Shanghaiist reported the overwhelming success of Tujia pizza, otherwise known as Tujia Diaozha Shaobing (土家掉渣烧饼), in the city a while ago. Started last May in Hubei province, this money machine seems to have hit a dead end. This Shanghai Morning Post report (in Chinese) says most of the franchises in downtown Shanghai are already closed. Seen many people munching on a brown paper bags with oil stains lately?
There are different opinions on Tujia’s demise. Cao Hongfei, marketing director of Miandao Foods Ltd (website in Chinese), one of the earliest food companies to join the franchise, said it’s because of the weather: Tujia pizza is not a good food to eat in the summer time. While Ms. Yan, a spokesperson from Jiujiu Ya (website in Chinese), another food company that jumped on the oily bandwagon, thinks the failure of Tujia pizza is because of too many copycats providing crappy food.
This analysis publicized on Chinavalue.net, written by Pang Yahui, senior consultant from Shanghai Zhuoyue Consulting, lists more reasons why Tujia brand failed:
1. Tujia pizza developed only relying on one product — it should have developed other offerings to build the brand.
2. The franchises didn’t enrich the brand culture.
3. As a brand, providing cheap food for one type of customer is far from enough to survive in the market.
4. Too many franchises without a systemetic business plan for the brand’s future.
5. The founders didn’t realize the importance of keeping the recipe secret, and they had no plans to deal with fraudulent pizzas.
To think, this was once considered a business capable of earning RMB 300 million a year in breakfast revenue alone (news in Chinese).