A ‘taste workshop’ has been opened by Nestle under its Hsu Fu Chi brand in Dongguan city in China, in order to attract health-focussed millennial shoppers.
Recently, the global giant successfully acquired a majority stake of Hsu Fu Chi (60%) in 2011 for a price of $1.7bn. Primarily, Hsu Fu Chi manufacture sweet cakes, Scahima – a nationally known cereal bar – and sweets.
According to Villela Alex, who is marketing officer of Nestle, this opportunity opens up “a new era of consumption experience” in China.
“Taste workshop inherits the traditional confectionery and adheres to the spirit of craftsmanship. The professional baking masters produce fresh pastries and candy like short cakes, handmade biscuits and crispy candies,” he said.
However, Alex said that the idea of opening an experience retailer like this is one that has been mooted in the past.
“Our local organization was inspired by the success of our KitKat initiatives in Japan… there is more into building brands today than simply advertising [them],” he said.
“Our current confectionery CMO is in charge of our chocolate business in Japan, and he is making sure to transfer the knowledge and competency to our local market in China.”
Currently, Nestle Japan runs a KitKat Chocolatory Ginza store, which is in Tokyo.
Unlike KitKat however, which resonates with Japanese consumers on the basis it sounds similar to ‘lucky’ in Japanese, Hsu Fu Chi has a “strong connection with Chinese New Year”, according to Alex.
“We make traditional confectionery products for that occasion and our goal as a company is to help perpetrate those simple but extremely rich traditions.”