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China Daily Website

Domestic food producers regain customer confidence

Daisy Xie (right), deputy manager of Guangdong Shantou Yili Food Corporation, introduces their products to visitors at the 2013 China International Consumer Products Exhibition. [Photo/]

Chinese food companies are struggling to regain consumers' confidence in their products amid controversial food safety crises.

Tainted milk powder, drainage oil, vegetables and fruits with pesticide residue, have remained some of the hottest topics among Chinese people in recent years.

Such problematic food products have brought great panic among Chinese consumers, as well as negative influences on the sales revenues of domestic food manufacturers.

Guangdong Shantou Yili Food Corporation is a company which produces instant cooked food including soybean milk powder, oatmeal and baby cereal. Daisy Xie, deputy manager of the company, admits that consumers' distrust of food products is a really big problem.

"People don't have much confidence in the quality of domestic food products in the Chinese mainland, especially food for infants and children. They prefer to believe that food brands in Hong Kong, or countries in Southeast Asia and Europe are good."

In order to change this situation and boost their sales revenues, food companies in the Chinese mainland have tried as many methods as possible to rebuild customers' confidence in their products.

Hu Zhengming, marketing manager of a green food company selling lotus roots products in East China's Jiangsu province, says the annual quality check and green food marks on packages help prove that their products are of good quality.

"The country checks our products every year, or else they wouldn't let us use the green food mark on the package. If your products aren't up to standard, they remove the mark. They will also check whether the mark has expired or not. The check is very strict."

Except for receiving the national food quality check, Daisy Xie also mentions several measures they adopt to convince their customers.

"We will give a lot of free samples to customers through some distributors or babies' shops before they buy our products. After they taste our samples, they'll know the quality of our products is high."

According to Xie, cooperating with local babies' shops is a good choice, since it is difficult for food companies to get in touch with customers directly.

"The most direct channel is to let the salespeople in babies' shops know the advantages of our products, and let them convince the customers. Sometimes it's difficult to find the shops directly in cities far from us. Then we'll find some distributors, and they'll find the shops for us."

Xie added that food companies should also check the sales of those shops regularly to make sure that they choose the right shops to help promote their products.

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