China Food

New players seek to “knock down” Lipton




Just like what happened to instant coffee before, the tea bag, which used to be at the bottom of the disdain chain of tea culture, also set off a wave of “down with Lipton” by means of brand-new product form, visual image and marketing methods.

In this wave of new tea bags, all the way are the retail products made by offline tea brands, such as Xicha, Naixue’s tea and tea’s pleasant color; All the way is the sub brand of tea brand incubation, such as tea pot; Another wave is focused on the field of tea bags, and the earlier one is Chali tea. Later and younger are cha Xiaokong and Xiaoshi tea.

“Making food tea for young people” is the key point of this wave of new tea bags. The former means that the crowd is more focused. To some extent, it is abandoning the part of traditional tea drinkers who are “bird walkers”; The latter means that tea is more oriented towards daily consumption rather than gift consumption.

Is the traditional tea brand going to decline?

For a long time before that, 80% of the sales of Chinese tea, especially high-end tea, were for gift consumption. This also leads to a good story, packaging good-looking ordinary tea can sell sky high prices. And in the process of exposing lies again and again, what consumers feel is full of routines.

In the process of over raising the cultural value of tea, the tea industry has overdrawn the trust of consumers. In this market, not to mention the products that satisfy young people, the general public consumption is not well satisfied.

And a few cents a pack of Lipton, it seems very conscience. With standardized and convenient products, Lipton has changed many people’s way of drinking tea, and has always been the first in the industry. Up to now, there is no one in China that can compete with it in terms of size. There is also a saying that “China’s 70000 tea enterprises are not as good as one Lipton”.

Today, Lipton’s sales in China are declining. After the news of being sold by Unilever for many times, in the 2020 annual report released last month, Unilever made it clear that it would complete the divestiture by the end of this year.

Before 1992, there was no brand awareness in China’s tea industry, which was more the state of self production and self marketing of tea farmers, let alone standardized products. Moreover, tea drinking in the traditional sense has to go through a series of time-consuming and cumbersome processes, such as warming the pot, filling the tea, waking up the tea, brewing and so on (which is one of the main reasons why Chinese tea can not be produced like Starbucks).

The emergence of Lipton greatly reduced and simplified the threshold of tea drinking. At the same time, it also stabilizes the taste and production process of the product, and thus produces a pricing model that is closer to the value of the product, rather than relying on packaging and making up stories to overcharge, which still widely exists in the tea industry.

Many people may have this kind of experience. When you buy tea, you don’t know what kind of pricing is reasonable. If you buy it cheaply, you think it’s not good quality. If you buy too much, you will feel that you have been cheated.

This kind of consumer lacks the trust to the product, the product also does not have the unified value measurement standard, is up to now widely exists in our country tea industry. In addition, due to the limitation of producing area and production capacity, employees lack the awareness of building modern consumer goods and other industrial reasons, China’s tea industry is now lagging behind foreign countries in brand building despite its high output.

There are always people who want to knock down Lipton A631

The players in the original market are not active enough, and new demands are emerging. As a result, new products have the opportunity to fill the market space.

In sum, it has been 30 years since Lipton brought the category of tea bags into China. Thirty years later, Lipton is still Lipton, and consumers have experienced several waves of intergenerational changes. Moreover, although there are many brands of tea bags in recent years, most of them stay in the second place of Lipton, and even some brands still follow the Lipton b-end + C-end two legged model.

However, in the past two years, there have been some changes. The previous innovation in the field of instant coffee, which is led by three and a half meals, brings a wave of rhythm from instant coffee to instant coffee.

Similarly, new technology and product forms, likable visual image and marketing play, also appeared in the field of bagged tea.

Let’s look at the products first. This new wave of tea bag products generally adopt the way of blending tea to enrich the taste. The product types can be roughly divided into three categories: fruit tea, flower tea and health tea. The first kind of typical and popular product is Peach Oolong, which is basically standard; The second typical product is osmanthus oolong, and the third representative product is Hongdou Yimi tea.

Let’s talk about the new technology. As mentioned above, Lipton’s method is to break up the whole tea and mix it with secondary tea. The brand represented by Chali was first upgraded from raw materials, and the whole tea bag was made of complete tea, including Xicha and Naixue.

Another method is similar to three and a half meals, the tea cold bubble. After extraction and filtration, the tea soup is extracted into powder by freeze-drying method, and then consumers only need to open it for brewing. The convenience of this kind of products has been further improved, and the representative brand is qiriyuanye.

However, some consumers may feel that the form of tea powder is still “a little less interesting”, so there is a third kind, the so-called “super extraction tea”. That is, through pure physical processing technology, the original leaf tea can produce tea quickly in cold water, so that it can be soaked in cold water for five minutes to obtain a cup of “cold extracted tea”. The representative brands of this category include jeep and cha Xiaokong.

Tea Xiaokong

In addition to the products, a new wave of bagged tea brands are also very smart in appearance and play. Looking at the notes on these bagged teas in xiaohongshu, you can see that they are “too cute to open your eyes” and “attracted by beauty at first”.

It’s really useful for the young people. Just look at brands like three and a half meals and huaxizi. Good looking packaging, send some cups, small stickers and so on, these are standard operation. Take a look at the brand in the picture below, baby tea. The tea bag is designed as a small dress, and the packing box is a small wardrobe. Search for its products in the little red book. Piggy girls really play with these tea bags in various ways.  

Childhood tea

Of course, most of the tea bags still take a relatively stable route, but they also make great efforts in packaging and concept. In short, it’s good for young people. It’s good-looking, fun and creative. Let’s have a look at the picture above.

Left: like tea right: pleasant tea

At the same time, in order to make tea become the daily consumption of young people, that is to say, to become the “ration tea” of young people. Each family has basically developed the concept of “one tea a day” and launched a one week suit, corresponding to seven different tastes.

So far, from convenience, product image, product concept, bagged tea, all-round rejuvenation began. And in this wave of operation, the price is much higher than Lipton, Lipton 25 bags (45 grams) oolong tea bag price 14.9 yuan. The price of a weekly tea gift box with 7 bags (25g) is 48 yuan, which is more than three times the price per gram.

Even so, many people are willing to pay for it. According to the category trading data of tmall, the growth rate of combined substitute tea and combined flower and fruit tea is the fastest in 2020, and the growth rate of cold brewed tea is 10 times that of the whole category.

However, at present, compared with Lipton, the sales volume of several relatively leading brands is still not in the same order of magnitude. Of course, this also means that there is still a lot of room for growth in this category. At present, there is no leading brand like three and a half meals in the field of bagged tea, and the whole market is still in a relatively decentralized state.

It can be predicted that there will be a “three and a half meals for tea bags” fight in the future. We will continue to pay attention to the development of this field and present it as a representative case of China’s new brand innovation.

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New players seek to “knock down” Lipton



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