Australian red meat targets China’s dumpling market

27 September 2018

A new line of frozen dumplings featuring Australian beef and lamb is set to be launched in China, challenging other proteins traditionally used in the popular Chinese cuisine staple, opening up new opportunities for red meat.

Marketed under the Crazy Dragon brand, the dumplings are the result of a collaborative project between MLA Donor Company (MDC) and My Crazy Auntie’s Food, a 100% Australian owned and operated company based in Melbourne.

Crazy Dragon’s traditional Asian style dumplings and buns feature across eight product lines sold in around 2,500 supermarkets in Australia. However, they did not contain red meat before the collaboration with MDC.

Support from MDC helped Crazy Dragon explore high-value red meat growth opportunities in China, with insights and data from MLA key to Crazy Dragon developing its strategy.

MDC High Value Food Frontiers Manager, Michael Lee, said research undertaken through the partnership revealed valuable insights around food safety and quality concerns in China, and the growth of the frozen food sector, particularly the entertainment and snacking category.

“The project showed a clear growth opportunity for frozen food products that can demonstrate quality and superior safety and provenance,” Mr Lee said.

“The research involved in the project – which did not utilise any producer levies - will ultimately provide a new model for the Australian red meat industry to access the China market.

“The partnership has helped Crazy Dragon understand the opportunity for value-added beef and lamb products in China, explore disruptive business models, identify the right distribution and processing partners, as well as develop a unique point of difference for their product.”

Crazy Dragon Director, Juy Hepner, said the dumplings being produced for the China market used traditional Chinese recipes with Australian beef and lamb.

“Leveraging Australian red meat’s reputation of clean, green and safe, Crazy Dragon’s product promotion strategy will focus on its unique point of difference – the provenance story behind the beef and lamb,” Mr Hepner said.

“To ensure consumer confidence, the packaging incorporates a QR code linking to a custom-made video that tells the story of the producer and farm behind the key ingredient to the Chinese consumer.

“This encourages consumers to trust the authenticity of the meat content of the dumplings and makes it difficult for a competitor to replicate the product in China.”

Find out more information about MDC

For more information about MDC’s collaboration with Crazy Dragon, a video case study is available here.

The first of these videos showcases Macka’s Australian Black Angus property at Salt Ash, just north of Newcastle, where Crazy Dragon source their beef.

Macka’s director, Robert Mackenzie said it is vital for the Chinese consumer to know exactly where the product has come from.

“We believe it’s important to partner with companies that share the same vision as Macka’s – to supply high quality product to the Chinese consumer,” Mr Mackenzie said.

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