Image courtesty Waveflux.net
Just came across the news that the latest entrant into China’s lucrative market opportunities is Krispy Kreme. They’ll start with Hong Kong, the ‘richest city in China’ to quote another article, forgive me my sources.
With KK’s sales down drastically in their home market, chiefly due to the fact that their basic ‘entry level’ product has 200 calories and 12 grams of fat coupled with a rising consciousness in healthy eating and nutrition awareness, they’re expanding into emerging markets. Who can blame them? Not I.
However, rudimentary research pulled up some interesting snippets from their forays into the UK and Australia just three years ago, both of which, unlike the sources linked above, focus more on the trend of increasing obesity being linked to aggressively marketed, unhealthy snack foods. One sentence stood out,
And it’s marketed
at those who have disposable income and perhaps less understanding of
the exact nature of the product.
and my favourite,
Doughnuts "are a normal part of a healthy, balanced diet," said Brooke Smith, a spokeswoman for Krispy Kreme.
For the Chinese, Brooke? I don’t think so. What concerns me, and it really shouldn’t, emerging markets strategist that I am, is the part about the target audiences being ‘less understanding of the exact nature of the product’. After all, in the race for new markets and keeping your shareholders happy, is there any need to wonder whether your new customers know enough about a foreign food to make healthy and nutritious choices? I worry though, that unlike the concern displayed in the UK or Australia, the same level of awareness may not be prevalent in less developed locales. Perhaps they’re paving the way for Weight Watchers next?
Questions aside, this will be an interesting product introduction to watch. My hunch says they’ll need to cut their level of sweetness down by more than half to be really successful, but will they do it? They’re only just beginning to consider a local option – red bean doughnuts. Let’s wait and see.