Veggie-selling Firm Meicai Starts Private Food Brands, with Unilever
Meicai’s foray into to-customer business has threatened Meituan Dianping’s dominant position once. The company is still exploring more services it can offer for restaurants.
China’s B2B veggie-selling company Meicai is going to launch Meicai Jiacai - a private food brand business that offers ready-to-cook meals and Unilever-branded instant sauce products for restaurants.
Executives from Meicai confirmed that Meicai Jiacai online market debuted on September 4. The business provides strategic pricing offerings and cooking classes for clients. Thus, it can optimize the menu of restaurants in terms of product structure and quantity.
In cooperation with Unilever, the market has prepared a bunch of popular and classic Chinese cuisines such as Golden Soup with Beef and Sauteed Bullfrog with Chili Sauce. Those instant food products require fewer cooking skills and can be done by simply checking the product description, under most cases. Meicai plans to offer offline cuisine classes, aiming at small- and medium-sized restaurants which encounter operational difficulties.
The company started a trial business earlier this year and chose dozens of fast-food restaurants for the pilot project in Wuhan, a Southern city of China.
Founded in 2014, the company has been devoting in supply chain management and logistics for five years. By cutting off the middleman in the food value chain, Meicai made it possible for customers to order vegetable, meat, and seafood directly from farms.
The company tried to expand its business since 2018 when it started Meijia Youxiang and Meijia Youtuan to seize the trends of community group-buying in China at that time. Meicai’s foray into to-customer business has threatened Meituan Dianping (3690: HK)’ dominant position in the end-customer market. Now, it wants to work with restaurants more closely by not only serving as their materials supplier but also an industry solutions provider.
Giants, never risk losing any opportunities in the Internet era of China – Meituan has Kuailyv Jinhuo (a.k.a Fast Donkey Delivery) and Alibaba has Youcai, both of them are competing with Meicai in B2B food transaction directly. They competed in 2C world by subsidizing customers heavily. What will the stories be like when they all marched into the 2B world?