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Launched in January this year, Ding Ding Xian Shi (叮叮鲜食) is an in-house incubation project on fresh food distribution by Home-Cook (回家吃饭), a food delivery app for home-cooked meals. Recently Ding Ding Xian Shi announced the completion of a near 100 million RMB fundraising with lead investor GLP Ventures and co-investors TouTouShiDao (头头是道) Capital, GSR Ventures, with MV Capital as their financial advisor.
According to the 2017 China Convenience Store Development Report, as of 2017, China’s has only 98,000 convenience stores, with more than 260 brands. Compared with the number of convenience stores in Japan, the convenience store market in China is still having a lot of potential considering its huge population. DingDingXianShi sees this as an opportunity with the rising demand.
Fresh food takes up most of the items in a convenient store. Established convenience store chains in Japan such as 711, Lawson and other brands have their own fresh food supply chain. In China, emerging domestic convenience store chains such as BianLiFeng 便利蜂and XingBianLi 猩便利has put much focus on their own supply chain management.
Tang Wanli, founder of Ding Ding Xian Shi, the cost of the establishing a fresh food supply chain is extremely high, reason being:
- Difficulties in collecting suppliers data: Food producers are still operating by ‘market experience’ and selling their products to familiar buyers. Digitization may be a challenge as they may be familiar and lack knowledge in providing useful data.
- High cost of transformation: Establishing a structured supply chain incurs high costs because the existing production model and processes need to be re-planned especially for fresh food
Traditional supply chains may not have the resources to make these transformations, especially to connect retailers and producers directly. Hence, having a professional third-party supply chain is a viable option.
Ding Ding Xian Shi currently focuses on:
- Product development: Ding Ding Xian Shi has established its own fresh food research and development team, developing popular fresh food products, with formulated taste and formula. Those approved will be sent for production where the team will provide technical assistance.
- Data collection and analysis: the company collects data right from the beginning of production until it reaches the retail shelves, and provides recommendations on food shelf life and purchasing process
- Delivery: The company has also partnered with grocery delivery app Mei Ri You Xian 每日优鲜 carry out their delivery
According to reports, since the launch in January 2018, Ding Ding Xian Shi has partnered with nearly 100 fresh food factories, providing 11 food categories, more than 300 kinds of fresh food products (mainly buns, rice balls, processed food, and coffee). About 10,000 mom and pop shops have agreed to partner with Ding Ding Xian Shi. The current business of Fresh Food is mainly in Beijing, and it has already begun to be laid out in Central China.
Tang believes that their core competitiveness is their in-house supply chain management. Through this system, the supply chain inventory can be optimized through information/resource sharing, intelligently understanding supply and demand, sharing logistics costs by collating food items and make food chains more effective.
The team was originally from Home-Cook with members formerly from Alibaba, Tencent, and JD, as well as food consultants from Japan.