China Food

Nongfu mountain spring and Yili have been launched one after another, and the battle of tea is back!

where will the tea market go in the future? The bullet needs to fly a little longer.

Text: Cathy Wang

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

Chinese people have been making and drinking tea for thousands of years. Whether it is “piano, chess, calligraphy, painting, poetry, wine tea” or “firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar tea”, tea has long been deeply integrated into Chinese people’s spiritual world and material life.
Recently, Nongfu mountain spring shouted the slogan of “steam” and offered a new carbonated tea to drink “steam tea”; Yili launched its first national tide tea brand “tea and tea search” to enter the sugar free tea market.
The two giants anchor tea drinks. What are the characteristics of the new products? What kind of strategic layout does the brand have? What innovative trends will the tea market usher in?
Nongfu mountain spring · steam tea:
Return again after 16 years
Fine proportion of tea and fruit steam, and low candy tea will “bubble”
Recently, foodaily learned that the farmer mountain spring carbonated tea beverage “steam tea” will be on the market soon.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring
However, this is not the first time nongnongshan spring has launched “steam tea”. As early as 2005, Nongfu mountain spring had launched the “Nongfu steam tea” carbonated black tea beverage. However, due to the controversy caused by the advertising content and the product concept is too advanced, it finally stopped production and delisted silently.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring
After a lapse of 16 years, Nongfu mountain spring launched the slogan of “real tea, real steam, full steam” and then pushed “steam tea”. Extracted from Oolong / Puer / jasmine tea stock solution, the highest content of tea polyphenols in each bottle is ≥ 140mg. Match with passion fruit / Green citrus / yellow peel to reconcile the original bitterness of pure tea. Low Sugar formula, fine carbonic acid bubble blessing, a bottle of tea / fruit / steam to enjoy the diversified taste.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring
In terms of product appearance, different from the simplicity and elegance of Oriental leaves, “steam tea” adopts a younger and fashionable design style, and the overall line of the bottle body is more smooth. The picture of fruit floating in tea and the bright color matching have stimulated the curiosity and desire of young consumers.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring
Nongfu mountain spring: deep cultivation of tea and drinking for many years, leading the innovation trend of the industry
As a representative beverage enterprise in China, nongnongshan spring has been expanding its beverage territory based on purified water for 25 years. Packaging drinking water, tea drinks, functional drinks, fruit juice drinks, carbonated drinks, flavor drinks and coffee drinks have layout in seven major fields.
According to the financial report data of nongnongshan spring in the first half of 2021, packaged drinking water accounted for 58.8% of the total revenue; Followed by tea drinks (14.4%), functional drinks (13.2%), fruit juice drinks (8.1%), etc.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring
According to the frost Sullivan report, in terms of retail sales in 2019, nongnongshan spring ranks among the top three in the Chinese market in terms of market share of tea drinks, energy drinks and fruit juice drinks.
Nongnongshan spring has been standing tall in China’s beverage industry for many years, not only relying on excellent market insight and marketing skills, but also benefiting from the creativity of new products.
In order to meet the growing consumer demand of consumers, the category of tea drinks alone has successively launched carbonated tea, fruit tea, milk tea, sugar free tea and other subdivided products, bringing continuous product freshness to consumers.
Since the launch of “Nongfu steam tea” in 2005, Nongfu mountain spring has added carbonated tea drinks for many times, launching “tot soda black tea” in 2010 and “bubble tea” in 2018.
In terms of fruit tea, the “tea π” launched by nongnongshan spring in 2016 exceeded 1 billion yuan in sales less than a year after listing, and reached 10 billion yuan in sales in four years. It has become a phenomenal product in the tea market and activated the secondary growth of the tea market.
The “milk tea” listed in 2021 has realized the simulation and upgrading of the existing milk tea at the level of industrialization.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring
In terms of low sugar tea / sugar free tea, Nongfu mountain spring launched the low sugar tea drink “Nongfu tea” in 2006; The listing of sugar free tea beverage “Oriental leaves” in 2011 marks the beneficial attempt of nongnongshanquan to turn tea into sugar free and healthy.
Although “Oriental leaves” were once the most difficult to drink, they make complaints about their flavor and stability.
Photo source: Nongfu mountain spring
Zhong Pengyu, chairman of nongnongshanquan, once said: “a traditional enterprise focuses on its own professional field in ten, twenty or more years, and all kinds of knowledge, processes, standards, traditions and methods precipitated are their precious wealth.”
The new launch of “steam tea” is not only an innovative attempt of “tea + carbonation + fruit juice + low sugar” of Nongfu mountain spring, but also contains the deep cultivation of tea for many years, the familiarity with tea culture and tea making skills, and reflects Nongfu mountain spring’s insight and understanding of the consumption preference of the new generation of tea.
Yili · tea and tea search:
Dairy giant overweight sugar free tea
Integration of tea and fruit, 0 sugar drinking, functional blessing… Multidimensional rejuvenation of traditional Chinese tea
Recently, foodaily learned that Yili’s first sugar free tea beverage “tea and tea search” has been pre sold in its tmall flagship store.
According to the product details, the brand positioning of “tea and tea search” is “new style national tide tea drinking tea house”, and the product concept is “0 sugar fruit tea added with probiotics”.
Source: tea and tea search
Selection of tea extract, mellow tea flavor; With real fruit juice, it has rich fruit aroma. Oolong x peach, Pu’er x green citrus, tea and fruit are skillfully integrated, refreshing and greasy. No sugar, no card, no matter it’s a small gathering at home or a landscape amusement, you can drink at any time without burden.
In addition, the patented strain of Bifidobacterium lactis subspecies cect-8145 is specially used in the product, and 2 billion CFU probiotics are added to each bottle to help digestion and health.
Source: tea and tea search
In terms of product appearance, the ox horn bottle cap in the shape of tea bud, the simple and elegant color matching of the bottle body, and the detailed and exquisite painting illustrations all show the beauty of national fashion. Original IP tea rain (successor of tea sect) and a Xun (tea PET) also contain many tea elements. In terms of price, the pre-sale price of Yili tmall flagship store is 72 yuan / 400ml * 12 bottles. Consumers can also taste high-quality tea without entering the famous mountains.
picture source: tea and tea search
Yili: subdivide the category layout and jointly create a new era of healthy drinks
As the top five dairy companies in the world and the leading brand of China’s dairy industry, the dairy business has always been the primary driving force for Yili’s performance growth.
According to the financial report data of Yili in the first half of 2021, liquid milk is the largest main revenue business of Yili, accounting for about 75% of the total revenue; Followed by milk powder and dairy products (accounting for about 13%) and cold drinks (accounting for nearly 10%).
With the gradual saturation of consumption in the traditional dairy market, major dairy enterprises have developed diversified businesses and sought performance growth points other than core businesses. To this end, Yili is also constantly expanding the layout of other businesses.
In terms of beverage market, Yili added a new health beverage division in 2018. Deeply tap the health needs of consumers, and successively launch products such as plant protein beverage “plant selection”, energy beverage “awakening source”, natural mineral water beverage “inikin Yike Living Spring”.
Source: Yili
In 2019, Yili launched the milk mineral light drink brand “Yiran”. With the creative addition of “new resource food” milk mineral, Yili’s exclusive milk sharing technology, 0 sucrose, low-fat and low calorie health experience, and the appearance of high-value “horn bottle”, we have successfully created a new category of milk mineral beverage.
In 2020, Iran continued the core selling point of milk minerals, combined milk minerals with bubble water, children’s drinks, milk tea and other categories, and successively launched “Iran milk mineral bubble water”, “Iran milk mineral small calcium box” and “Iran milk mineral milk tea”, which expanded the competitive advantage of brand differentiation.
Source: Iran
In 2021, Yili will combine warm milk with impact bubble, and launch the special lactic acid bacteria flavor bubble milk soda “milk steam”. 0 sucrose, 0 fat, whey protein added to bring cool lemon flavor, but also reduce the “abdominal burden”.
Source: Yili
It is understood that the new tea and tea search comes from Yili’s insight into the potential development space of domestic sugar free tea drinks, but young consumer groups may not be able to immediately adapt to the slightly bitter taste of pure tea. Therefore, the R & D team added fruit flavor to sugar free tea to provide a healthy choice for consumers who need to control calorie intake without sacrificing taste.
At present, Yili has gradually realized the business layout of subdivided categories such as plant protein beverage, mineral water, milk mineral beverage and tea beverage, which not only meets the ever-changing consumer demand of the market, but also reflects Yili’s strategic goal of taking high-quality development as the main line and leading four values.
Ready to drink, fruity, sugar free···
Where is the wind blowing in the tea market?
Reese’s 2021 China tea market report shows that the market scale of China’s tea market will be 403.3 billion yuan in 2020, and the total market scale is expected to reach 764.5 billion yuan in 2025.
The forms of all kinds of tea are different, and the drinking methods are also different. The 400 billion scale tea market is gradually divided into three categories: instant tea, ready-made tea and original leaf tea (tea, tea bag and tea powder).
Europe, America and Japan are high-level markets of instant tea sub categories. Consumers’ growing demand for health and functionality has driven the development and category evolution of instant tea market.
After more than 20 years of development, the whole industry of instant tea in China tends to be homogeneous, the minds of consumers tend to be mature, and the market share gradually concentrates on the top brands.
According to Euromonitor International data, the market scale of instant tea in China will be 112.6 billion yuan in 2020, and it is estimated that the market scale will be about 120 billion yuan in 2025. Driven by “inertia” consumption, the overall growth is slowing down, and there is an urgent need to find a new growth pole.
In Japan, which has the same tea culture as China, sugar free tea has become the main force of tea consumption, accounting for about 70% of Japan’s tea market share. However, according to Ipsos data, sugar free tea drinks accounted for about 5% of China’s ready to drink tea market in 2019.
The reason for the gap is that 1985-1995 was the golden decade for the development of Japan’s beverage market, and sugar free drinks representing health began to appear in Japan in the 1980s. Most tea beverage products are mainly “tea”, with CAGR (compound annual growth rate) as high as 49%. The early tea beverage market in China was mainly developed in the image of sweet “beverage”.
In 1997, Suntory sugar free oolong tea entered the Chinese market and launched an advertising war under the slogan of “a new generation of beverage beyond water”. However, the original bitterness of tea not only did not make oolong tea replace water, but also did no substantive harm to the sour and sweet drinks with rich flavors on the market.
Unified chaliwang, the original leaf of Coca Cola, Master Kang’s Benwei tea house and other head brand products have also encountered development bottlenecks due to taste, pricing and other reasons.
Source: unified
In recent years, with the enhancement of national health awareness, the rise of low sugar and sugar free products, and the gradual cultivation of consumers’ mental cognition, the tea market may usher in a new round of breakdown.
In addition, the single taste is one of the potential obstacles to the development of sugar free tea. Sugar free products with rich taste and diversified taste are more likely to be welcomed by consumers.
As the world’s largest producer and consumer of fruits and vegetables, China has rich categories of fruits and vegetables. Thanks to long-term publicity and education, the natural health characteristics of fruits and vegetables are widely recognized and accepted by consumers. The combination of fruits and vegetables and sugar free tea drinks not only meets the demands of healthy drinks, but also brings more diversified taste buds to consumers.
In 2016, the outbreak of new tea drinks represented by happy tea quickly penetrated tea drinks into young consumer groups; In the same year, Yuanqi forest set off a wave of 0 sugar in the beverage industry. Compared with the scene of fierce competition in sugar free bubble water, sugar free tea is slightly silent.
At present, although the field of bubble water is zero sucrose, artificial / natural sugar substitutes are basically used to increase the sweetness. In the field of sugar free tea, products such as nongnongshan spring Oriental leaves and Suntory oolong tea are truly sugar free (no sucrose, no natural sugar substitute and no artificial sugar substitute). Relying on the sweet recovery and health attributes of tea, we can cultivate sugar free consumers in the real sense.
Where will the tea market go in the future? The bullet needs to fly a little longer.
reference material:
[1] Ranking first in the global dairy industry? Erie’s 2030 journey. Fat whale headline, November 26, 2021
[2] The 100 billion milk tea market is tumbling. Can nongnongshan spring “play milk tea” play a new blue ocean? Foodaily daily food, October 13, 2021
[3] Sugar free. Food and beverage innovation camp, January 26, 2022
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