A series of Jinluo products, endorsed by China’s national women’s volleyball team, has been selling as a ‘low fat’ premium snack, with milk content for bone development. Leading volleyball player Zhang Chang Ning has become the face of the marketing campaign that aims to appeal to China’s health-conscious urbanites.
Importantly for Jinluo, the health attributes used are also yielding higher margins for the company. Packs of eight 30g sausages sell for RMB16.90 on JD.com and are promoted to help consumers “lose weight”, containing “60% less fat, high protein”. By comparison, a ‘regular’ range of sausages, also endorsed by the volleyball team, sells at RMB13.50 per pack of eight 40g sausages.
The low-fat range is one of several health-oriented product launches by Jinluo from its base in Linyi, Shandong province. The firm recently sponsored the 9th National Fitness Games in Linyi, an initiative aimed at China’s growing ranks of overweight citizens.
Aimed at children, Jinluo’s ‘De le shi’ range is part of the company’s rush to higher-margin products. The range offers flavours in beef and carrot, egg and fish, as well as pork and cheese. The ‘Ha luo’ range similarly uses health-focused marketing slogans, such as ‘added DHA’ [docosahexaenoic acid or Omega-3 fatty acid] on its packaging and promises parents a higher nutritional benefit for children.
Health aside, Jinluo is also appealing to Chinese consumers’ love of travel with its ‘De Si Ke’ range of German-style hams, produced with German equipment imported from the BK Giulini Group.
Jinluo has long stressed the health attributes of its products in its marketing pitches. In 2014, the firm (formally known as Linyi Xincheng Jinluo Meat Products Co) hired several Chinese celebrities as part of a major branding campaign, promoting its ‘no starch’ Wang Zhong Wang range of heat-treated packaged ham sausages. This aimed to play on consumers’ worries about the over-use of starches – such as potato starch or wheat flour, which are frequently used in sausages and other meat products to add volume and bind ingredients, while making mechanically-recovered meat trimmings more palatable.
Jinluo, which claims to have China’s largest pig slaughtering capacity, processing 22 million pigs and 200 million broilers per year, operates a national network of 18,000 stores selling both chilled and heat-treated meat.
Established by brothers Zhou Lian Kui and Zhou Lian Liang, Linyi Xincheng Jinluo Meat Products Co was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands in 1994 as a limited liability company. This firm, in turn, is ultimately held by People’s Food Holdings Limited, a holding company based in Bermuda.