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Paddle Pop vs. Weixue: Ice Cream Wars Heat Up

As they try to get an edge in the intensely competitive market for ice cream products in China, both domestic and foreign ice-cream companies are turning away from advertising to focus more on product research and development.

Wall’s, for example, has introduced new products with more variety at higher prices such as Cornette Super and Paddle Pop Lava while cutting prices as much as 30 percent on its standard products Magnum ice cream bar and Paddle Pop. According to a salesperson with Wall’s in Beijing, this product strategy has left overall prices unchanged.

In the face of such tactics, Chinese ice-cream giants are not willing to be outdone. They are also offering new products this summer at prices and with packaging and flavor they hope can compete with their foreign rivals.

The Ili Group of Inner Mongolia in north China, a food processing conglomerate that enjoys a significant share of the domestic ice cream market, now offers 180 popular varieties of ice cream including some newly developed high-end products such as Weixue that match the quality of the best ice cream offered by Wall’s.

Who will be the final winner in this Sino-foreign ice-cream war? Economic experts say that China’s huge market for ice cream will go to the companies that offer the best flavor, best local service and best prices.

(Market News 06/26/2001)

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