A new generation of Chinese consumers is increasingly making their purchases online, and this includes a growing number of food products from U.S. businesses. Below are examples of American businesses that are utilizing Alibaba’s tools to tailor their products and marketing strategies to succeed globally.
Emily’s Chocolates & Nuts
Emily’s Chocolates & Nuts, based in Fife, Washington, is a family operated business producing high-quality chocolate and nut products. In October 2016, Emily’s Chocolates was launched on Alibaba’s Tmall Direct Import (TDI), a direct sales channel through Tmall Global, which helps brands test the market and shape their business strategy in China. Emily’s Chocolates leveraged Alibaba’s insights and expertise to launch new products catered to the Chinese consumer, such as its grab-and-go single pack of mixed nuts and dried fruit designed for busy urban dwellers in big cities.
“China can be a daunting market. The TDI platform is a great opportunity for you to have the guidance of someone who knows the market and to choose the products that you think that will best meet the needs of your customers,” said Emily’s Chocolates & Nuts President and CEO Amy Paulose.
According to Alibaba’s Tmall Innovation Center, plant-based milk has seen an 800% growth year-over-year in China. This explosive growth has encouraged Los Angeles-based Califia Farms, a leading plant-based food & beverage company, to partner with Alibaba to reach the growing Chinese market. Califia Farms used Alibaba’s consumer insights to launch products specifically tailored to Chinese consumers, including an unsweetened version of its beverages, which became a top seller.
The company said that they were able to learn, adapt and acknowledge the uniqueness of the Chinese market. And keeping in mind local tastes and flavors is a big part of their business.
McLean, Virginia, based Mars Inc., known for its iconic Milky Way bars, M&M's, and Skittles, teamed up with Alibaba to expand its reach in the Chinese market. Mars used Alibaba’s research to understand how it could successfully expand their flavor offerings to Chinese consumer tastes. The results showed Chinese consumers were willing to combine their love of spicy foods and chocolate. To satisfy these cravings, Alibaba produced a chili-infused Snickers, which was well received, with 92% of consumers giving the snack a positive review.