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Luckin Coffee's New Moutai Latte: Inspired or Ill-Advised?

 

Are we just going to be putting alcohol into every thing now? 

Just last month we were chatting about Dunkin Donuts' new spiked teas and coffees. And now, there's a new spiked coffee in town.

Enter the Moutai Latte. Early this week, Kweichow Moutai – China's iconic baijiu distiller – teamed up with Luckin Coffee, which many of us like to call Shanghai's answer to Seattle's Starbucks. The duo came up with a café latte that's got a splash of the renowned Sauce Aroma style baijiu. They're selling this latte, which they called Sauce Aroma Latte (酱香拿铁 ), for about US$5 a pop.

 

 

The drink presentation is very neat. Served with a dollop of whipped cream, its packaging bears a striking resemblance to Moutai’s signature red-and-white baijiu bottles, with a very minimal 0.5% ABV. For those of you who've had a sip of Moutai before, you'll remember that unique soy sauce-like fragrance. Turns out, it's not too shabby a match with coffee... or at least that's the verdict from half of the customers who tried the stuff. 

 

 

Online response has been a mixed bag. While some folks on Chinese social media are all about trying out this intriguing brew, some went as far as to say it made them feel like puking. But despite the divided opinions, there's no denying its draw. By midday of launch, stores in Beijing and Shanghai were wiped clean of their stock. 

What's the strategy here? Just as the economy is slowing, maybe they're trying to mix things up. Kweichow Moutai, known for their flagship bottle that is priced over US$400 a bottle, seems to be trying to connect with younger consumers. They even dipped their toes into baijiu-infused ice cream last year.

 

(Source: Spirited Business)

 

This partnership could be a win-win for both. Moutai's looking to freshen up its image, and teaming up with Luckin might be the way. As for Luckin, this collaboration certainly builds awareness, and could give them an edge in the competitive coffee market.

Luckin Coffee has outlets across Mainland China, with Singapore being the only overseas market with its presence. For those in Singapore itching to try, hang in there. The "Sauce Aroma Latte" might just make its way over. We'll just have to wait and see!

Ganbei!

88 Bamboo Editorial Team