If you want to control your weight, drink a bottle of meal replacement powder for dinner; after a busy work, you can eat a nut protein bar to save trouble and be full... The main low-calorie, healthy, and full-bodied meal replacement foods are now among young people. The popularity in China has become a new trend in the catering industry, and it has also attracted many food companies to join them and gain the favor of capital.
Is the popular meal replacement of the entire network an advanced diet concept or a corporate marketing gimmick? Meal replacement food holds up the market for hundreds of billions of yuan, and it also exposes a mixed mess. Gu Zhongyi, director of the Beijing Dietitians Association and nutritionist, said that many products on the market have a single formula and do not meet the standard of meal replacement. As of press time, there are no mandatory standards in this emerging market.
Turn out tricks, new and old brands are in the game
Keeping a box of meal replacement powder at the work station has become a daily habit of office worker Miao Yu. After get off work, he does not go to the cafeteria to eat, and makes a cup of meal replacement milkshake for dinner. “Eating stir-fried vegetables with heavy oil and heavy salt at night makes it easy to gain weight. You can drink this with warm water and you can lose weight.” Because of the different tastes, Miao Yu tried many different brands of meal replacement powders, but “Which one is better? I don’t know."
Faced with various types of meal replacement foods, consumers often feel confused when choosing.
Reporters searched on mainstream e-commerce platforms and found that the most common meal replacement food is brewed solid beverages, which are dominated by emerging Internet brands. Some products focus on high protein, claiming that the protein provided by a bottle is equivalent to 7 egg whites; some focus on plant extracts, adding red pomegranate extract, DHA algae oil and other nutrients to the meal replacement powder; more brands Products with different ingredients are provided for different groups of people, such as long-term computer watching, early work, and jet lag on business trips.
Konjac cakes, vegetable protein bars, instant chicken breasts, nut energy bars... In addition to some new brands, traditional food companies have entered the market one after another, renovating meal replacement foods. In September last year, Want Want launched a new low-sugar and low-calorie product series "Fix Body", including meal replacement foods such as vegetarian multi-grain powder and oatmeal. The Jiangzhong brand also launched a meal replacement drink Koshihikari rice cracker, claiming to nourish the stomach with zero sugar and fat. In April of this year, Nestlé launched the healthy and light food product Nuocuyiq. This is Nestlé's first attempt in this field.
Hundreds of billions of market financing endorsement frequency blessing
Compared with ordinary food, meal replacement food is expensive. Take the Internet celebrity brand WonderLab meal replacement milkshake as an example. The price of 6 bottles is about 129 yuan after the promotion, which is more than 20 yuan per bottle. The price of Gubentang Meal Replacement Milkshake is slightly lower, but the price of 6 bottles has reached 98 yuan. A certain brand of 720 grams of konjac cake, the price reached 150 yuan.
"It is called a meal replacement, and it actually costs at least the price of a fast food." Consumers commented that the price of meal replacements has far exceeded the average people's expectations for snack prices. This also makes meal replacement foods more popular among consumers in first- and second-tier cities.
According to the Tmall Food Industry Trend Analysis Report for 2019 released by Tmall Foods, meal replacement foods have become a popular trend, and new first- and second-tier cities account for nearly 50% of consumption. From the perspective of sales volume and the number of consumers, there is a steady growth, and the growth rate is greater than 50%. Among them, 85% of consumers buy meal replacements for fitness.
According to Tmall data, the functional snack market, represented by meal replacement foods, will reach 150 billion yuan in the next few years, and the space is vast. Inflated demand, the meal replacement industry ushered in wave after wave of funding. Public information shows that in July this year alone, there were many financing cases. Smeal received equity financing from Zhonglu Kainiu; FIT8 received tens of millions of yuan in the first round; WonderLab received equity financing from IDG and Cathay Capital. Various Internet celebrity meal replacements continue to appear in live broadcast rooms, short videos, and recommended advertisements in Moments. On the Xiaohongshu APP, there are more than 200,000 notes about meal replacements, including various brand reviews and celebrity endorsements.
Delivering the latest product trends and industry news straight to your inbox.
(We'll never share your email address with a third-party.)
The project is going crazy, what is the prospect of PBAT?
EU: Five-year anti-dumping tariffs on China's polyvinyl alcohol
India's chemical imports to China surge while API drops slightly
Only export! Paraquat officially withdrew from the domestic market
Domestic chemical products in the second half of September
Three major cosmetic regulations drafts are released! Pay attention to 10 change