The century-old brand “Wufangzhai” seeks to go public and sells 400 million rice dumplings in a year. The advertisements are better than movies.

Perhaps it was to please him. On the eve of the Dragon Boat Festival, Wufangzhai, who had just turned a hundred years old, submitted a prospectus for the listing of A shares. At present, there is no listed company with Zongzi as its main business, so Wufangzhai may become the "first share of Zongzi."

You may not have eaten Wufangzhai rice dumplings, but you may have seen Wufangzhai’s magical commercials and laughed at it. Knowing the cooperation between Wufangzhai and the glory of the king, you look forward to seeing heroes in the valley during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

The special thing about Wufangzhai is that it not only has a good historical accumulation, but also can integrate with young people in the present.

How can China's time-honored brands survive and survive in the Internet era when brands are thriving and dying? Wufangzhai may give us some inspiration.

Tens of billions of zongzi market

▲ Picture from: "Hang Ai Ye Changpu" Baidu Encyclopedia

More than 2,000 years ago, Qu Yuan cast stones and cast the Miluo River to leave an immortal legend, and his family and country sentiments to the dragon boat race and the custom of eating rice dumplings for the Dragon Boat Festival were passed on to later generations. Zongzi, also known as "corn millet" and "corner rice dumpling", is one of the traditional foods with the deepest historical and cultural accumulation in my country. It is a cultural symbol passed down by the Chinese nation for thousands of years. Together with dragon boat racing, hanging wormwood, and drinking realgar, it has become a symbol of the Dragon Boat Festival. .

In recent years, as traditional Chinese culture has received more and more attention, Zongzi, a food that carries traditional culture, has gradually become a new favorite in the market. In addition to the functions of seasonal food, zongzi has gradually evolved into a daily convenience food, especially in eastern China such as Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Shanghai, where zongzi has become the main breakfast and staple food. Fresh rice dumplings, quick-frozen rice dumplings, vacuum rice dumplings, and gift box rice dumplings have also been recognized by more and more consumers.

According to statistics, the scale of my country's zongzi market was 4.916 billion yuan in 2015, and it will grow to 7.337 billion yuan in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.53%. It is estimated that by 2024, my country's zongzi market will grow to 10.291 billion yuan.

"Wufangzhai" was born in 1921. It is a well-known brand in the zongzi market and a century-old Chinese brand. Zongzi has always been the signature of Wufangzhai, accounting for about 70% of the main business income. In the 1940s, Wufangzhai rice dumplings were hailed as the "king of rice dumplings" for their characteristics of "glutinous but not sticky, fat but not greasy, fragrant and delicious, and moderately salty and sweet".

▲ Screenshot from: Wufangzhai Prospectus

Wufangzhai also has moon cakes, glutinous rice balls, cakes, egg products, and other rice products. But in general, Wufangzhai’s business composition is relatively single, the revenue of rice dumplings is too large, and traditional seasonal foods such as rice dumplings and moon cakes have significant seasonal characteristics. If measures such as market forecasts cannot be done well, it will lead to production capacity. bottleneck.

The plan to go public this time, Wufangzhai also has the purpose of increasing capital investment to expand production capacity. It plans to raise 1.056 billion yuan to invest in smart food workshops, digital industrial smart parks, R&D centers and information construction, Chengdu production base transformation and other projects. Supplement working capital.

Wufangzhai also has many competitors. According to the "Top 10 Chinese Zongzi Brand Ranking for the Dragon Boat Festival 2020" released by iiMedia Consulting, Wufangzhai, Beijing Daoxiang Village, Zhenzhen Lao, Zhiweiguan, Sanquan, Zhuo Da, Quansheng, Xinghualou, Likoufu, Ten food companies including Miqi are on the list. From the list, the traditional zongzi brands are more popular with consumers. The top three Wufangzhai, Beijing Daoxiangcun, and Zhenzhen Lao are all time-honored brands.

▲ Screenshot from: Wufangzhai Prospectus

According to the latest survey of sales channels in 22 cities across the country, Wufangzhai currently has a market share of 42%. However, because of the huge difference in taste between the north and the south, the zongzi brand is very regional. The northern zongzi is mostly filled with red dates and red bean paste, and the fillings used in the southern zongzi are represented by fresh meat and egg yolk. Although there are several giants of zongzi, there are still a large number of small-scale zongzi manufacturing companies in the market that started from small workshops, and the industry concentration is not high.

This has both advantages and disadvantages. While ensuring sufficient market competition, there are also deficiencies such as relatively backward production technology and equipment, incomplete product standards and quality control systems, and certain potential food safety hazards.

Wufangzhai has a relatively high reputation in East China, which is dominated by Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai. The income of East China accounts for 55%-63% of the main business income. How to break the regionality with high reputation and high quality is a question that Wufangzhai will think about in the future.

Wufangzhai's Expansion Road

Selling along the transportation hub, taking advantage of the agglomeration effect of each station, is the earliest channel laying of Wufangzhai.

In the 1960s, Wufangzhai began to sell on the Shanghai-Hangzhou line platform, the train rumbling, the rice dumplings fragrant, Wufangzhai began to gain popularity among passengers traveling from the north to the south; in the 1990s, the highway developed, Wufangzhai Stations were opened in the Fengjing and Wangdian service areas, and Wufangzhai stores were gradually established in all major high-speed service areas; in 2010, the Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed rail was officially opened for operation, Jiaxing began to enter the era of high-speed rail, and Wufangzhai Group also took advantage of the trend Settled in high-speed rail stations.

▲ Shanghai-Hangzhou line.

Nowadays, with the continuous development of the Internet and logistics distribution, e-commerce has become one of the important channels for zongzi sales. From June 1st to 20th, 2018, the sales volume of Tmall platform zongzi was 130 million; in 2019 only one week before the Dragon Boat Festival, the sales volume of Tmall platform was 123 million. Wufangzhai has self-operated official flagship stores on platforms such as Tmall,, and Douyin, and combines big data technology to carry out precision marketing, so that the Dragon Boat Festival Zongzi culture will reach young people.

In addition to selling zongzi, Wufangzhai is also a fast food business. For Wufangzhai, who uses zongzi as his signature, this is not a whim.

As early as 1985, the Jiaxing Catering Service Company at the time obtained a special loan of RMB 580,000 from the State Economic Commission to make Wufangzhai bigger. On Jianguo Road, the rebuilt Wufangzhai Zongzi Store had an extra sign of "Mandarin Duck Restaurant". Zongzi is sold on the first floor, and a hotel is opened on the second floor.

▲ Picture from: Wufangzhai official website

The current Wufangzhai catering stores continue to expand with the "central kitchen + stores" chain business model, providing standardized Chinese fast food services for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast products include rice dumplings, wontons, vermicelli, soy milk, etc. Dinner products include braised pork rice, claypot rice, chicken rice and other rice noodles, soup noodles, etc. The per capita consumption fluctuates between 20 yuan and 40 yuan.

The location of catering stores is very particular. They are mainly set up in urban commercial complexes, mid-to-high-end communities, hospitals, and transportation hubs such as bus stations, railway stations, high-speed rail stations, and high-speed service areas. consumer.

Unlike other Chinese fast food restaurants, Wufangzhai not only sells rice, noodle soup, snacks and other Chinese fast food, but also sells rice dumplings, moon cakes, egg products, pastries, quick-frozen Chinese snacks and other products. Therefore, fast food restaurants are also advertising for the Wufangzhai brand.

From the perspective of development plans, Wufangzhai's catering business will continue to expand in the next three years. By 2023, the company will set up 30 new directly-operated stores.

However, from the prospectus, although Wufangzhai’s catering business accounts for a higher proportion of total revenue than mooncakes and pastries, the proportion of this business’s revenue is declining year by year. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, the "Meal Series" "One item accounted for 17.19%, 15.68% and 11.41% of Wufangzhai's revenue structure, respectively. Wufangzhai's revenue source is still too single.

Wufang Pictures

Better known than Wufangzhai Zongzi, it may be Wufangzhai's commercial. In recent years, Wufangzhai’s commercials have been out of the circle on station B and Weibo, and have entered the camp of young people.

In the spoof commercial "Wufangzhai Salted Duck Eggs New Edition, I finally fainted when I saw it", there should be a serious female voice broadcast with interesting advertising words and a cheerful tone, which has a very comedic effect. The advertisement is based on the test stub of "Eating two salted duck eggs and a fried dough stick". Of course, we usually eat boiled eggs. It is absolutely possible for people to eat two salted duck eggs. This is also the case in Wufangzhai. Deliberately.

▲ Screenshot from: Station B account "Wufangzhai 1921"

As a result, the advertisement was halfway through, and suddenly there was a big turning point, "No, don’t associate the salted duck eggs with the test scores. After all, there are more scumbags than the tyrants." Then from the perspective of Wufangzhai’s salted duck eggs being "more oily." Let me introduce it again, not only to "boldly offend" the students who have been immersed in their studies, but also to talk half-ridingly and half-seriously about the real selling point of the salted duck eggs. These contents, coupled with a series of question marks in the barrage, "I split", "You scold again", the effect will be better.

On the Dragon Boat Festival in 2019, Wufangzhai’s science fiction short film "Guest House" explored the relationship between time and space, poetry and the distance, and people, and finally said directly that "the universe is a zongzi." In fact, the universe and zongzi have nothing to do with each other, but this advertisement does have some philosophical implications. It may make people think about the universe while eating zongzi; on the Mid-Autumn Festival of 2019, Wufangzhai launched the Guoman paper-cut cartoon "Crossing the Bridge" , The two ancient men met on a narrow road. They fought on the bridge. They decided to truce because they saw a few cute ducks. It can be seen that they are all "soft-hearted" people. In this way, they introduced Wufangzhai's new product "Liu Xin Nuo". moon cake".

▲ Screenshot from: Station B account "Wufangzhai 1921"

In addition, there are also the retro-style advertisement "Meet 1989" for the Double Ninth Festival in 2018, the pseudo documentary "Approaching Science, Approaching the Mooncake" for the Mid-Autumn Festival in 2020, the humorous science fiction short film "Friends Dip" for the Dragon Boat Festival in 2020, this year The serious feature film "Looking for Li Xiaofen" for the Dragon Boat Festival.

Wufangzhai’s advertisements are big enough to cover all types and themes. Therefore, Wufangzhai is called "Wufang Pictures." Some netizens joked, "I have watched Wufangzhai's commercials all the time. , I have never bought zongzi once."

Many of Wufangzhai’s advertisements were produced by the planning team of Huanshi Interactive, and Huanshi Interactive was also the person in charge of Durex's copywriting. Huanshi Interactive’s advertising for Wufangzhai has two strategies. One is "brand defamiliarization" to make the brand "unrecognized". Facts have proved that this strategy is very useful; the other is entertainment, advertising business The purpose is first, so consumers don’t like it so much. The focus of winning users’ attention is entertainment. Use entertainment to offset the cost of watching advertisements, whether it is imitating retro advertisements in the 1980s or adding appropriate philosophical meanings. reason.

Therefore, although Wufangzhai is a century-old brand, it is very trendy and bold. After all, the time-honored brand must keep up with the new era and change the brand image. It also means that in the age of rapid growth and decay, it takes two to three years to complete the road of other brands for 20 to 30 years. It must be bold, creative, and must To be "not so traditional."

In addition to creative advertising, Wufangzhai is also actively co-branding with major brands. The co-production of the joint cooperation is a two-way empowerment between the brands.

On the Dragon Boat Festival in 2020, Wufangzhai and Hema Xiansheng jointly launched the "FANG Zong Series" Zongzi Gift Box, which combines classic flavors of rice dumplings, newly created light food rice dumplings, soft glutinous mung bean cakes, and light drink cereal cups in one box with a variety of types The dipping sauce makes the dumplings delicious and fun; Wufangzhai and Disney jointly launched the "Wufang Wufang" gift box, giving cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck classical appearances, Disney's childlike innocence, and the Shanghai style of Wufangzhai , Making the Chinese time-honored brand more vigorous; Wufangzhai also cooperated with Zhong Xuegao ice cream to launch the flavor of rice dumplings and milk, and cooperated with Lay's potato chips to launch the flavor of salted egg yolk meat dumplings.

This year's Dragon Boat Festival, Wufangzhai and the national mobile game IP "Glory of the King" launched an annual cooperation. In the design of the co-branded product, Wufangzhai equipped the five heroes with five different flavors of "Hui Xue Zongzi" based on the hero characteristics of the King's Glory, in order to attract a more diverse group of young users.

How to rejuvenate time-honored brands

In fact, the 100-year-old Wufangzhai is not too old among the time-honored brands seeking A-share listing.

At present, there are nearly 50 time-honored listed companies in the A-share market, mainly in the fields of liquor, traditional Chinese medicine, catering, and condiments. Such as Kweichow Moutai, Pien Tze Huang, Yunnan Baiyao and other enterprises.

In February of this year, the 400-year-old Chinese brand Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors successfully applied for listing on the GEM. The company has entered the registration stage, but in the process, its business conditions have also been repeatedly inquired by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The 300-year-old Dezhou Braised Chicken signed a listing counselling agreement with Guotai Junan Securities in June 2020 and is preparing to go public.

▲ Picture from: Zhang Xiaoquan's official Weibo

There are many time-honored brands that hope to bring their own capital by going public, but listings cannot make them worry-free. Quanjude has a net loss attributable to shareholders of 261 million yuan in 2020, which is the first loss since its listing in 2007; Tianjin Goubuli, which was listed on the NEEQ, was finally delisted in May 2020 and sadly withdrew from the capital market.

There are also many changes in Wufangzhai's road to market. The prospectus shows that the main underwriter of Wufangzhai this time is Zheshang Securities, but Wufangzhai has previously changed listing counseling brokers twice. A quasi-listed company frequently changes counseling brokerage firms, which inevitably makes people suspicious.

Wufangzhai also faces the risk of institutional investors withdrawing. In February 2021, two companies signed a share transfer agreement with Wufangzhai. The agreement stated that if Wufangzhai cannot complete its A-share listing by the end of December 2021 or the end of December 2022, then the two The institution has the right to repurchase all the shares of the issuer held by it. This means that if Wufangzhai does not want to lose its two shareholders, it must complete the listing process as soon as possible.

Some time-honored brands are still striving for listing, and some time-honored brands have gradually withdrawn from the stage of history. The resettlement of old employees and the increase in rental costs have made many time-honored brands a heavy burden. Young people are unwilling to find jobs. Products and services cannot keep up, and they have to close their stores. Intellectual property infringement and unfair competition have also caused many time-honored brands to complain.

How did the time-honored brand survive? Can't escape the word "innovation". Marketing methods, management methods, as well as products, technologies, tastes, and packaging that vary from industry to industry need to be innovated to cater to the preferences of modern people. At present, most of the time-honored brands are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises, with strong regionality. However, some large companies have begun to go global by means of e-commerce and chain operations, such as Baosheng Garden, Guangzhou Restaurant and Lianxianglou.

There are also time-honored brands that have fun in marketing like Wufangzhai, such as "Big White Rabbit", which was born in 1959. Big White Rabbit is playing cross-border marketing, launching a series of brain-opening joint products. In 2019, Big White Rabbit and Smell Library launched the Big White Rabbit fragrance, and Le Ding launched the Big White Rabbit logo clothing, and Happy Lemon launched the milk tea shop. . What's more, Luzhou Laojiao cross-border perfumes, Lao Ganma sold sweaters on fashion runways in Paris, and Liushen and RIO jointly launched the "floral water flavored cocktail".

The series of actions of these time-honored brands are on the surface for innovation and out of the circle, but they actually reflect the awakening of brand awareness. The strength of the time-honored brand is that it has a long brand story, and it also has the genes of traditional culture. When it can meet the needs of young people for fashion and personality at the same time, it is natural for young people to return to traditional culture and pursue national trends.

However, time-honored brand assets have been accumulated for a long time. Both benefit from the historical accumulation in the past and the creation of the present. If you just rely on stock and history, ignore foreign affairs, and carry on the "old" to the end, it will be easy to be affected. Emerging Internet brand replacement cannot adapt to the capital market, nor can it tell a new story. To survive in the fast-deteriorating Internet era, time-honored brands must adhere to the quality of their products, and they also need to be seen and loved by this generation of people in various ways.

Grapes are not the only fruit.

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