Creating trends in China’s bakery market

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Rich Products Corporation has been at the forefront of development in China’s bakery industry since its entry three decades ago and today is considered a trend originator.

The Buffalo, US-headquartered family-owned company was founded by Robert Rich Sr. in 1945, borne from an innovation to create the world’s first non-dairy whipped topping.

The company expanded into China in the 1990s and today, is the biggest and only supplier to offer the full range of creams, both dairy to non-dairy.

“The Chinese bakery industry has experienced tremendous growth in the past 20 years and has delivered double-digit growth until 2018,”​ said Maggie Mao, China marketing manager, Retail Bakery, Rich’s.

Good for health

Today, Rich’s is perfectly poised to capitalize on the growing popularity of diary creams, which is being drive by the consumer’s improvement of living standards and influence from abroad.

The message that ‘dairy is good for health’ by foreign dairy brands is resonating with Chinese consumers.

“In the past, consumers prefer non-dairy creams, however, now, they are more leaning towards dairy creams or creams that contain dairy fat,”​ said Mao.

To cater for this preference, Rich’s has launched Ai Zhen with 38% dairy fat, differentiated from the other dairy creams on the market by its clean label.

“China’s bakery industry is different from other markets. Bakers need to focus not only on flavor and mouthfeel, but also on consistency and stability.

“Bakeries also face the challenge of dairy supply instability and price fluctuation, so it’s difficult for them to control the operation cost,”​ said Mao.

Scream for cream

She noted the company provides customers not only with great ingredients, but also with business solutions.

“We understand the needs of their customers and the demand for more innovative products and new concepts.

“For example, Rich’s created a brand new concept called Milk Topping – the only dairy cream on the market in China that uses milk as the first ingredient – which has grown rapidly since it was launched two years ago,”​ added Mao.

“Today, as you will see at the [Bakery China], there are at least 5-6 other players inspired by this concept with a launch of their own.

“With so many followers, we can say Milk Topping created a trend in China bakery market.”

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