Milk tea culture invades coffee

2022-07-30 0 By

In an episode of talk show Congress, talk show actor Pang Bo made fun of the current milk tea: “A few days ago, I bought a cup of milk tea, which contains glutinous rice, oats, bean paste, mashed potato and a whole egg yolk.I’m not drinking milk tea, it’s just a zongzi mixed with water.”Milk tea has emerged in endless ways, and now the phenomenon seems to have infiltrated the coffee field.”I didn’t expect coffee to be so curly” appeared on A popular Weibo search on Feb 18, in which bloggers evaluated new flavors of coffee such as solid coffee, mandarin iced American coffee, coconut coffee and durian coffee.”Even coffee needs innovation these days,” one commenter wrote.From this point of view, is coffee going to continue the new-tea free-for-all?Obviously, coffee innovation comes first in taste.Such as the raw coconut latte, which became a hit in 2021, coconut milk is paired with coffee to create a new taste.In the case of the coconut coffee reviewed by the blogger above, the merchant directly uses the whole coconut as a coffee vessel, in which coconut water is mixed with the coffee.Last year plant meat explosion of that period of time, in Shanghai, the reporter also saw a business launched plant meat and coffee combined coffee drinks.Not only that, but also edible coffee and solid coffee.Some use the crust of an ice cream cone to hold coffee, while others shape oatmeal cookies into cups so customers can eat the cookies after drinking the coffee inside.Solid coffee refers to the cloud-like texture of coffee, which is non-fluid and needs to be eaten with a spoon.In addition, there are formal innovations.For example, some stores combine traditional Chinese tureen with coffee and ginger slices to create a fusion flavor. The stores also create traditional Chinese ancient style.Jian Yu, general manager of Kantar Consumer Index greater China, told reporters that the phenomenon reflects the breakthrough of coffee culture in The Chinese market. In the past, coffee was only treated as a refreshing drink, but now coffee is being consumed by a wider range of people and consumption scenes.Coffee is moving from a niche import to a mass consumer.Li Chen, associate director of food and beverage at research firm Mintel, also points out that coffee is in the process of localization.The flavor, drinking style and food pairing of coffee will increasingly adapt to the needs and preferences of Chinese consumers.In the view of the industry, Luckin coffee “came out of the sky”. Through rapid expansion of stores, opening up online and offline channels, luckin coffee cultivated consumer stickiness with price and speed, and at the same time increased the variety of coffee flavor, so that many people who do not drink coffee began to drink coffee.However, this has also attracted doubts from some consumers. Some coffee lovers have commented that coffee has more and more strange flavors. Coffee is no longer coffee, but more and more like milk tea, which has not brought much disruption to the coffee market, but eroded the consumer group of milk tea.In this regard, Yu Jian pointed out, because in this process, there will be some fake innovation, such as some patterns of flavor behind no real consumer demand to support, just a gimmick to attract attention.True innovation can stand the vote of the consumer’s wallet.However, in China, coffee has broken through the original form of development, so that incremental opportunities for segmentation within the industry have gradually emerged.According to Li, it is inevitable to diversify to meet the needs of the increasingly segmented market. For example, there will be pure Western-style coffees and new fusion coffees.With the popularization of coffee, there must be products with different price ranges to meet the consumer needs of different classes.Take instant coffee for example, instant coffee, freeze-dried coffee, coffee concentrate, hanging ear coffee, fresh espresso, etc., there are many kinds of pre-coffee.Domestic emerging brands such as Samtona and Sumidagawa are gradually rising to promote the popularity of boutique coffee.Furthermore, in terms of coffee chain brands, NOWWA Nova coffee is taken as an example. It mainly provides fresh ground coffee, tea and peripheral products priced at about 15 yuan.Nova focuses on flavor innovation, such as strawberry thick milk latte, green melon latte, osmanthus latte and so on.But because of the mix of flavors in the drink, and the base of coffee acidity, some early adopters are not comfortable with certain flavors, as can be seen on social media.Some brands focus on novelty, others on channel sinking.Lucky Coffee, a sub-brand of Michelle Ice City, focuses on coffee drinks priced from 5 to 15 yuan. According to data, by January 2022, the number of lucky Coffee stores has exceeded 500, double that of more than 200 half a year ago.Not only that, but there are more new players entering the business, such as China Post.China’s first post office coffee opened in Xiamen on February 14, according to the wechat official account of post Office coffee.In the second half of last year, there was heated debate over the opening of a tea shop in Fuzhou.According to the Shanghai Coffee Consumption Index released by the city in 2021, Shanghai has 6,913 coffee shops, far outpacing New York, London and Tokyo, making it the city with the most coffee shops in the world.Analysts pointed out that first-tier cities represented by Shanghai have a large number of white-collar users with high recognition of coffee and rigid consumer demand.According to the White Paper on China’s Freshly ground coffee, there are 108,000 coffee shops in China, 75 percent of which are located in second-tier cities and above, while boutique coffee shops account for less than 1 percent in cities below third-tier.As a result, the sinking market is being targeted by more and more coffee brands.Then, from the current trend of coffee integration development, does it mean that such a way can help coffee consumption habits and coffee brands to penetrate into the sinking market more quickly?In this regard, Yu Jian said, there will be certain help, but it should be noted that the most crucial thing in sinking market is to cultivate the coffee culture itself, and the coffee chain brands need to sink down through channels to cultivate consumption habits.The penetration of innovative flavors and integrated flavors into the sinking market should be established on the basis of a solid coffee culture, so incremental opportunities still lie in increasing new consumer groups and expanding coffee consumption.