The traditional version of milk crust/milk skin in China hails from Inner Mongolia and Tibet, which is made when milk is boiled and the milk proteins ferment to coagulate with the milk fat to form a layer on top of the liquid, which is then dried for consumption. .
Suncheon’s claim to fame lies in its unique baking technique, which transforms the milk crust into a thin, crunchy snack reminiscent of potato chips – the baked milk crust that became popular locally during its initial launch.
“We created this product category a few years ago, and to this day we still have 90% of the national market share.”said San Chun CEO Yuanhang Zhang FoodNavigator-AsiaDuring the Food and Beverage Innovation Forum (FBIF) in Shenzhen, China.
“The key to creating this stronghold was actually thinking outside the box – many brands in the food and beverage sector today are innovating, but also following the flow when it comes to product development and then trying to compete through pricing.
“This is not the way we saw it moving forward, and instead we decided”curiousity’ Which basically means a strong focus on things that are unique, strange, unusual and unexpected.
“This way, the products developed will immediately become the first choice of consumers in the category because they are brand new, rather than entering a saturated category where consumers have too many options available.”
However, this kind of outside-the-box thinking cannot be applied blindly, as it still needs to be applicable to consumer demands in order to sell well – and this is where keeping a close eye on trends can be helpful.
“Meeting consumer trends is crucial in any innovation, and means we really need to have our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry.”He added.
“For example, in China, we have seen many consumers drinking more milk nowadays for various reasons, and we have identified this as a key trend to capitalize on.
“With the emergence of this new habit of consuming milk, it meant an increased demand for milk and related nutrients as well, which also meant an increase in the possibility of milk-related products – and that’s what we went for.”
From a local company that initially sold only online, San Chun has now developed into a national brand almost synonymous with baked milk crust snacks and has developed its own distribution channels to supermarkets and department stores across the country.
Education is not always the solution
Another key consideration for new product development is of course the consumer base, and here Chang stressed that there is a need to balance the pros and cons of investing to educate a hitherto unaccepting consumer demographic.
“I would say that having an existing consumer group to target for your product will make marketing much easier because there is a specific goal and strategy that can be established.”He said.
“There are those who say that even if this is not the case, it is always possible to educate consumers and attract new followers – but it is important to keep in mind that not every company has the financial resources to put a lot of investment into this. Marketing and education, where it is not The returns are always great.
He also stressed that all brands that want to sell on any online platform need to understand “realistically” that it is essential to create content and attract followers to be consumers – an endeavor that should be handled internally as much as possible to reduce dependence on outside people who may not They understand the brand deeply.
(Tags for translation) Business