Cartoon cow smiles on Lanzhou Lamian fortunes

Updated: 2016-06-14 07:49

By Du Juan in Xi'An(China Daily)

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Cartoon cow smiles on Lanzhou Lamian fortunes
The cartoon image of a cow that officially represents Lanzhou Lamian, a traditional dish, is introduced in Lanzhou, Gansu province, on Saturday. Fan Peishen / Xinhua

The city government of Lanzhou, Gansu province, unveiled the cartoon image of a cow on Saturday that will officially represent the area's traditional dish, a beef and noodle soup known as Lanzhou Lamian.

The campaign aims to strengthen the Lanzhou brand and bring more cash into the industry. Lanzhou Lamian is popular nationwide for its convenience and low price.

The cartoon image to promote the dish is a whimsical cow that uses various colors to signify ingredients, including scallions, noodles and capsicol.

Deng Yubo, the designer, is also a Lanzhou Lamian restaurant founder.

Restaurants serving the dish are often small scale - 10 to 50 square meters. Each bowl of the beef noodle dish goes for around 10-25 yuan ($1.50-$3.80). Menus typically offer various types of beef soups with some simple cold vegetable dishes.

Cartoon cow smiles on Lanzhou Lamian fortunes

Deng, who has a doctor's degree in computer science, once taught at Lanzhou University. Seeing a business opportunity in the booming interest in Lanzhou Lamian, he quit in 2014 and opened a noodle restaurant with four partners, all of whom hold doctor's or master's degrees.

Over the past year, the restaurant sold 200,000 servings of Lanzhou Lamian.

"We plan to use cloud-based supply chain technology in the management, hoping the industry will become China's McDonald's in the future," he said.

In fact, Lanzhou Lamian is already a well-known brand in China and has even stepped into foreign markets. Chains have popped up in the United States, Britain, France, Japan and United Arab Emirates, according to a Lanzhou beef noodle industrial association.

There were more than 30,000 beef noodle restaurants in China at the end of 2015, the association said, with total revenues of 50 billion yuan.

Zhao Xiaolong, secretary of the association, said China has formed a complete industrial chain, including powder processing, cattle farming and food logistics, as the beef noodle industry developed quickly in recent years.

Yu Jingdong, deputy mayor of Lanzhou, said the cartoon image for Lanzhou Lamian will help attract young customers and promote the brand to the world.

"Since the birth of Lanzhou Lamian in 1915, it has developed into a Lanzhou cultural brand," he said. "As the central government encourages innovation and startups, more talent will enter the industry, which will boost it to a higher level."

Xue Chaohua contributed to this story.