"We specialize in the research、development、production and sales of food sterilization equipmen. At present, the business revenue of prepared dishes accounted for more than 50% of the total revenue, and it is expected that the annual sales of this year will achieve a growth of more than 20 million yuan throughout all this year." Overseas business department of Zhucheng Jinding Food Machinery Company said in an interview with the southern financial media reporter.
In 2023, the prepared dishes industry is booming. According to IMedia Consulting's White Paper on the Development of China's Prepared Dish Industry in 2022, the market size of China's prepared dish industry is expected to climb to 516.5 billion yuan in 2023 with a year-on-year growth rate of 23.1%. As a food machinery enterprise in the upstream of the prepared dishes industry chain, and one of the leading enterprises in the subdivision of the sterilization retorts, Zhucheng Jinding may perceive this market surge earlier than the terminal consumers.
"We began to get to know various types of products such as prepared and pre-packaged products a few years ago, mainly focusing on more possibilities in the future of prepared dishes, which can further open the application market space of food sterilization equipment." Overseas business dept said that thanks to the rapid growth of the prepared dishes industry, meanwhile the market for automated products such as unmanned sterilization workshops continue to open, hedging the impact of the epidemic, the annual output value of Zhucheng Jinding Company has been basically stable in recent years between 80 million and 100 million yuan.
It is worth noting that behind a single enterprise, the county-level city of Zhucheng, Shandong province, which we called "food machinery 'small Hong Kong'", also took the lead in the establishment of the country's first provincial prepared dish industry alliance in 2022. From a strong food industry with a total output value of more than 40 billion yuan, to the "capital of prepared dishes" with more than 500 prepared dishes processing enterprises, prepared dishes are gradually becoming the new label of the industry in this top 100 counties in China.
Sterilization equipment becomes a key link
"In the past two years, we can intuitively feel the demand for food sterilization equipment of downstream prefabricated vegetable enterprises has gradually increased, including various dishes, rice noodles toppings and canned foods, which are our main market." When it comes to the development trend of the prefabricated dish sector business, Overseas business dept bluntly said that with the accelerated roll-out of the prefabricated dish format in the country, the demand for sterilization treatment of pre-packaged food by downstream customers has increased significantly in recent years.
Sterilization is a key part of the production process of prepared dishes, which has an impact on food safety, food flavor and marketing radius."Effective sterilization can further extend the shelf life of prepared vegetable products,
providing a competitive advantage for prepared vegetable enterprises in stabilizing the supply cycle and expanding the sales market." Overseas business dept said that for the downstream prefabricated vegetable enterprises in the improvement of the flavor of sterilization products, sterilization process stability, energy saving and other aspects of the use of demand, in recent years, Zhucheng Jinding's sterilization products have gradually innovated to increase the heat area coverage, cycle speed time, temperature and pressure control point decimal point measurement and other functions.
It is worth noting that in the process of continuous iterative development of prepared dishes, different types of products have different needs for sterilization equipment, but the common keyword of "automation" has been mentioned many times. This is also Zhucheng Jinding "bet" the next industry "tuyere".
"In addition to traditional sterilization equipment, in recent years, downstream food processing enterprises have increasingly high demand for automation, and our newly launched automated products such as unmanned sterilization workshops have become an important source of total revenue." In the future, products such as automated sterilization production lines that can flexibly adapt to different formats such as prepared dishes will become our focus." Overseas business dept said.
Large food processing enterprises with a certain production scale are the number one customers of automation equipment. Overseas business dept gave an example, "Normally speaking, the operation of a sterilization kettle needs to be equipped with a sterilization worker and a loading worker, two people corresponding to a kettle." When the scale of product production increases, the number of sterilization equipment increases correspondingly, and the number of employees that need to be equipped also needs to be gradually increased in accordance with this proportion, and it is not advantageous for large enterprises in cost control."
In response to this demand, Zhucheng Jinding has developed and launched a soft and hard packaging automatic loading and unloading system, which can complete automatic loading and unloading of a variety of food before sterilization, automatic into and automatic out of the tank, and automatic unloading of the cage after sterilization through the intelligent system control, and successfully achieve unmanned production in the sterilization workshop.
"Sichuan Huigi previously purchased a set of unmanned sterilization workshop equipment from us, 4 autoclaves plus 1 automatic line, the purchase cost is about 4 million to 5 million yuan, but also for them to save the labor cost of 18 workers." From a long-term operational perspective, the savings are significant." Overseas business dept said.
Overseas business dept revealed that the scale of the new factory will be 4 times larger than now, and it is planned to be built in two phases, of which the first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and put into operation at the beginning of 2024. After putting into operation, the average annual output value of Zhucheng Jinding is expected to double, increasing to 150 million yuan - 200 million yuan/year.
Construct closed loop of prefabricated vegetable industry chain
Behind Zhucheng Jinding, Shandong Zhucheng, which has a GDP of 80.55 billion yuan in 2022 and is one of China's top 100 counties and a strong food industry county, is also gradually labeling itself as the new industry label of "capital of prepared dishes".
In 2022, the country's first provincial prepared vegetable industry alliance was established in Zhucheng, and Zhucheng health food and prepared vegetable industry cluster was also selected as the only prepared vegetable food industry cluster in Shandong province, gradually establishing the whole industrial chain industrial model from planting and processing to catering terminals.
"Zhucheng has a nickname called 'food machinery small Hong Kong', which means that all kinds of equipment required for food processing and production from meat mixing, vegetable cleaning to packaging sealing, sterilization and disinfection can basically be bought in Zhucheng." Take the sterilization kettle as an example, at present, all kinds of parts and equipment in the upstream and downstream of our industrial chain can basically be found locally, becoming a veritable food machinery distribution center." Overseas business dept said.
At present, Zhucheng has more than 20 categories of more than 400 varieties of food breeding, production and processing, sales of the whole industrial chain system, the total output value of the food industry exceeds 40 billion yuan. Among them, there are 556 prefabricated vegetable processing enterprises, with products covering 8 major cuisines, more than 400 types and more than 1,200 varieties, with an annual comprehensive processing capacity of 6 million tons.
From a strong county in the food industry with a total output value of more than 40 billion yuan, to the "capital of prepared vegetables" with more than 500 prepared vegetables processing enterprises, Zhucheng's new round of transformation aims at many links such as prepared vegetables food production, prepared vegetables equipment research and development, and prepared vegetables industry big data platform construction.
"At present, Zhucheng Jinding's sterilizer products have achieved 100% localization, including the design and development of important components and equipment, production and manufacturing, as well as the design of automatic control procedures, which can be independently completed." Among them, in terms of equipment precision control, our products have been standing at the same level with foreign imported sterilization equipment, but also more price advantages." Overseas business dept said.
In addition, the 2023 Zhucheng Government work report also clearly proposed that it is necessary to implement the advantageous industrial chain breakthrough project, which for the health food industry, support leading enterprises through equity mergers and acquisitions, e-commerce empowerment and other ways to lead the integration and reorganization of food enterprises, while implementing the digital intelligence empowerment development project to improve Huifa Food healthy prepared dishes supply chain and other platform functions. Strive to be the leading industrial Internet park in China.
Among them, Zhucheng relies on the innovation of leading enterprises to build the Runnong healthy food supply chain platform, through the formation of "agricultural base + processing logistics+ central kitchen + smart catering" interest community, the city's prefabricated vegetable processing enterprises and upstream and downstream enterprises, bases and consumer groups orderly implant the platform. To build a smart supply chain system supported by big data, network sharing and intelligent collaboration, it has set up more than 500 smart catering terminals in Beijing, Tianjin and other places, with an annual revenue of about 1.4 billion yuan.
"After decades of development, Zhucheng has accumulated a good foundation for development in the field of food processing industry, and only sterilization-related enterprises have more than 100 large and small." In the future, in the face of the continuous expansion of prefabricated vegetable market space, the more critical issue is how to linkage enterprises in the region, through benign and orderly competition, win-win opportunities." Overseas business dept said.