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Benlai Life: a fast growing B2C platform for branded agrifood and perishable products in China

Mon 30/05/2022 by Pierre Escodo

The business of Benlai Life Group includes the fresh B2C e-commerce platform Benlailife.com, as well as the community fresh food chain store Benlai Fresh and the supply chain Benlai Fruit Store etc. The business model is “online + offline”. By virtue of its supply chain advantages, the Group’s Benlai Life Network serves customers including corporate centralized procurement customers and ordinary consumers. Among them, the annual sales of the Benlai Life Network is in the leading position in the vertical e-commerce industry, and has achieved full-year profit for four consecutive years, with an average annual sales growth of 50%+ in the past three years.

At present, in addition to its own channels, Benlai Life Network has also cooperated with distribution platforms such as Tmall, JD.com, Douyin, Pinduoduo Pocket Life, Shanrong Mall, ICBC RongE Shopping, Vanke Property Live Here, China Merchants Property Daojiahui, Jindi Property, Xiangjia, etc. all have stores or are entrusted to operate fresh food areas, and the overall distribution channel performance accounts for about 10%. Benlai Fresh has 200 directly-operated stores and 10,000 empowerment stores in cities such as Wuhan, Chengdu, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Tianjin, and Shanghai.

At present, Benlai Life Network provides users with 17 categories and more than 24,000 high-quality products. Mid-to-high-end high-quality fresh food materials are the main products of BenLife.com. The sales of fruits and vegetables (F&V) and other fresh food account for about 60% of total sales.

Benlai Fresh- An emerging online/offline retail business model

Benlai Fresh, as a chain of community fresh food stores under Benlai Life Group, operates in the form of offline store + online store. It ensures that community residents can go to the offline store to buy fresh products within 300 meters, and also ensures that each order on the online store can be delivered within 30 minutes. In addition to directly operating chain stores, Benlai Fresh also actively explores the empowerment model for other fresh food retailers, gives full play to the advantages of the agricultural product supply chain, and provides high-quality products and services for more fresh food retailers.

Fastest Growing Products in 2021/2022

In 2021, blueberries had the largest sales growth in the fruit category of Life.com. Among them, Driscoll’s Big Mac blueberry has the most obvious growth.

In the second quarter of 2022, the category with the fastest sales growth is fruit; in the first two quarters of 2022, New Zealand’s Zespri kiwifruit red fruit and Yunnan blueberry sold by the Benlai Life are more popular among users.

Quality Requirements

Benlai Life has a special quality management department responsible for the management of supplier qualification and commodity qualification review. All suppliers must meet the “Supplier & Commodity Qualification Access Standard” of Benlai Life before they can be introduced. At present, the raw fruit and vegetable suppliers are mainly divided into branded suppliers and regular suppliers.

In addition to the basic qualification requirements, branded suppliers also need to meet the following two requirements:

  • The introduction of the supplier of brand fruit (Guo Qian Xun) should ensure that the supplier’s overall quality management capability meets the requirements of our company’s specifications, and the supplier’s orchard/origin/farm must comply with the “GB/T 20014 Good Agricultural Practices” series of standards and other relevant national laws and regulations.
  • All products of the brand (Guo Qian Xun) must have a test report of 533 qualified results of pesticide residues. At the same time, the Quality Control Center will take into account market risks, seasonal factors, risk and other factors, and arrange at least once a year risk monitoring. Risk monitoring of branded (Guo Qian Xun) commodities; monitoring indicators will be selected according to the “Implementation Rules for National Food Safety Supervision and Sampling Inspection” and the corresponding national laws and regulations of commodities;

In addition to the basic qualification requirements, conventional suppliers also need the following requirements:

  • Priority will be given to suppliers who have passed “green certification” and “organic certification”.
  • Priority will be given to commodity suppliers who have the “Geographical Indication of the People’s Republic of China” and “Geographical Indication of Agricultural Products”.
  • The quality of the supplier’s commodities must comply with national standards such as “National Food Safety Standard – Limits of Contaminants in Food GB2762” and “National Food Safety Standard – Maximum Residue Limits of Pesticides in Foods GB2763”.
Self Owned Brand: “Guo Qian Xun”

“Guo Qian Xun” is a high-end customized fruit brand under Benlai Life.

Benlai Life searches for the core origin of fruits in the country, and cooperates with Bayer Crop Science on the planting side to introduce greener and more technological production and planting technologies and solutions, and establish a full-process management system to create authentic top-level quality fruits.

Other Value Chains and Innovation in business models

Benlai Life created the B2C+DTC model, which features direct purchases from global buyers, customization of specialty foods, and development of its own brands, and has established a fresh supply chain system with unique value. Benlai Life empowers brands like Chu Orange, Li Yu Shuang Rice and Yu San Nan Champion Crab and other 400 brands of raw and fresh food materials.

  1. Raw & Fresh DTC Model

The fresh DTC model of the Benlai Life intelligently links the supply and demand ends, provides insight into market demand, promotes the structural reform of the agricultural supply side, and expands and upgrades the production chain. On the production side, Benlai Life promotes the transformation of agricultural products from the “original ecology” of the field into commodities with stable and uniform taste and quality. From variety development to field management to commercialization, output planting, picking, processing, traceability, logistics, etc. Process standards, and through the construction of a digital system and a whole-process management system, an integrated supply chain system has been built; for the consumer demand side, the fresh DTC model breaks the traditional model of wholesale of agricultural products and greatly shortens the sales process. The most important thing is to realize the traceability of agricultural products and protect the interests of consumers to the greatest extent.

Originally, Life.com’s fresh DTC model empowered and created Chucheng and Li Yushuang brands with authentic origins, core production areas, and excellent quality and price. It also promoted the industrial development process of high-quality new varieties such as Pujiang Chougan and its market in China. popularity.

  1. Global Direct Procuring

Starting from the consumer demand side of the Chinese market, Benlai Life pioneered the “global direct purchase of fresh food buyers” model, integrated and optimized the global supply chain, empowered overseas brands to expand and develop the Chinese market, and realized the shared interests of global suppliers and Chinese consumers. Benlai Life has more than 200 super buyers and more than 700 direct purchasing supplier partners around the world. From the complicated global suppliers, we select products that strictly abide by China’s inspection and quarantine standards, adhere to high quality, and meet the needs of Chinese consumers, and with the “shortest transaction chain” brings commodities to the Chinese market.

Benlai Life is deeply involved in the process of standardization, scale and branding of upstream products, and leads the development of the industry through in-depth customization. At the same time, the data on the consumer end and other data sources enable the production end to carry out C2M customization. For example, the C2M method is customized to produce and sell imported products such as Chilean air-freighted salmon, and direct purchase of fresh products such as New Zealand’s Vibes pasteurized milk and American cherries through chartered flights. Reduce product prices through large-scale procurement, and introduce high-quality products such as New Zealand apples, Lobo high-temperature sterilized milk, Uluolan natural mineral water, Vibes fresh milk, and New Zealand Zespri kiwi fruit, so that users can enjoy more affordable prices. Taste more high-quality imported agricultural products.

  1. 4D Supply Chain

Benlai Life innovated the global direct procurement model of fresh DTC and fresh buyers, realized the comprehensive innovation of fresh agricultural products from the circulation mode to the production and supply side, deconstructed the traditional fresh agricultural production chain, and formed the unique Benlai Life’s “4D Supply Chain” model. 4D supply chain refers to the creation of centralized production and circulation from the four aspects : “1. direct procurement from origin, 2. in-depth customization, 3. data empowerment, 4. brand effect” to form a complete product system. “Direct purchase from the production area” is to break the traditional multi-layered circulation system and go directly to the production area. Benlai Life insisted on direct purchasing from the production area, on the one hand, is because some high-quality and high-end agricultural products have high requirements on logistics and transportation. Only when we are deep in full process and chain, the we can guaranteed quality, such as Zengcheng lychees sold on this website; second, the “easily available goods” in the farmers’ market cannot meet the needs of users who have higher quality requirements. Benlai Life has formed a 4D supply chain based on “direct procurement from the origin and in-depth customization” through in-depth cooperation with domestic and foreign fresh commodity production enterprises through in-depth origin, customized production, etc., to achieve a win-win situation for the producer and customer.

  1. Farm Product Branding Practice

Based on the unique DTC e-commerce model and the supply chain advantages forged in the past 9 years, Benlai Life has practiced the “quality + brand” methodology, which has become the business feature and core competitiveness of Benlai Life. The “quality” aspect refers to the innovation and upgrading of the supply chain, the intelligent connection between the first 10,000 kilometers and the last 1 kilometer, and the establishment of a high-quality agricultural product industry benchmark through refined scientific operations and strict selection standards; the “brand” aspect refers to: on the basis of quality advantages, use Internet thinking to shape agricultural product brands in the new era, and let conscientious farmers get favorable returns by creating brand premiums. The methodology of “Quality + Brand” is to serve the current consumption upgrading needs, supply more healthy, safe and green agricultural products to the consumer market, promote the upgrading of the agricultural industry through the upgrading of agricultural products, promote the high-quality transformation and development of China’s agriculture, and serve the cause of rural revitalization .

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