The value-focused coffee chain sold 5.42 million cups of its new premium alcohol-infused latte in a single day, generating sales of RMB 100m ($13.7m)
A Luckin Coffee store in Zhongshan advertising the new Moutai launch | Photo credit: via Shutterstock
Luckin Coffee has hailed the success of its new collaboration with Chinese alcoholic spirit brand Kweichow Moutai, with more than 5.42 million cups of its baijiu-infused latte sold in one day.
The Xiamen-based coffee chain launched the Moutai-infused latte across its 10,800 stores in China on 4 September 2023. Daily sales of the product, which has an alcohol content below 0.5%, exceeded RMB 100m ($13.7m).
Some Luckin Coffee stores in Beijing and Shanghai reportedly sold out of the product within hours of opening as large queues formed.
Sales of the beverage significantly outsold the coffee chain’s previous limited-edition beverage launches, such as a cheese latte, which sold 1.31 million cups on its first day. Luckin Coffee’s coconut cloud latte sold 660,000 cups on the first day of its release.
Luckin Coffee sold the Moutai-infused latte at a reduced RMB 19 ($2.60) opening day price, which mirrors its wider marketing strategy of attracting customers via significant discounts. The beverage’s standard price will be RMB 38 ($5.23) moving forward.
Known as ‘the national liquor of China’, Moutai has deep roots in Chinese culture dating back to the 17th century. The spirit’s prestige, elevated as the favoured beverage of Chairman Mao and being served at Chinese state banquets, is mirrored in its average RMB 900 ($127) to RMB 1,499 ($205) retail price. Rare vintages can fetch up to RMB 16,000 ($2,390).
Produced by the state-owned Kweichow Moutai Company since 1999, the spirit was named China’s most valuable brand in 2022, worth more than RMB 1trn ($145.2bn).
The collaboration marks a decidedly more premium approach for value-focused Luckin, which retails a standard latte RMB 19 ($2.60). It has also enabled Kweichow Moutai to promote its product to a new generation of Chinese consumers, with the Moutai latte proving a viral social media sensation.
Zunyi-based Kweichow Moutai’s strategy to appeal to younger consumers also saw the brand introduce a Moutai-infused ice cream range in May 2022, with prices ranging from RMB 40 ($5.50) to more than RMB 100 ($13.70) per serving.
In August 2023, Luckin Coffee reported 88% year-on-year second quarter sales growth to reach RMB 6.2bn ($855m), alongside GAAP operating income of RMB 1.1bn ($161m).