JD Helps Time Honored Sticky Rice Dumpling Brand Connect With Consumers Over Dragon Boat Festival
Last week, China celebrated the annual Dragon Boat Festival, during which families gather to eat zongzi – a kind of dumpling made from bamboo-wrapped sticky rice. On June 1, the first day of JD’s June 18 anniversary sales period (“618”), 47 tons of Zongzi were sold on JD.com, China’s largest retailer. Time-honored southern Chinese brand Wu Fang Zhai, renowned across China for their classic rendition of the traditional dish, has seen sales increase repeatedly each year, up 120% year-over-year in 2018 alone. One of the driving factors? The brand has enlisted the help of JD’s data-driven market insights to revamp their offerings to suit certain sections of the market: an example of JD’s “Consumer-to-Manufacturer” (C2M) model in action.
Working with JD, Wu Fang Zhai was able to grow its market share in northern China by adjusting its flavor mix. On the whole, northern Chinese people tend to prefer their zongzi to be sweet, whereas in southern China people tend to eat salty zongzi with meat. As a brand based in China’s southern province of Zhejiang, Wu Fang Zhai’s products are generally salty, so when they wanted to capture more of the market in northern China, they tried launching a gift box containing predominantly sweet zongzi. However, insights from JD revealed that the demand for salty zongzi in northern China was actually increasing, potentially due to more southern Chinese moving there. As a result, the brand adjusted its strategy to introduce products with an equal number of salty and sweet zongzi. The new boxes saw impressive sales performance. In some parts of northern China, sales of the new boxes with an equal number of salty and sweet zongzi were 1.3 times sales of the old boxes with predominantly sweet zongzi.
JD has also helped Wu Fang Zhai adjust its packaging. The e-commerce giant’s insights led Wu Fang Zhai to introduce a new, larger, heavier and more impressive set of zongzi, packaged in bamboo-made boxes in place of the normal paper boxes, and including a variety of other food such as duck eggs and stewed duck meat. The new gift box weighs 1500g, heavier than the usual 1000g boxes, which are seen as not heavy enough to impress relatives in certain cities. Last year, sales of the new packages of zongzi were four times the number of the traditional paper packaged boxes sold at the same price.
When Wu Fang Zhai started to work with JD back in 2015, JD’s logistics strength was a huge draw for them. JD’s ability to deliver 90% of orders same- or next-day means that customers can order their zongzi just one or two days before the day of the festival – a convenience that simply cannot be matched by other e-commerce platforms. This remains the case today.
“Wu Fang Zhai’s zongzi are eaten in homes all over China during Dragon Boat Festival, and JD.com is privileged to work with such a time-honored brand to better fulfill the needs of consumers,” said Lizhen Liu, Head of Packaged Foods at JD FMCG. “Customers across the country increasingly realize that ordering Wu Fang Zhai products on JD is the best way to ensure their zongzi are both delivered on time before the festival, and are tailored to meet their needs.”
“JD.com’s unrivaled insights into the market have been an amazing help in preparing our products for our busiest time of the year,” said Jing Zhang, Head of E-commerce at Wu Fang Zhai.
“A historic brand such as Wu Fang Zhai is fortunate to be renowned for the quality of our products, but JD’s deep understanding of the e-commerce market, consumer preferences, and its strength in supply chain logistics has allowed us to provide our customers with a better product experience this Dragon Boat Festival than ever before.”
JD is conducting a joint marketing campaign with Wu Fang Zhai for this Dragon Boat Festival, with the brand also participating in JD’s June 18 “618” anniversary sales event.