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Jinjili's Chinese kitchen serves up dumplings, wonton, buns and more.

Starting from scratch a decade ago, Jinjili Frozen Foods Co., Ltd. has since evolved into one of Taiwan's leading producers of traditional Chinese appetizers. Sales topped NT$ 500 million (US$ 20 million) last year, with pork dumplings leading the way followed by more than 20 other popular items ranging from wonton and shao mai specialties to steamed buns, meat balls with sticky rice, and sesame-, pork-, and red bean paste-filled glutinous rice ball desserts.

As exports represent 18% of current turnover, boosting sales to overseas markets is an important part of the Taipei Hsin-headquartered company's growth strategy. "Our goal is to become the Chinese kitchen of the world," said Tony Hsu, vice president.

Jinjili's aggressive export drive has rocketed the brand into market prominence in Singapore, where a subsidiary has established a factory to supply the bustling city-state. The main plant in Taiwan (a highly automated, 14,850-square-meter factory) turns out packs for shipment to customers in Hong Kong, Japan, the USA, Europe, Macao and mainland China. The state-of-the-art operation is one reason why the efficiently-run company has only 130 employees.

Mr. Hsu pointed out that product reputation, backed by a steady diet of advertising support programs, successfully combined to make Jinjili No. 1 in both brand awareness and intentional purchase decisions among consumers of retail finger foods last year. The results of a survey conducted by the respected Integrated Consumer Profile Center (ICP) were cited to prove his point.

The company's line is offered throughout Taiwan via four distribution centers situated to coordinate delivery schedules. In addition to general supermarket and convenience stores, Jinjili products are stocked in outlets catering to military troops and government workers (who make up 30% of the retail market).

Dumplings (which are filled with everything from pork and eggs to fish, shrimp and squid) vary in size from the normal 30 pieces per unit to jumbo 24-piece counts. Steamed buns come in six-packs. For institutional clients, buns are distributed in 20-piece units, while dumplings are available in 150-count bags.

With more than 17 major brands and over 50 factories now active in producing frozen Chinese appetizers in Taiwan, the competition for sales has become red-hot. Tight margins for manufacturers have resulted, thus enabling consumers to reap the benefit of bargain prices that average out to the equivalent of US$ 1.34 for a pack of 30 dumplings.

All the more reason to further expand into export markets with an already developed taste for premium products. "We are concentrating on doing more in Japan," said Thomas Luk, overseas market executive. "Shark fin dumplings and hotpot ingredients for the institutional sector there, for example, are being emphasized. Private label packing for foreign clients is also being pursued."

Indeed, the company has come a long way since starting out in 1983, when its menu was then largely limited to Green Lake Taro Ice Cream and Jili Pork Dumplings for the home market. Today's Chinese kitchen of delicacies knows no bounds, as it strives to satisfy growing appetites from Asia to North America and Europe.
COPYRIGHT 1993 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Frozen Foods of Taiwan: 1993; Jinjili Frozen Foods Company Ltd.
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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