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Moutai-Luckin coffee partnership sells 5.42m cups on launch day

Moutai-Luckin coffee partnership sells 5.42m cups on launch day


The team-up between China's top liquor maker Kweichow Moutai and domestic coffee chain Luckin Coffee has become a hot topic and a money maker, selling 5.42 million cups and grossing 100 million yuan just on the launch day.


The coffee drink, packaged with an iconic Moutai label and containing less than 0.5 percent (alcohol by volume) of 53 degrees Moutai, is priced at 38 yuan ($7.26), however, consumers can get it at 19 yuan with coupons.


Topics such as "Young people's first sip of Moutai" or "No drunk driving" have gone viral online, wooing more consumers to try the new beverages.


Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China, said he believes the sensation stirred by Moutai and Luckin will fade away in a few weeks but it remains a classic marketing case.


The household premium brand Moutai has definitely pushed up the heat of the collaboration. Those high-ranked brands on the BrandZ report released by Kantar, which have strong cross-sector social and communicative power, he said, would be able to cause a stir on social platforms within a few hours.


It is not the first time alcoholic brands in China have made efforts to attract younger consumers by linking with beverages that Gen Z consumers have frequented, yet none of them have made such a phenomenon.


In August, Chinese milk tea leader Nayuki worked with Luzhou Laojiao, the domestic liquor brand, to roll out its new gifting package and online games.


Coffee chain player Manner Coffee recently collaborated with Highball, the cocktail drink brand. But none of these joint names have reached such high exposure on social media or in terms of sales numbers.


"It is the lipstick effect -- consumer's spending money on affordable luxury -- that works," said Yu. "Luckin coffee and Moutai's campaign has lowered the entry level for participation where everyone is able to sip Moutai at the price of a cup of coffee."


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