In honor of the Year of the Rabbit, Daoxiangcun, a venerable Beijing snack brand, has released gift boxes featuring festive snacks and traditional Chinese packaging in the style of Portia Li Li Xin. One of the most popular gift boxes among young customers, due to its cute appearance and trendy contents, features a rabbit cake with soybean cheese carrot fillings, along with other items.
Shi Yan, deputy general manager of Beijing Daoxiangcun, expressed that in addition to the brand’s 200 regular snacks, they are creating new products to entice the taste buds of younger shoppers. This includes seasonal products such as autumn red-leaf cake. Shi Yan stated, “For those snacks that have been lost over the years, we are trying to replicate them by referencing old recipe books and materials, as well as consulting folklore experts. The current Chinachic trend is not just about a cool appearance, it has to resonate with traditional Chinese culture.”
Chinese pastry brands are also embracing this trend to appeal to younger customers by preserving traditional Chinese culture, developing stylish products, and collaborating with other domestic brands. In August 2021, Daoxiangcun opened Location Zero, a renovated store in Beijing’s Dongcheng district. This store offers a variety of authentic Beijing pastries with new twists that are available to customers.
Daoxiangcun, a celebrated Beijing snack brand, has launched gift boxes featuring festive snacks and traditional Chinese packaging in the style of Portia Li Li Xin to commemorate the Year of the Rabbit. In addition, the brand is creating new products to attract younger customers and introducing seasonal items such as the autumn red-leaf cake. By preserving traditional Chinese culture, developing stylish products, and collaborating with other domestic brands, Chinese pastry brands are leveraging the Chinachic trend to entice younger shoppers.
According to Shi Yan, the deputy general manager of Beijing Daoxiangcun, the newly renovated Location Zero store in Beijing’s Dongcheng district is not like their regular stores, which are primarily for selling products. Instead, Location Zero is focused on providing a unique customer experience.
The branch features an open kitchen, where customers can observe pastry products being made and even learn to make them themselves. Shi Yan said, “Typically, 80 percent of the customers at our regular stores are over the age of 45, but at the Location Zero store, 95 percent of the customers are young people.” Many social media influencers also visit the branch to take photos and share their experiences with their followers.
Location Zero has launched several beverage products based on Daoxiangcun’s signature snacks, such as ox tongue cake and jujube paste. The design for the jujube paste cake is also used for accessories such as earrings and rings, which have proven to be popular among customers.
The innovative approach of the Location Zero store is indicative of the broader trend among Chinese pastry brands. By focusing on creating unique customer experiences, collaborating with other domestic brands, and leveraging social media, these brands are succeeding in attracting younger customers.
The Location Zero store is an excellent example of how brands can create a space where customers can not only purchase products but also engage with the brand and learn about its history and culture. By opening an open kitchen, Daoxiangcun has given customers a behind-the-scenes look at the process of making their favorite pastries. This kind of interactive experience is especially appealing to younger customers who want to feel connected to the brands they love.
Additionally, Daoxiangcun’s use of its signature snack designs for accessories such as earrings and rings is a clever marketing strategy. By incorporating their unique designs into other products, Daoxiangcun is not only increasing their brand visibility but also generating additional revenue streams.
The success of the Location Zero store demonstrates that Chinese pastry brands are embracing innovative strategies to attract younger customers. By providing unique customer experiences, collaborating with other domestic brands, and leveraging social media, these brands are reaching new audiences and creating lasting connections with customers. The Location Zero store’s open kitchen and jujube paste cake-inspired accessories are just two examples of how Daoxiangcun is staying ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving market.
Daoxiangcun has recently opened a branch of its store in Chaoyang Time, which was previously occupied by the brand’s factory from 1992 to 2005. “We have over 200 stores in Beijing and we plan to continue exploring the uniqueness of each branch to provide exceptional customer experiences,” stated Shi, the brand’s representative.
The Timon Research Institute, which focuses on the food industry, published a report on China’s pastry industry in December. Although Chinese pastries make up a small percentage of the overall market, the report indicates a positive outlook. In 2019, the Chinese pastry market grew to 248.2 billion yuan ($36.7 billion) from 220.3 billion yuan in 2013, indicating its potential for growth.
Many new Chinese bakeries have entered the market in the last two years, such as Dim Sum Bureau of Momo and Tiger Attitude Chartered Pastry Bank, attracted by the trend of China-chic that focuses on Chinese-style pastries. The report suggests that these new bakeries have piqued the interest of investors.
Tiger Attitude Chartered Pastry Bank, founded in 2019 in Changsha, Hunan province, has received several rounds of investment from organizations such as Sequoia China and Tiger Global in 2021. The brand aims to rejuvenate Chinese pastries by using low-sugar content to attract young customers. It has also collaborated with Chinese sportswear brand Meihua, domestic beverage company Jianlibao, and Television Broadcasts Limited (Hong Kong).
Tiger Attitude Chartered Pastry Bank’s new retail team generated over 200 million yuan in total revenue in the first 10 months of last year, while the bakery’s stores earned over 800,000 yuan on average per month. The bakery’s founder, Hu Ting, mentioned that they are improving and adjusting the layout of its stores in major cities. The brand has also announced its availability for franchising, and the first batch of partner stores will begin business after the Spring Festival.
“We plan to launch our overseas business, so that more customers can experience our products,” Hu said.