Earlier this month, executives from stone-ground grain producer Bob’s Red Mill spoke with Alizila about their all-natural products and why Chinese consumers can’t get enough.
Bob Moore pioneered the natural food business when he founded his namesake company in 1978. The brand’s origin is as straightforward as the natural, stone-ground products it makes: “I found a mill, painted it red and called it Bob’s Red Mill,” Moore told Alizila.
His simple and unprocessed products are being embraced by health-conscious consumers worldwide, particularly in China where the brand’s whole wheat flour and steel-cut oats are top sellers.
Bob’s Red Mill is working to grow its young customer base in the Middle Kingdom through partnerships with Alibaba Group’s B2C marketplace Tmall and its cross-border equivalent Tmall Global.
“Young people [in China] that have a little bit more funding want a healthier, natural product,” said Steven White, Export Division Manager at Bob’s Red Mill.
More than 30 million consumers purchased healthy foods on Tmall Global last year, up 30% from the previous year, according to the platform.
Health and wellness food sales in China increased by 12.4% year on year to over RMB250 billion in 2020, per data collected by iiMedia Research, and hit RMB270 billion by the end of 2021.
“For any company, China is important. Alibaba’s Tmall platform has really allowed us to build our brand: there are so many ways we can connect with Chinese consumers, tell our story and create excitement,” said Jan Chernus, Senior VP of Sales at Bob’s Red Mill.
“It’s natural for Bob’s Red Mill to have most of our sales in China be on the Tmall and Alibaba platforms because they are the biggest player with the biggest reach,” said Steven White, Export Division Manager at Bob’s Red Mill.
“It is really important for companies to work together around the globe,” said Jan Chernus, Senior VP of Sales.