China Food

Why not be afraid of Starbucks, the first brand of Japanese coffee?


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doutor coffee has been established for 60 years and has more than 1300 stores. It is not afraid of Starbucks and has become the first brand of coffee in Japan.
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In the new consumer market, the coffee industry is a huge cake.
According to AI media consulting data, the scale of China’s coffee market in 2021 was about 381.7 billion yuan, with more than 300million consumers; It is expected that China’s domestic coffee market will maintain a growth rate of 27.2%, much higher than the global average growth rate of 2%. In 2025, the size of China’s market will reach 1trillion yuan.
In addition to the huge market, the coffee industry has attracted large and small companies and even young entrepreneurs to sip because of its consumption label of “quality life”.
According to Deloitte China data, as early as the end of 2020, China had about 108000 cafes, and the number of cafes located in second tier and above cities accounted for 75%.
Such a huge consumer market has attracted Chinese enterprises one after another, especially in the face of the “Conquest” of international giant Starbucks, domestic brands urgently need to compete with it. However, over the years, Ruixing coffee has only developed a nationally renowned brand, and it has followed a take away mode, avoiding a head-on confrontation with Starbucks.
Facing the brand offensive of Starbucks, how can domestic cafes develop? Doutor coffee, known as Japan’s first coffee brand, may give some enlightenment to domestic coffee practitioners.
Doutor coffee was born in 1962 and has a history of 60 years in Japan. It is spread all over the streets of Japan and is called Japanese national coffee. So far, Rodolfo has more than 1300 stores in Japan. The Japanese jcsi index (Japanese customer satisfaction index) shows that doutor has surpassed Starbucks to win the first place for three consecutive years.
How did rodoron become the first coffee brand in Japan?
Niaoyu Bodo was born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, in 1937. At the age of 16, he left his hometown and wandered alone in Tokyo. At the age of 19, he became the manager of a coffee shop and a coffee enthusiast.
In order to pursue his dream of coffee, he went to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where there are coffee trees everywhere. People skillfully plant, pick, and then bake them. Niaoyudo learned all kinds of coffee knowledge here.
Niaoyabodao, the founder of lodorum coffee in Japan, led by him, the company became the first coffee listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange
The experience of studying abroad has given Niaoyu Bodao an international perspective on the coffee market
In this context, rodolen fully implemented the low price strategy. A cup of coffee only needed 150 to 200 yen, less than half of the average market price at that time. With bread, sausage and other snacks, it was 300 yen. While ensuring the price advantage of coffee, in order to further improve the customer unit price, Rodolfo is committed to developing desserts and meals. For example, rodolen’s main product is sausage hot dogs, which is just about 400 yen with coffee. Cost-effective coffee with food or desserts has also become the standard method of most coffee shop chain channels in Japan.
Due to the low price strategy, even in the economic recession of Japan in the 1990s, rodolen still maintained an average annual sales growth of 13%, with sales rising from 35000 million yen in 1999 to 55000 million yen in 2003.
The second is quality.
In order to maintain the quality of low-priced coffee, Luo Duolun insisted on importing coffee beans from South America, and niaoyubo road loaded them into the bottom of the ship for transportation. “If you don’t do this, the coffee beans will easily deteriorate.” After being transported to Japan, coffee beans will be stored in a constant temperature warehouse with a certain temperature.
On the other hand, in order to ensure the stability of coffee quality when opening stores on a large scale, rodolen optimized store operations and worked hard to promote automation, standardization and scale. Under the mode of high cost performance and high turnover, each store consumes up to 2 tons of coffee beans per month, far exceeding the industry average of 20-50 kg.
After the scale up, in order to control the cost of the supply chain, the company established its own coffee bean farm in Hawaii when there were nearly 750 lodorum stores. Not to mention their own coffee beans, they will also send their employees to various places of origin, according to the principle of “sweet, aromatic, mellow”, one by one tasting and cup testing, in order to find out the most suitable coffee beans for Rodolfo.
Finally, culture.
As a coffee shop, the quality of coffee is the cornerstone, and the culture of coffee shop is the key to its charm.
Rodolen has incorporated its coffee culture into all the details related to coffee. For example, the coffee cup, rodolen’s original tea cup and plate are very exquisite in shape, thickness and handle – the edge of the tea cup in contact with the lips is designed into a curve that is not easy to spill liquid; In order to make the handle easier to grasp, the cup handle is designed into the shape that the index finger extends into the handle and the thumb and middle finger clamp the cup; According to the size of the cup, the shape of the handle also changes; Even the coffee tray is designed to prevent the spoon from slipping.
These attentive designs may be difficult to detect, but many customers say that they will feel inexplicably comfortable sitting in rodoron coffee shop. For niaoyudao, the store experience praised by customers is the best feedback to Rodolfo.
“I kept asking myself, why do I open a coffee shop? What is the effect of a cup of coffee? Finally, I understood my mission: people need a place to communicate, and their hearts need to be adjusted. I need to serve people
With the promotion of the Gender Equality Movement, women entering the workplace also need their own space. Starbucks sees the dividends brought by the change of social structure.
In order to meet the needs of female white-collar workers, Starbucks has implemented a series of localization adjustments: in terms of space, Starbucks is the first coffee shop in Japan to implement smoking ban; In terms of products, beverage products such as Matcha xingbingle and season limited products have been strengthened; In retail, it has expanded a series of surrounding areas and sold coffee beans.
These combo punches let Starbucks firmly grasp the female consumers with female white-collar workers as the core.
In addition to the differences in customer groups, Starbucks has also made differences in store models. Let’s take a look at the comparison of prices and stores between Starbucks and Toronto:
First, the price. Starbucks’ average price of a cup of coffee is about 300 yen, 50% higher than Rodolfo; Per capita consumption is more than 500 yen, which is also 60% higher than rodoron.
The second is the store, which covers an area of 30-50 square meters. Starbucks has 20-30 seats and Rodolfo has 40-60 seats, twice the difference between the two. In terms of furnishings, the tables and chairs of rodolen are crowded, and there is only a small space gap between seats, which is relatively noisy. Customers generally leave after using up; But in Starbucks, customers can sit and enjoy coffee and spend their leisure time leisurely.
Rodolfo is more like a fast-food coffee shop that provides just in need, similar to KFC and McDonald’s. As a “gadget” of the city, Starbucks is a benchmark of youth, fashion and high quality. A Japanese retail expert said, “white-collar workers walked down the street with cups in their hands, which had a great impact on us. Coffee used to be drunk like this.”
Starbucks, which “adapts measures to local conditions”, not only has its sales revenue increased significantly, but also the number of stores is expanding rapidly. In 2003 alone, it opened 100 stores. By 2005, the total number of stores reached 551. Although there is a certain gap with the 1424 stores in rodoron, Starbucks, relying on its own efforts, overturned the industry trend that coffee must be sold at a low price, and cut a big cake by itself.
Why can Rodolfo and Starbucks succeed in the Japanese market in different ways?
Looking at the development history of Japanese coffee, it is not difficult to explain.
According to the analysis of CITIC Securities Coffee Industry Research Report, after decades of development, the Japanese coffee market can be roughly divided into four stages: luxury goods – Popularization – chain – aesthetics.
After World War II, Japan resumed importing coffee. At that time, the salary of college graduates was about 3000 yen / month, while the price of a cup of coffee was about 30 yen, which was a luxury.
Around the 1960s, the Japanese economy continued to grow at a high speed. Instant coffee and canned coffee entered Japanese families, and the national diet structure was also rapidly westernized. Under the dual effects of economy and culture, the import of coffee beans increased rapidly, and the coffee shop industry also saw a trend of opening shops. In the initial stage, it was mainly self-employed. Around 1970, coffee specialty stores and chain brands began to appear.
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Why not be afraid of Starbucks, the first brand of Japanese coffee?
1996年,罗多伦风头正盛之时,星巴克来了。日本时尚集团沙扎比联盟的创始人铃木陆三亲自写信邀请星巴克来日本开店。
但是面对铺天盖地的罗多伦和被其低廉价格宠坏的市场,即便是“大魔王”星巴克,也感到棘手。
在日本市场,廉价咖啡主导定价权。与罗多伦相比,星巴克的价格高到离谱,如果想实现门店、口感、服务等各方面价值,星巴克售价难以控制到和罗多伦相同的水准,翻台率也远低于罗多伦,外加当时日本没有外带咖啡的习惯,单店营收模型难以估算。
如何推进星巴克在日本落地,这成了难题。
不过很快,这个难题被铃木陆三一语道破。某日,他拿着星巴克的杯子,对当时星巴克日本市场负责人梅本龙夫说:“或者,星巴克所承载的不是咖啡,而是这个品牌背后所有让人向往的时间和空间。”
梅本龙夫带着团队做起了消费者调查,访谈中遮住星巴克的名称,尝试用文字描述店铺的空间,并让消费者基于对咖啡厅的想象给出一个可以接受的价格带。
调查结果发现,比起追求刚需咖啡的男性消费者,高达六成的女性消费者愿意支付高于罗多伦两倍的价格购买星巴克咖啡。
男女平权运动的推动,让进入职场的女性也需要自己的空间,星巴克看准了社会结构变化带来的红利。
为了匹配女性白领这一群体的需求,星巴克实施了一系列的本地化调整:在空间上,星巴克是日本第一家实现禁烟的咖啡厅;在产品上,加强了例如抹茶星冰乐、季节限定产品等饮料属性产品;在零售上,拓展了一系列周边并卖起了咖啡豆。
这些组合拳让星巴克牢牢把握住了以女性白领为核心的女性消费者。
除了客户群体的差异,星巴克在门店模式上也打出了差异化,来看看星巴克和多伦多价格和门店的对比:
首先是价格,星巴克平均一杯咖啡定价约300日元,比罗多伦高50%;人均消费超过500日元,也比罗多伦高60%。
其次是门店,一间占地为30-50平方米的店面,星巴克设有座位20-30个,罗多伦40-60个,二者相差一倍。在摆设上,罗多伦桌椅摆放拥挤,座位与座位之间只保有小空间的缝隙,比较嘈杂,顾客一般用完就走;但在星巴克,顾客可以坐着悠哉地享受咖啡、打发闲暇时光。
罗多伦更像是提供刚需的快餐式咖啡店,类似于肯德基、麦当劳。而星巴克作为城市“小道具”,是年轻、时尚、高品质的标杆。一位日本零售专家提到:“白领潇洒地拿着杯子走在街上,对我们产生了很大的冲击。咖啡原来还可以这么喝。”
“因地制宜”的星巴克不仅销售收入大幅度增长,店铺数量也在飞速扩张,仅2003年一年,就开了100家,到2005年,总店数达551家,虽与罗多伦的1424家有一定差距,但星巴克凭借一己之力,颠覆了咖啡必须卖低价的行业趋势,自己硬生生切出了一块大蛋糕。
为什么罗多伦和星巴克都能以不同的方式在日本市场获得成功?
纵观日本咖啡发展史,不难解释。
根据中信证券咖啡行业研究报告分析,经过几十年的发展,日本咖啡市场大致分为四个阶段:奢侈品-大众化-连锁化-美学化。
二战后,日本恢复咖啡进口,当时大学毕业生工资约3000日元/月,而一杯咖啡价格约30日元,属于奢侈品。
60年代左右,日本经济持续高速增长,速溶咖啡和罐装咖啡走入日本家庭,国民饮食结构也迅速西化,经济和文化的双重作用下,咖啡豆进口量快速提升,咖啡店行业也出现开店潮,初期主要是个体经营,到1970年前后,咖啡专卖店和连锁品牌开始出现。
从1966年到1981年,日本咖啡店数量从2.7万家增长到15.5万家,达到高峰,这一阶段咖啡店数量爆发式增长,但行业格局极为分散。罗多伦就是在开店潮末端出现的。
之后,咖啡行业进入连锁化阶段,泡沫经济时期日本地租飞涨,咖啡店开店成本陡增,90年代又受宏观经济影响,咖啡店数量萎缩,以罗多伦为代表的高性价比咖啡馆兴起。
90年代中下旬,星巴克这类海外连锁品牌的进入,这一阶段,咖啡店整体数量减少,而连锁品牌快速扩张,行业标准化程度和连锁化率同步提升。
2000年后,第三波咖啡浪潮兴起,专注于咖啡本身的独立咖啡店受到欢迎,受日本咖啡文化影响深远的蓝瓶咖啡、%Arabica等小规模美学咖啡连锁店建立了较强的受众认知。
2018年,罗多伦正式进入中国,将首店开在上海。作为日本咖啡第一品牌,来到中国之后,罗多伦发展却并不理想,始终没能走出上海。
尽管如此,罗多伦的发展历程以及商业模式,对于中国咖啡行业来讲,都有着巨大的借鉴价值,毕竟它是世界范围内为数不多的抵御住了星巴克的咖啡馆。
虽然相比罗多伦创立之时,中国的咖啡行业竞争惨烈得多,而且本土品牌已经没有了先发优势,但是在中国如此巨大的一个消费市场,不应该只出现瑞幸一个全国性的本土咖啡品牌。在未来,能否出现与星巴克分庭抗礼的线下场景模式的咖啡馆,我们拭目以待。
部分资料来源:

  • A century old history of coffee shops / Qicheng capital
  • The rise and fall of Rodolfo / business story, falling wood
  • “Freshly ground coffee enters the bonus period of circle expansion, when the stars shine” / CITIC Securities
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