China Food

“Chinese coke” is resurrected, but it won’t be coke that can beat coca Pepsi


 

你会买一瓶吗?

 

Text: Wu Zhiqi   

Source: aifanr (ID: iFanr)

 
非常可乐,中国人自己的可乐。

People who still remember this advertisement are not young.
In 1998, Wahaha launched the very popular cola with the banner of national industry.
At that time, many people joked:

  Very funny, very funny.

It’s very hard to die.
However, this new product, known as “China Cola”, had an annual sales volume of more than 2 billion at its peak, once competing with Coca Cola and Pepsi.
However, it is still very popular. In a few years, very Cola gradually faded out of the beverage market.
Now, Wahaha is rushing up again with a brand-new coke.
picture from Wahaha creative flagship store

“China Cola” revived
Except the name is still very cola, everything else has changed.
Last week, very Cola launched a series of new products. In order to get close to young consumers who pay attention to health, its first step is “sugar free”.
The drink is divided into four flavors: ginseng, oil Mandarin, plum and original flavor.
The first one looks very healthy and is suitable for workers who stay up late to burn their brains. The second one must be in line with the oil Citrus tea that has set off an upsurge a while ago. The third one is plum flavor, which sounds a little like Chinese new year goods.
It seems to be a sense of integration between the old and the new.
Picture from: Wahaha creative flagship store
On September 27, Wahaha also posted a topic on its microblog — # what Chinese Cola should taste #, saying that what to drink is up to everyone’s vote, including seven flavors: ginseng, hawthorn, passion fruit, plum, ginger juice, coriander and oil Mandarin.
Wahaha also launched the top three ginseng, oil Mandarin and plum as scheduled. Presumably, the latter four flavors are likely to be seen in the future.
The packaging of the new product also conforms to the current popular national fashion, and the bottle body has all kinds of national fashion patterns.
In the past, very cola was dressed in festive Chinese red. Chinese red was very festive, but it was also jokingly called “piracy” of Coca Cola.
Now, its bottle body will still have some red elements, but the new color has turned into gold – I’m afraid this color is loved not only by the Chinese, but also by the whole world.
Picture from: Wahaha microblog
In fact, for a long time, very Cola has not really “disappeared”, but gradually faded out of the vision of consumers, and there is even no figure in the first tier cities.
Last month, very Cola changed its national style packaging to “return”, but its sales volume in Taobao tmall store was not optimistic, so one or two people paid. The unofficial shopkeeper next door sells more Coke than the new version.
This time, very Cola launched the sugar free series and the healthy and popular tastes welcomed by young people, which really felt a bit of “new resurrection” and had the potential to return to the mainstream cola market.
In terms of price, the original price of 4 bottles of 550ml is 15 yuan, and now the initial price is 8.8 yuan. The original price is not much different from that of similar products of Pepsi and Coca Cola.
Picture from: Wahaha microblog
Although there are thousands of new products paying at Taobao tmall store, which is obviously much more enthusiastic, it is still far from “hot”.
Can the returning “very Cola” still catch fire again?
In this case, we have to go back to the years when it was hot and see those popular “Chinese coke”.

One by one “Chinese Cola”
disappeared
Speaking of childhood coke, you may remember many brands in addition to very cola.
Some look like fake versions of Coca Cola and Pepsi.
For example, happy cola, happy cola, and everything Cola that is more cola than Pepsi Cola. Every sad human wants to drink it once to solve his worries.
Coca Cola has not escaped the “copycat robbery”. There are not only Coca Cola, but also Keri Cola in the canteen. The name sounds very confusing – what is this?
Early manufacturers also predicted the slang trend of young people in advance and launched chrysanthemum flavored thirsty coke.
Of course, many Chinese brands really want to do coke business.
In fact, Coca Cola was introduced into the Chinese market as early as 1917. It is popular among gentlemen and celebrities in Shanghai. It has a posture of “foreign aristocratic beverage”. However, after the founding of new China, Coca Cola, which represented the extravagance of capitalism, was boycotted by the government and soon fell into a period of silence.
Domestic Cola began to catch fire in different places in the north and south of the river.
Before the very Cola came out, the most famous was Qingdao Laoshan cola, which was born in 1953.
This is also the first carbonated beverage independently developed by new China, and its ingredients are completely independent and original. It is made of clove, ginger, Angelica dahurica, black jujube, Amomum villosum and other Chinese herbal medicines. If you drink it now, you may not think it’s coke.
Before the 1990s, Laoshan Cola had always ranked first among the “eight largest cokes in China”, once accounting for 75% of China’s coke market.
At this time, in Chongqing, China, another popular cola was born – Tianfu Cola in 1980.
This cola was jointly developed by Chongqing beverage factory and Sichuan Institute of traditional Chinese medicine. Its ingredients include white peony, Angelica sinensis and Rehmannia glutinosa. It is also a “healing beverage” in the old times.
Most “Chinese Cola” have some “medicinal ingredients”, which is why many “Chinese Cola” in childhood are called “delicious Banlangen” by children.
At the same time as very cola, there was another one named fenhuang cola. This coke, launched in the late 1990s, is also an authentic Chinese style drink – it is upright and full of momentum of prosperity. It has done its best to carry forward China’s “dragon culture”, and invited Jackie Chan as the brand spokesman.
The three domestic beverage giants were very cola, Jianlibao and fenhuang cola at that time.
The explosion of Coca Cola was also due to a completely different route: encircling the city from the countryside.
With its festive style of low price, no preservatives and booming, it was quickly welcomed by the people of second and third tier cities. At the end of 2006, its market share reached 16% – 17%, second only to Coca Cola and Pepsi.
This is a lively history of domestic Cola “hundred schools of thought contend”.
“China Cola” is far more than those mentioned above, as well as happy Cola launched by Shanghai zhengguanghe soda factory in the 1970s, Shaolin Cola launched by Guangdong lianjiang health beverage factory, and “Changping Cola” produced in Beijing
But since the 1990s, foreign Cola brands have swept China, and everything has begun to change.
At that time, the Chinese market gradually broke away from the traditional conservatism and the international promotion of investment attraction. Foreign Cola brands began to build factories in China, and spent great efforts in marketing and a large amount of money for cooperation and acquisition. At the same time, they also used the advantages of shareholders to hunt and hide local soda and buy out sales channels to promote their drinks.
All these have had a great impact on “Chinese Cola”.
Pepsi Cola’s first factory in China
Tianfu Cola was gradually marginalized after cooperating with Pepsi Cola in 1994; Laoshan Cola’s sales dropped sharply under the attack of Coca Cola, and then it was acquired by Coca Cola company and stopped production in 1997.
Of course, there are their own reasons for exiting the market.
Fenhuang Cola spent a lot of money on advertising at that time, and spent 150 million in 1998. It was not as high as Coke’s net profit, so it was even more unable to maintain production; “China Cola” of other brands has also been eroded by two major foreign drinks and gradually withdrew from the historical stage because of the lack of taste, marketing and strategic choice.
Coca Cola poster in the Republic of China
The reasons for the collapse of very Cola were very complex. At that time, it fought with the two Cola giants and exported it to the United States, which was quite popular for “crushing foreign Cola”.
But the good times are not long. Some people say that it is content with the status quo, because it can eat the old capital of the national flag for a while and can’t eat for a lifetime; Some people say that it is no longer innovative, has been rooted in the countryside, and does not keep pace with the young trend; Some people say that it doesn’t make much effort in marketing and publicity. Coca Cola and Pepsi have completely occupied the minds of consumers at this time
Now when people think of coke, there are only two kinds: Coca Cola and Pepsi.
In 1981, Chinese youth drank coke; 1984 Time magazine

“China Cola” is still hard to win
In fact, several “Chinese Cola” have returned.
In 2004, Qingdao Laoshan mineral water company took back the Laoshan Cola Brand and produced the old flavor again; In 2016, Tianfu Cola took back the formula from Pepsi Cola, took back the trademark and returned to the market again.
However, the coke market is now too stable.
When people place orders for these old brands of coke, the most common reason is to revisit the taste of childhood and hometown. We don’t need to rely on a bottle of beverage to prove whether we are strong or not.
In people’s mind, very Cola has gradually become a “low matching Cola”, and even many young people have never heard of very cola.
The weakness of “China Cola” mentioned earlier is precisely the strength of Coca Cola and Pepsi.
PepsiCo invited many stars to speak in 2004
They are well funded, good at marketing and continuous change. They are also good at communicating with young consumers. They focus on the cultural image of coke itself – youth, vitality and fashion. They are also very good at using coke culture to establish their own brand and use this value to guide consumption.
Cola, a carbonated soft drink flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, citrus oil, etc. Although Coca Cola has always covered their formula with mystery, it is not difficult to make a carbonated beverage with similar taste.
Brand effect is their core competitiveness, which makes them take root more and more deeply in people’s hearts.
Moreover, now it seems that the promotion of very Cola is not as strong as Pepsi and Coca Cola. More importantly, these two giants have unshakable power in the channels, supply chain and operation of the domestic carbonic acid market.
Even if we look at the world, Pepsi and Coca Cola are still the leaders in more than 300 Cola brands.
To pry the territory of these two coke giants in the coke market is a long road.
But this does not mean that Coca Cola and Pepsi have no crisis. Their competitors are not each other, but all drinks.
The “0 sugar, 0 fat and 0 card” beverage launched by Yuanqi forest has once again set off a new beverage trend for domestic soda. Behind its popularity, it still captures the psychological trend of contemporary young people keen on healthy fashion consumption.
The awakening of people’s health awareness has had a great impact on the sales of “fat house happy water”, because carbonated drinks are unhealthy in people’s minds.
In order to consolidate their position in the industry, the two beverage giants have not only launched all kinds of sugar free cola, but also moved to a “full category” beverage company instead of relying solely on soda to keep the market. Coca Cola’s biggest recent acquisition is the purchase of sports beverage bodyarmor with us $5.6 billion.
In addition to “resurrecting” cola, Wahaha has been making many attempts to make it younger, such as making AD calcium milk IP, making robots, opening milk tea shops and so on.
Not only cola, but also coffee, wine, tea and fruit juice drinks have become more and more popular in China’s new consumer market. Old brand soft drinks such as Arctic Ocean, Bingfeng, Emei snow and Wuhan No. 2 factory are also returning in a new way to make explosives, establish joint names and open sub brands.
New opportunities are always there. How to win the favor of a new generation of young consumers is the secret for all brands to remain young forever.
When old brands try to revive and new brands are popular, it is worth noting that Coca Cola and Pepsi never seem to mention youth, because they have always been tied to young people.

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