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.


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








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。




























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