long after, whereas Chinese New Year this year fell on January 25 and 26.

This created a significant boost for online sales of fresh foods in China, with some platforms seeing over 200% growth

According to data from HAVAS China, the biggest beneficiaries in terms of online grocery around this period were traditional fresh food e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Hema, Ding Dong, Miss Fresh and JD’s JD Daojia.

Enormous eGrocery investments: Consumer demands for convenience, quality and variety drives funding surge in China

Investments in China’s eGrocery start-up sector​ continues to soar with funding reaching USD2.1 billion in 2019, a 25% increase from 2018, new data reveals.

International grocery research organisation, IGD forecast the eGrocery sector to account for 6.6% of the total grocery market in China in 2020, a rise from 3.1% in 2017.

The growth came from rising consumer demand for convenience, quality, and variety, according to the China Agrifood Startup Investing Report released by AgFunder in collaboration with Chinese foodtech venture capital firm Bits x Bites.

Matilda Ho, founder and managing director of Bits x Bites, said there was still plenty of room for eGrocery to grow further in China.

Spring specials: Mondelez China launches world-first pink OREOs to tie in with cherry blossom season

Mondelez China has launched two limited-edition OREO flavours​ to tie in with the spring season: Sakura Matcha and Peach Oolong, going all-out with both colourful packaging and collaborative marketing to attract young consumers.

According to Mondelez Greater China Senior Marketing Director, Biscuits Marketing, Holly Yuan, cherry blossoms are always a ‘hot topic’​ in spring, and seasonal popularity is always a strong driver for the company’s product innovation.

“OREO launched the limited edition of new products for spring this year based on market insights – Cherry blossom is a hot topic in spring, and consumers like to try new products related to them,”​ she told FoodNavigator-Asia.​ 

Coca-Cola-owned Costa Coffee seeks to crack China’s booming ready-to-drink market

The UK’s largest coffee chain Costa Coffee is making its first foray into an international market with its ready-to-drink (RTD) products in China​.

The company will debut its Black Americano and Classic Latte drinks this year, in what is seen as a crucial market for the firm.

It says the launch marks an important step in its multi-category expansion strategy, which was accelerated after being acquired by The Coca-Cola Company in 2019. The company launched its first RTD products in UK the same year.

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