China Food

Chengdu coffee, slowly replacing Shanghai



“ 
Function is the face of coffee, and aesthetics is the inside of coffee.
 ”

You may be tired of the idea of “new frontline”, but for Chengdu, “new frontline” is not a simple slogan.

In Chengdu, almost every year, a series of supporting policies aiming at new economic industries are introduced. The government not only provides entrepreneurs with the most cost-effective environment in terms of tax, rent and other hard cost interview charts, but also is willing to endorse emerging industries with the “city image” to help them step through the “most patience consuming” part of the industrial development process.

Take the controversial “blockchain” as an example. Known as the most voluminous High-tech Zone in Chengdu, as early as July 2017, it issued a policy that blockchain fintech enterprises can get subsidies of up to 5 million yuan; After the epidemic, the support has moved from “district” to “city”. Under the leadership of the SASAC of Sichuan Province, Chengdu proposed to “invest 10 billion to lay out the digital economy”. Three years ago, it was used to undertake the Longtan new economy industrial functional zone of “hammer technology” to undertake the blockchain Industrial Park, which is said to cover three quarters of the national computing power; In February this year, a new milestone was ushered in. Chengdu was successfully selected into the national blockchain innovation and application pilot list. The online information office of the municipal Party committee quickly followed up and issued the notice on soliciting comprehensive pilot application scenarios of national blockchain innovation and application in Chengdu, taking the lead in soliciting high-quality projects from the whole society

Similar tracks can be found in e-sports, live broadcasting, ACG, mobile games, robots and other tracks, which together constitute a radical urban style. Some people look down on this unreserved betting strategy, thinking that it is actually a continuous “thousand gold buying horse bone”, gambling heavily on “the volume brought by new industries”, which is still the same as the “online red city” in essence. Some people expressed understanding that they believed that in the traditional economic pattern formed based on geographical conditions, inland cities in theory had no room to “overtake” and needed to actively look for corners.

It is Chengdu’s dream to be on a par with the first tier cities. Before the words were coined by China business weekly, the local media in Chengdu had already called out “the fourth city” and “Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen”.

However, today, the industries that can help Chengdu to continue to create dreams are not those hard technologies that have been demonstrated countless times for their future potential, but “coffee” with a full sense of life.

The 2022 series of observations “the place of the” dead and alive “of enterprises under difficulties” is jointly planned by Sichuan, enterprise observer, titanium media and the industry’s we media Internet north, Chengdu real estate industry and hello Tianfu. Through objectively reflecting the challenges and opportunities in the market, it cooperates with the government and finance to help enterprises alleviate their difficulties and explore the bright future in economic development.

Old Chengdu

At 10 o’clock in the morning, I was standing at the gate of Chen coffee. At the beginning of July, Chengdu issued a series of high-temperature orange warnings. The maximum ground temperature exceeded 60 degrees Celsius. An aunt in a straw hat was cleaning up the oil left by a small restaurant 3 meters away from the street. Her friend suggested in a fierce voice: “hide in such a hot weather. People’s lives are kept until 3 p.m

The boss Chen Ermei, a post-90s native of Yibin, has been a barista since she graduated from university. Before the epidemic, she once became the head of a chain coffee shop. In the same period, when the industry’s average salary was about 3000 yuan, her income was nearly 6000 yuan. After the epidemic, according to the career plan of “boutique barista”, she joined a boutique coffee brand from Shanghai and got the opportunity to go to the headquarters for training. At the beginning of the year, with the support of his family, he came back with a plan to open a shop.

Because she hoped that the coffee shop would focus on the life atmosphere, she chose the Chenghua District as the opening area. In the early years, Chengdu was divided into Chengdu county and Huayang county. “Chenghua” means the junction of the two counties, which was the standard core area before the southward expansion of the city. Around the 1960s, Chenghua District became the main receiving place of the third line construction projects, accumulating a large number of steam industrial plants, red brick family quarters, and streets full of French Wutong trees. The younger generation of consumers have a special longing for “old”. The scornful term “East poverty” in the old Chengdu population has quietly become a rare wealth.

However, she soon found that “entering Chenghua” was actually a difficult thing, “because the old community involved housing to business, and it was impossible to get a (Catering) business license”. This rule makes many seemingly good locations meaningless. “For example, U37 (a cultural and creative park near Shuinianhe Road, Chenghua District), the catering stores that are still open now should all be licensed before 2019. Now the new stores are basically script killing, secret room escape and medieval stores.”

Some active old urban areas also show a clear industrial tendency, such as the memory of the eastern suburbs, known as Chengdu 798. After being handed over to Chengdu local enterprise Vatican cultural and creative for overall operation in 2021, it has embarked on the “trend wind”. The bar street once suffered a large-scale retreat, and has been replaced by drama theater, artist studio and artist training base, The most striking two high walls in the park are long-term contracted to Burberry for display advertising. It is said that in order to make the park have an industrial cluster effect, enterprises (businesses) entering the park are also set with an assessment threshold. For example, each team creates 10 million live e-commerce Gmv every year, which violently filters out the possibility of “accommodating small but beautiful”.

Therefore, the site selection was forced to continue for nearly two months, until a slipper shop that was subletting was found. The location of the slipper shop is not close to the punch in place of online celebrities, and there is no direct subway bus. The building age is generally more than 10 years, and the nearest business district, Mixc, is 1 km away. And because the area is no more than 10 square meters, it looks like a community concierge.

Fortunately, the lack of intuitive “business value” is not entirely a bad thing for “small shop owners”. For the convenience of residents in old communities and other reasons, the Chengdu municipal government has issued the policy of “three small operators”. Under the condition that relevant standards are met (for example, 50 meters away from primary and secondary kindergartens and 25 meters away from open public toilets), the catering business license is no longer strictly linked to hard indicators such as fixed business premises and housing area. Chen Ermei became a self-employed restaurant operator.

also

Chen Ermei has no specific evaluation on the effect of joint branding, but the development trajectory of the antique shop has indeed been partially projected on Chen coffee: less than half a month after its opening, customers have come to the store because of the punch in notes of “xiaohongshu” and “Dianping”; A Tiktok blogger named “a Rao every day” contributed the most “admirable name”. She took the initiative to find the store and shot a “daughter-in-law’s coffee shop” based on Chen Ermei’s story, which received more than 40000 likes; The new media “you Chengdu” under Chengdu Business Daily, which focuses on “Urban Aesthetics”, has created the second influence. They put Chen coffee in the topic “how wild is the location of Chengdu coffee shops”.

But the disadvantages of opening a shop in the old community are also very intuitive: the unconventional business environment attracts “individual consumers”, and individual consumption means “uncontrollable” and “subjective and diverse evaluation system”.

Once, a boy scolded at the door of the store for a long time because he was “scalded by hot American style”. Chen Ermei’s husband still feels aggrieved: “because it’s summer, and the best extraction temperature of American style is about 90 degrees Celsius. I have confirmed with him repeatedly and reminded him to pay attention to scalding when handing it to him.”

On another occasion, the hand-made cake sent by Chen Ermei’s friend was regarded as a single item for sale in the store by customers, and was written in a bad comment of the public comment, which roast that “the dessert ordered at the next table is too small” and “according to the weight here, Sam’s 88 yuan (Basque cake) can be cut into 10 pieces” – because this bad comment appeared more than 20 days after they opened, another orange V user added that “the price alone is somewhat dissuasive”, Their score was suddenly lowered to below 4 points.

I have some doubts that these two customers are from their competitors. An indirect proof is that the customer in the “bad cake review” recommended “sewing machine” and “dopamine” in two other coffee shops hundreds of meters away after repeatedly stressing that “products are king”. However, later I felt that these things were inevitable, because it was very difficult for Chen Ermei to enter the role of “operator”.

The first reason for Chen Ermei to open a shop is that she “doesn’t want to go to work again”, the second is that she “loves coffee”, and the third is that she “can meet all kinds of people”. The business philosophy comes from a book called “it’s like opening a small coffee shop” – the author Wang Sen’s core view is that “coffee shops must be small”, and the operator should make efforts to express that people need “coffee time”, We need to make people realize that “a moment’s rest and reverie should actually be an organic part of work” – the Chen Ermei couple further specified these theories: “it doesn’t need too many people. Just two or three customers can sit down and chat like friends.”

Under such a clear guiding ideology, their future planning almost stays at the level of “coffee culture” and “social relations”: for example, on the first anniversary of the store, they plan to organize guests to go back to Yibin’s hometown for camping and picnic, and the location is selected at a relative’s courtyard dam, which is close to the Jinsha River; It is also planned to add the flavor of hometown, such as crisp bone plum and Wuliangye, to the coffee to create a local flavor

Coffee brands in Shanghai have good reasons to move out. Under the control of the epidemic, shops are in short supply and labor costs are high. The new brand represented by manner coffee has offered ordinary baristas a monthly salary of more than 8000 yuan. The popularity of boutique coffee driven by blue bottle coffee has also made consumers “precocious” – in the relevant reports before the Q1 epidemic, the coffee market in Shanghai often showed an “oversaturated” state: when the per capita consumption is far lower than that in the developed market, it is said that the density has reached more than 5 per 100 meters, and it costs more than 10000 yuan to maintain green plants every month.


But where to move is a question. Few coffee upstarts who have become popular in the past two years come from the mainland. The media generally believe that this regional distribution is due to the influence of “Shanghai style culture”, and the expansion means that the business model needs to be rebuilt. The brand operation of a milk tea chain brand helped me further clarify the geographical scope, “the beverage market is no more than the Yellow River”. Almost all the head milk tea brands are trying to lay out coffee, and their new stores generally conform to the following characteristics: in southern cities, the average price is not more than 10 yuan, and they are open to franchising.

The homogeneous relocation strategy has also brought a direct impact. The “FMCG” product development has simplified the traditional consumption scenario of coffee, and the number of cups and the number of customers in the store have become the most important indicators in the operation. Compared with the theoretical expectation of “expanding the coffee market”, creating “a more cost-effective replacement” for the stock consumers has become the actual theme of industry competition. Cat Sister’s brand seems to conform to this trend.

Cat sister is the co-founder of a chain coffee brand in Shanghai. Last year, the company moved its headquarters through cooperation with relevant departments of the local government, and became a “Chengdu enterprise”. After the epidemic in Shanghai, it simply focused its future business on the southwest and South China, and Chengdu suddenly became a “business model room”, with stores in core business circles such as taiguli, Wangping street and Panzhihua Chenggang. Sister Mao and I made an appointment to meet at their product research and development laboratory near Tianfu Square.

The appearance of the laboratory is an independent coffee shop in the shared office park. A blackboard is used as a menu at the door. There is a barista in charge of more than 30 SKUs. The list price on the menu is between 9 yuan and 30 yuan. At present, it mainly focuses on takeout, and it can receive more than 200 orders in a working day.

The starting cost of opening such a store is about 300000 yuan, including brand management fee. I saw “La marzocco” on the bar and tried to search the same item with Taobao. The highest quotation exceeded six figures.

The laboratory is similar to the brand’s central kitchen. On average, new products are launched every month. The intensity of innovation promotion is at the upper middle level of the whole industry, and even higher than many milk tea brands. After the test, some of them will appear on the menu of the store.

whether the stores are franchised, affiliated or directly operated, they strictly implement the “strong control system of 100% brand participation management”, from site selection to decoration to Barista Training

“Study tour” is considered to be the most important part of Barista Training, and it is also a characteristic that is difficult to replicate in other cities. According to Gu Zongwei, a coffee maker at Zhihu, driven by exhibitions such as the international hotel supplies exhibition, peers from all over the country always gather in Shanghai for a period of time every year to “turn around all the good coffee shops in the urban area, and it is not too much to describe it as stepping on the threshold”, and exchange “the latest coffee information, the latest coffee equipment, and the latest supply of coffee bean raw materials”, “The general environment urges the whole market environment to become better.”.

(in March this year, Shanghai held a “strongest Coffee Festival in history”)

I asked sister Mao what are the advantages of Chengdu. Do you worry that Chengdu people are much more interested in “Sanhua tea” than “ice American style”. Moreover, many new first tier cities have launched their own “support policies”. By horizontal comparison, it is difficult to judge that Chengdu must be friendlier to “new brands” than Chongqing, Xi’an and Changsha.

Cat sister gave me a very philosophical answer: “coffee can let people fly for a short time.”

Sister Mao always believes that the core value of coffee is in the later stage. People’s intake of caffeine blocks the brain’s acceptance of adenosine and other signal substances, and fatigue will disappear briefly. The brain will also enter a period of excitement and activity. This function has brought the “early C and late a” culture popular in the urban workplace circle in recent years. According to the statistics released by Cushman & Wakefield in March this year, Chengdu is the second largest domestic city in terms of class A office building stock besides Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, reaching 2.7036 million square meters, and the vacancy rate of 12.8% is far lower than that of Xi’an (22.4%) — this data gives the coffee business enough “face”.

“Aesthetics” is the “lining” needed by the coffee business. Becoming a core consumer of coffee is the result of repeated training of taste. This long enough process has quietly completed the differentiation of “core consumer groups”, so that “functions bring orders and aesthetics bring loyalty”, and “rations” can only make business but not brands. Chengdu is also another big city outside Shanghai that promotes “lifestyle” as a city strategy.

Cat Sister therefore decided to keep some of her “feelings” in addition to “following the industry development trend”. In addition to finding franchisees with common ideas, they have been looking for suitable community stores for investment. Recently, a store that has been favored is near Fuzi street. The owner is a 60 year old aunt from Northeast China, who has made many special tunes in the name of “absurdity”. In the clocking records of xiaohongshu, aunts are often described as “very soulful”, wearing berets, leather jackets, jeans and thick soled outdoor boots. Many people “hope that they can live in this state at this stage”.

I am worried that this idea will make the “community coffee shop” more “voluminous”. I suspect that the next generation of consumers will not only demand taste, but also treat the shop as “content” and further demand “visual readability when drinking coffee”.

Sister cat shook her head. “Rolling is a good thing

Chengdu coffee, slowly replacing Shanghai


我在天眼查试着搜了一下,以过去一个自然年为度量,成都增加了797家以咖啡为名的注册企业。同期,北京的数据是343家。

新市场

上海的咖啡品牌们有充足的理由向外迁移。疫情管控,店铺紧俏,人力成本高,以Manner咖啡为代表的新品牌给普通咖啡师开出了超过8000元的月薪。蓝瓶咖啡带动的精品咖啡流行,又让消费者提前“早熟”——在Q1疫情之前的相关报道里,上海的咖啡市场就经常呈现出一种“过饱和”状态:在人均消费量远低于发达市场的情况下,据称密度已经达到了每100米超过5家,有店铺每个月光是在绿植养护就要花费过万。


但转移到哪里是个问题。近两年爆火的咖啡新贵们很少来自内地,媒体人通常认为这种区域分布的状态得益于“海派文化”的影响,外扩意味着需要重新搭建商业模式。一位某奶茶连锁品牌的品牌运营帮我进一步明确了地理范围,“饮品市场不过黄河”。几乎所有头部奶茶品牌都在试图布局咖啡,他们新开拓的店面普遍符合以下特征:在南方城市、平均价格不超过10元、开放加盟。


同质化的外迁策略又带来了直接的影响,“快消式”的产品开发简化了咖啡的传统消费场景,出杯量、门店客流量变成了经营中最重要的指标。相比于“做大咖啡市场”这个理论上的预期,为存量消费者们制造“更有性价比的平替”成为了事实上的行业竞争主题。猫姐的品牌看上去就很顺应这个趋势。


猫姐是上海某连锁咖啡品牌的联合创始人。去年通过与地方政府相关部门合作搬迁了总部,公司变成了一家“成都企业”。上海疫情后,又干脆将未来的业务重点放在了西南和华南,成都一下子又变成了“业务样板间”,门店开到了太古里、望平街、攀成钢等核心商圈。我和猫姐约在了他们设置在天府广场附近的产品研发实验室见面。


实验室外貌上是一间开在共享办公园区内的独立咖啡店,门口用一块黑板作为菜单。里面一位咖啡师忙前忙后,负责超过30个SKU。菜单上的标价在9块9到30元之间,目前主要以外卖为主,工作日一天能够接超过200单。


开这样一家店铺的启动成本在30万左右,包含品牌管理费。我在吧台上见到了“La Marzocco”,用淘宝试图简单搜了一下同款,最高报价超过6位数。


实验室类似于品牌的中央厨房,平均每个月都会推出新品,推新强度是整个行业的中上水平,甚至高于许多奶茶品牌。经过测试后,其中一部分会出现在门店的菜单上。


无论门店是加盟、联营还是直营,他们都严格执行“品牌100%参与管理的强管控体系”,从选址到装修再到咖啡师培训都被纳入到这个体系里,被36氪形容为“奶茶店模式卖咖啡”。猫姐认为这很重要,“有些店(状况)不好,归根结底就是人的问题。”


这里的“人”一部分指的是加盟商——最理想的情况下,加盟模式并不仅仅可以用来分摊风险、补充现金流,更重要的是能够帮助一些中小品牌补全“在地管理能力”——另一部分指的是“咖啡师”。


由于自动咖啡机的普及,咖啡师成为了一个典型的“门槛在山脚下”的职业,普通人经过一下午的培训就能上岗,进而造成了上面提到的行业内“普遍底薪”,以外带、外卖为主的“咖啡站”模式通常用兼职来补充常规生产力,时薪在18元到21元不等。星巴克数十年营造的“第三空间”理论,又捆绑着独立咖啡店们追求“坪效比”,从另一个角度给咖啡师们带来收入天花板。


甚至一定程度上,咖啡店的生产技能很容易被消费者掌握。一位生活在上海的朋友向我分享了她的口粮预算:一次采购咖啡豆半磅227g,价格大概是80块钱左右;按每次烹调取15g计算,总共能冲15杯,折合下来成本一杯5块钱。


“所以咖啡师是少有的,做五六年就很难再继续爬升的职业。”猫姐对这个职业窘境有清晰地认知,“所以想获得更高收入、对咖啡这件事有更多想法的人基本都去开店了,不会给你打工。”


作为应对策略,他们开设了自己的咖啡培训学校,人才培养周期被他们主动拉长到了7天。培训学校留在了上海,由猫姐的另一名合伙人亲自带队,后者是“中国最初的一批精品咖啡师”,整个过程类似于游学。


“游学”被认为是咖啡师培训最重要的一个环节,也是其他城市难以复制的特质。根据知乎上有位叫“做喝咖啡的顾宗威”答主的说法,在国际酒店用品展等展会的带动下,全国同行每年总会有一段时间聚集在上海,“把市区里面的好咖啡店全部转一遍,用踩破门槛形容一点不为过”,交流“最新的咖啡资讯、最新的咖啡设备、最新的咖啡豆原材料供应”,“大环境督促着整个市场环境变好”。


(今年3月,上海开过一场“史上最强咖啡节”)


我问猫姐,那成都的优势是什么,担不担心成都人对“三花茶”的兴趣远远大于“冰美式”。更何况众多新一线城市都推出了自己的“扶持政策”。横向对比,很难判断成都一定比重庆、西安、长沙在对待“新品牌”这件事上更友善。


猫姐给了我一个很哲学的回答:“咖啡能让人短暂地放飞自己。”


猫姐始终认为,咖啡的核心价值在后段。人们通过对咖啡因的摄入,阻断了大脑对腺苷等信号物质的接受,疲劳感会短暂消失,大脑还进入一段时间的兴奋活跃期。这个功能带来了近几年流行在都市职场圈里的“早C晚A”文化。在戴德梁行在今年3月发布的统计中,成都是北上广深之外,甲级写字楼存量第二多的国内城市,达到了270.36万平方米,并且12.8%的空置率远低于排名更靠前的西安(22.4%)——这个数据给足了咖啡生意需要的“面子”。


“审美”则是咖啡生意需要的“里子”。成为咖啡核心消费者是味觉反复训练的结果,这个跨度足够长的过程又悄然地完成了对“核心消费群体”的分化,以至于“功能带来订单量,审美带来忠诚度”,成为“口粮”只能做成生意做不成品牌——成都又刚好是上海之外,另一个把“生活方式”提升为城市战略的大城市。


猫姐因此决定在“顺从行业发展趋势”之外保留一些自己的“情怀”。除了寻找拥有共同理念的加盟商,他们一直在物色合适的社区店进行投资。最近被看好的一个店铺在福字街附近,老板是一位来自东北的60后阿姨,自制了很多以“荒诞”为名的特调。在小红书的打卡记录里,阿姨常常被形容为“很飒”,戴贝雷帽,穿皮夹克、牛仔裤、厚底户外靴,很多人“希望自己到这个阶段也可以活成这个状态”。


我担心这样的思路会不会让“社区咖啡店”变得“更卷”,疑心下一代消费者不仅会要求味觉,还会把店铺当做“内容”,进一步要求“喝咖啡时的视觉可读性”。


猫姐摇摇头,“卷是好事,起码对真正懂咖啡文化的人来说是好事。”


结语


8月的第一个周末,我再次拜访陈咖啡。在此之前的大半个月时间里,成都经历了一波较为严重的疫情,陈咖啡所在的成华区一度宣布实行静态管理,人们居家办公,每天每户只有2个小时的外出采购时间,饭店不允许堂食、外卖只能送到小区门口。


五冶家属区也在此期间对小区的各个入口进行修缮,之前居民们“钻来钻去”的铁门缝隙在多年之后终于被修补,上面被翻越的空间则用棉布和绿板挡上。从我下公交车的地方算去,前往咖啡店的路程几乎被迫延长了将近1公里。


陈咖啡的生意也变得不规律起来,8月3日解封后重新开张的那几天只能接到零星几单。我建议陈二妹开通外卖渠道,但她显得很犹豫,主要原因是“平台抽成太严重”。


可能她不需要太多建议。在朋友圈里,复业的陈二妹每天都在晒她的咖啡拉花、咖啡特调、手作烘焙,只有一条和咖啡店的商品无关,拍的是店铺对面的花坛、给花坛遮阴的大树,和挂在树梢旁的月亮,配文“快乐来自于过程,而不是因为你得到了你想要的东西。”

原标题:成都咖啡,缓缓取代上海丨指北观察室
作者:孟朝辉;来源:互联网指北(ID:hlwzhibei),转载已获得授权。

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