Drunk or alert: Moutai latte mixes up latest coffee sensation

Ding Yining
The new latte flavor went on sale on Monday morning, drawing attention and divided comments on social media platforms.
Ding Yining

The buzz over the latte using Moutai liquor has incited heated discussions on Monday.

Young consumers joked that the new mashup of the national liquor brand and local coffee chain store Luckin Coffee would keep them "drunk and alert" at the same time.

The innovative latte flavor, which costs 19 yuan (US$2.62) from Luckin stores and online delivery, went on sale on Monday morning, drawing attention and divided comments on microblogging and social media platforms.

Drunk or alert: Moutai latte mixes up latest coffee sensation
Ti Gong

The recent mashup of Luckin's latte using famous Chinese liquor Kweichow Moutai draws heated discussion.

The convergence of seemingly unrelated items has created a new attraction for customers.

"With a slight touch of Moutai fragrance, the new beverage still tastes much like a latte," said Shanghai resident Kino Chen, who ordered one from a Luckin shop near his office on Monday morning.

Using liquor-favored distilled milk with less than 0.5 percentage of alcohol in the coffee drink, many think the new taste is worth trying but any buzz won't last long.

A microblogging user nicknamed NowHere96 said the latte tasted like chocolate with a touch of an alcoholic flavor, and said those who were allergic to liquor should avoid it.

It's the latest move of Moutai to push alcohol-flavored snacks after its tie-up with Mengniu Diary for liquor-flavored ice cream last year.

Drunk or alert: Moutai latte mixes up latest coffee sensation
Ti Gong

Customers can't wait to order the latest alcoholic latte drink.

The new latte flavor created curiosity, wide social media discussion and a peek into why young consumers embrace new flavors and new product types.

Spirits with low alcohol percentages, such as those around 10 percent, are most welcomed by the young generation, and the combination of soft drinks and spirits brings huge demand for new product innovation, according to a recent study by Ries Positioning Strategy & Consulting China.

Industry watchers suggest that new beverage flavors and fresh experiences have beefed up spending and provided a strong boost for the overall service segment.

Similarly, mashup is applied in new entrants such as teahouses and studios, which have added new momentum for a rebound of consumer sentiment.

Drunk or alert: Moutai latte mixes up latest coffee sensation
Ti Gong

The Gala Magic Club, a small magic performance studio, only hosts about a dozen people for each show and the immersive experience has attracted many customers.

Gala Magic Club's new store on Taikang Road hosts only 13 audience members and the new format offers an immersive experience for viewers compared with a traditional magic performance.

Each show at the club normally lasts around one hour and the tickets cost between 150 yuan and 180 yuan. At peak seasons, it hosts three to four performances a day.

Meanwhile, the Chinese-style Kaiji Teahouse, sitting in the downtown Huangpu District, offers snacks and light food, and its outdoor space attracts visitors and pet lovers as well.

Targeting young customers who want to try teas with new flavors, the teahouse offers cold brewed drinks as well as seasonal drinks, such as grapefruit-flavored cold brewed tea.

Drunk or alert: Moutai latte mixes up latest coffee sensation
Ti Gong

Kaiji Teahouse offers outdoor space for young tea lovers.

Staying in tune with consumption demand and even creating new demand is key to sustaining the growth of consumption.

Latest retail figures have suggested promising signs for consumption recovery as the service sector as well as food and beverage spending posted strong gains.

In the first seven months, Shanghai's total retail sales of consumer goods jumped 20.5 percent from a year earlier to 1.08 trillion yuan, with the service sector leading those gains.

Service retail-related consumption on lifestyle service portal Meituan was also strong in July, confirming a trend as leisure entertainment orders jumped 1.7-fold and catering services jumped nearly 60 percent.

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