Century-old restaurants are refreshing product lines to broaden appeal.
When talking about Xianheng, the first thing that comes to mind for Chinese people is probably Kong Yiji, a character from the short story Kong Yiji by Lu Xun, a pioneer of modern Chinese literature. Kong often orders aniseed beans from Xianheng. Restaurant.
Now, the more than 100-year-old restaurant in Shaoxing, east China’s Zhejiang Province, has added milk tea to its menu to attract young consumers.
The restaurant also posts videos on the Xiaohongshu social media platform. In the videos, the restaurant’s chefs teach viewers how to prepare seasonal dishes.
In recent years, some traditional food and beverage brands have become increasingly creative and playful to engage young consumers.
“For centuries-old businesses to maintain lasting appeal, they must have their own unique cultural advantages,” Lin Qiong, general manager of Xianheng Restaurant, told the Beijing-based People’s Daily.
Shanghai Yuyuan Group, which owns traditional catering brands such as Songhelou and Dexing, has launched semi-cooked food packages featuring iconic dishes from classic brands to meet the needs of young professionals who are often too busy to prepare them. -even the meals.
Zhang Jun, assistant to the president of Yuyuan Group, told the local newspaper Shanghai Observer: “The purchase of partially prepared meals through easy-to-use online channels may be able to arouse young consumers’ interest in cooking. classic, to strengthen their emotional bond over time. – honored brands and help bring them to physical stores.”
Quanjude, an iconic Beijing roast duck restaurant established in 1864, has used a touch of innovation to stay relevant with young diners.
“I didn’t expect Quanjude, which has a history of over 150 years, to be able to offer so many new things that young people like,” said Li Yuan, a young Beijing resident who recently dined at Quanjude, in the People’s Daily.
Quanjude’s 2022 menu combines traditional and modern cuisine, making it more youth-friendly. It offers 12 innovative dishes and a new section of desserts and mixed drinks.
In April, the brand’s Qianmen store opened a dining room that features holographic projections. Consumers are treated to an immersive dining experience as they taste Peking duck surrounded by projected animations from different locations in Beijing.
Going digital is an important way for traditional brands to connect with today’s consumers.
Emei Restaurant, a centuries-old Beijing brand, has accelerated its digitalization since the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Food and beverage companies need to embrace digitalization,” Zhang Yuming, general manager of the restaurant, told People’s Daily.
He said digitization can not only reduce costs, but create more consumption scenarios. He added that revenue from the restaurant’s takeout business now accounts for almost a third of his income.
Some mainstream brands outside of the food and beverage industry are exploring ways to attract customers by pleasing their taste buds.
On August 6, Neiliansheng, a well-known shoemaker founded in 1853, announced the opening of his cafe.
Liu Yanxi, who leads Neiliansheng’s coffee team, told The Beijing News: “When creating the coffee brand, we focused on quality products, good services and innovation of brand, which fully matches the spirit of Neiliansheng with exquisite craftsmanship and quality materials. .
“As a member of the post-1995 generation who believes in the spirit of age-old brands, I want to create new products, services and experiences for Neiliansheng and help him connect with Gen Z through coffee and tea. “, said Liu. Generation Z refers to people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Tongrentang Group, a well-known traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy, launched herbal coffee to suit an increasingly health-conscious youth.
The country has stepped up its political support for traditional brands. In January, the Ministry of Commerce and seven other government agencies issued a series of notices on how to promote the innovative development of traditional brands.
She proposes to create “a digital museum of centuries-old brands” to house and exhibit the materials that document their history.
A “carnival of historical brands”, which offers both online and offline promotional activities, is also proposed in the document.