Businesswoman Develops Famous Snack Brand from Scratch

December 4, 2018  Editor: Xie Wen
Businesswoman Develops Famous Snack Brand from Scratch
Yu Ruifen delivers a speech at the event. []


Chinese snack food retailer Laiyifen Co. held a brand launch conference for its new sub-brand Youngme at the recent China International Import Expo in east China's Shanghai.

Laiyifen, as a member of a large-scale retailer alliance from Shanghai, signed a strategic procurement cooperation agreement worth 100 million yuan with Australia-based Freedom Foods Group at the event. The Australian food retailer is the country's largest producer of milk vegetable protein and the second largest cereal producer.

Yu Ruifen, founder and president of Laiyifen, said that her company has explored the top products of 18 provinces in the country in the past, and has been researching the top products in the world for the last eight years.

According to Yu, Youngme will cooperate with first-line manufacturers from more than 20 countries and regions including the U.S., Australia, Russia, South Korea, France and Britain to launch nearly 100 products.

In the 90s, the snack foods processing industry was not developed in the Chinese market. However, Yu, who started her business by selling roasted seeds and nuts snacks, found the industry was promising and directed her company's resources to make high-standard snack foods.

Despite the outbreak of SARS disease, competition from domestic copycats, food safety crises and other challenges, Yu has grasped the opportunity to advance her business by turning each crisis into a stepping stone for growth.

Now, Laiyifen has become the retail brand with the largest number of stores in the snack industry in the country.

On October 12, 2016, Laiyifen floated its shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a market value of 10 billion yuan. As of June 2018, Laiyifen has opened nearly 2,700 stores nationwide, and the number of its products reached more than 1,400. Yu is thus known as the "Queen of Snacks."

Yu said that her current success is attributed to her meticulous attitude towards the business. At present, relying on technological innovations such as the Internet, the Internet of Things, and big data, the company has formed a full-scale resource integration development model combining off-line chain stores, special channels, online e-commerce, and self-operated apps.

It has already deployed a modern and efficient platform for product full life-cycle management, and established a food safety risk control system for all suppliers and stores through a huge data management and control platform.

Although online consumption is in full swing, Yu has been considering off-line store layout changes and upgrades. The company has completed expansion from Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai to the whole country by means of direct-sale stores and franchising and is planning to achieve the target of 10,000 stores nationwide in 2022.

Yu has also attached great importance to the quality and safety of food, which is also an issue concerning the whole country. She proudly revealed that her company's products attained 100 percent qualification rate for the 1,200 batches of products selected by the quality departments and supervisory department of various regions in the past three years.

Yu says that they will maintain an open mind and purchase more healthy and nutritious products globally that suit the preferences of Chinese consumers.

(Source: Translated and edited by Women of China)

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