China Food

Luzhou Laojiao can’t break the “three walls” built by itself

“ 
obsession is too deep, and eventually becomes a magic barrier.
 ”
Whether young people like to drink Baijiu or not can not stop the polarization of the whole Baijiu industry.
In the first half of this year, the revenue and profit growth of listed liquor companies showed a significant slowdown compared with the same period last year. Moreover, the semi annual reports of 10 liquor circulation enterprises also show that most of the revenue of liquor channels in the first half of this year did not achieve good results. To be precise, it was “generally negative growth”.
On the other hand, the leading liquor enterprises are the strong ones. According to relevant media, the revenue of the top five “maowuyang fenlu” reached 144.745 billion yuan, with a net profit of 62.331 billion yuan, accounting for about 80% and 89% of the 19 listed companies respectively.
The “top five” originally means a higher market position, not to mention a bright “battle report” to show strength. Take Luzhou Laojiao as an example. In the first half of 2022, it achieved a revenue of about 11.664 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 25.19%, and a net profit of about 5.532 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 30.89%. It is a gratifying report card.
But the problem is that if the market competition does not advance, it will fall back. Luzhou Laojiao, which once ranked third in the industry, is even more eager to regain its former glory. How can it be willing to stay in the fifth place?
However, the “cruel story” of the industry is that Luzhou Laojiao has always wanted to “return to the top three”. It has struggled for seven years, but the distance is getting farther and farther, as if it is an unreachable illusion.

Three defeats and retreat from the high-end market

As early as 2015, Liu Miao, the new commander of Luzhou Laojiao, shouted the slogan of “returning to the top three”.
In the annual report of the second year, Luzhou Laojiao clearly proposed the strategic goal of returning to the top three in the industry by the end of the 13th five year plan. In order to achieve this goal, the management also “put forward higher requirements for the competitiveness of the company in terms of innovation ability, brand building and management efficiency”.
The objectives and requirements are gradually clarified. Next, we need to see the implementation and result feedback.
One achievement that attracted attention was that Luzhou Laojiao narrowed the gap with Yanghe shares during the 13th Five Year Plan period. In 2016, Luzhou Laojiao’s revenue was 8.627 billion yuan, compared with 17.183 billion yuan for Yanghe shares, with a gap of 8.556 billion yuan; By 2020, Luzhou Laojiao’s revenue will increase to 16.653 billion yuan, while Yanghe’s revenue will reach 21.101 billion yuan, with a gap of only 4.448 billion yuan.
Perhaps in order to always cheer himself up, Liu Miao did not mention “returning to the top three” during the 13th five year plan, and tried to lead Luzhou Laojiao to break through, but the final result was not satisfactory.
In 2020, the end of the 13th five year plan, Luzhou Laojiao’s revenue and net profit can only rank fourth in the industry, and the dream has not been realized.
Even so, “returning to the top three” is still Lu
However, last year, the “other liquor” sector was deeply impacted, with sales falling by 52%. The media called Luzhou Laojiao “low-end liquor lost its whole line” and “almost collapsed”.
This is not a problem for the Luzhou Laojiao family. In fact, the middle and high-end Baijiu with stronger social and gift attributes has become the main revenue force of the whole Baijiu industry, while the performance of low-end liquor has been relatively sluggish both last year and the first half of this year.
The reason is that the containment of the epidemic is obvious. A Baijiu dealer disclosed to Caijing that due to the impact of the epidemic, consumer demand for marriage and other things shrank in the first half of this year, affecting low-end Baijiu consumption.
However, the loss of Luzhou Laojiao low-end liquor can not completely “throw the pot” to the epidemic, and its own problems have a great impact.
In 2022, the “new national standard” of Baijiu will be fully implemented, and flavored Baijiu, including edible alcohol blended liquor, will be defined as prepared liquor and kicked out of the Baijiu category. Under this requirement, Luzhou Laojiao’s low-end liquor “Erqu” was just among those excluded, so it had to stop production last year.
In 2021, the total revenue of Luzhou Laojiao’s “other wines” including touqu and Erqu was about 2 billion yuan, 200 million yuan less than the previous year. Low end Baijiu is a red sea of struggle among liquor enterprises. The concentration of Cr3 in the market is only 12%. It is not easy for even famous brands to compete for the market in this field. The loss of 200 million market shares is not small.
Faced with the dilemma of low-end liquor, Luzhou Laojiao rearranged its layout in 2021, launching “Luzhou Laojiao 1952” which is positioned at the secondary high-end and “black cap” which is positioned at the middle and low-end of light bottle liquor (meaning that you can directly see wine bottles without packaging boxes).
Luzhou Laojiao has high hopes for these two products. It hopes that the former will “take on the mission of leading the revival of Luzhou Laojiao’s series of brands from the perspective of price and image”, and the latter will become a “cash cow”, which claims to achieve a “black cover” with cumulative sales of 10 billion in three years.
From the analysis of the industry and its own situation, we can find that the above “high hopes” are difficult to achieve.

As far as Luzhou Laojiao 1952 is concerned, the development resistance is large, first of all, because of the impact of the epidemic on the consumption demand of secondary high-end Baijiu; Secondly, the secondary high-end Baijiu racing track is dominated by regions, such as Langjiu in Sichuan Province, Jiugui Liquor in Hunan Province, Xijiu in Guizhou Province, etc. most of them rely on liquor enterprises to radiate from the “main position” to open up the market. Luzhou Laojiao needs to be cultivated for a long time if it wants to get a piece of the market, and it can not start quickly.

In terms of “black cover”, Luzhou Laojiao priced 98 yuan as soon as it sold, almost reaching the ceiling of the current price of bare bottles of wine, and the persuasion index is quite high.
This is because the price of middle and low-end Baijiu is mostly lower than 50 yuan / 500ml, and the price of low-end liquor is even lower than 20 yuan. In this price band, low – and middle-income groups and urban migrant workers constitute the main consumer groups.
Moreover, in the current economic situation, the difficulty of making money and the price sensitivity have greatly increased. How many people need to buy the 98 yuan bottle of wine to sell 10 billion yuan in three years?
Luzhou Laojiao hopes to “innovate products, constantly explore new models and achieve new breakthroughs”, but at least it has not yet achieved this goal.
Perhaps Luzhou Laojiao needs to be more pragmatic in the face of the increasingly fierce competition for the “top three”. While continuing to compete for the high-end liquor market, efforts should be made to cultivate sub high-end, middle and low-end products, so as to increase both quantity and quality, instead of being led by the idea of “top three” or “returning to the value of Chinese famous liquor”.
Recognize the reality and give up fantasy. The glory of the past is both a capital and a shackle. If an old brand wants to win a new market, it should not only focus on what it had in the past, but also understand what the market lacks now.
Author: Xu Yunliu; Source: new entropy (ID: baoliaohui), reprinted with authorization. Reprint authorization and media cooperation: Jennifer (wechat: 15151447934);
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Luzhou Laojiao can’t break the “three walls” built by itself
2022年,白酒“新国标”全面实施,包括食用酒精勾兑酒在内的调香型白酒被定义为配制酒,被踢出白酒品类。在这一要求下,泸州老窖的低端酒“二曲”恰在剔出之列,只得于去年停产。
2021年,泸州老窖包括头曲、二曲在内的“其他酒类”合计营收约20亿元,比上一年少了2亿元。低端白酒是酒企缠斗的一片红海,市场CR3集中度只有12%,即使是品牌名酒,要在这个领域争夺市场,也绝非易事。2亿市场份额的丢失,损失不可谓不小。
面对低端酒困境,2021年泸州老窖重新布局,推出定位次高端的“泸州老窖1952”和定位中低端的光瓶酒(指没有包装盒,直接能看到酒瓶)“黑盖”。
对于这两款产品,泸州老窖都寄予厚望,希望前者“以价格和形象高度担负起引领泸州老窖系列品牌复兴的使命”,后者成为“现金奶牛”,号称要实现“黑盖”三年累计销售100亿。
可从行业和自身状况分析便会发现,上述“厚望”皆难以落地。
就“泸州老窖1952”而言,发展阻力较大首先是因为疫情对次高端白酒消费需求的冲击;其次,次高端白酒赛道主要是区域为王,比如四川的郎酒、湖南的酒鬼酒、贵州的习酒等,大多依靠酒企从“主阵地”向外辐射打开市场,泸州老窖要想分一杯羹,还得长期培育,无法快速起量。
就“黑盖”而言,泸州老窖一出手就定价98元,差不多直抵目前光瓶酒价格的天花板,劝退指数相当高。
这是因为,中低端白酒的价格多低于50元/500ml,低端酒价格更是在20元以下。在此价格带,中低收入群体和城镇外来务工人员构成了主要的消费人群。
而且,在如今的经济形势下,赚钱难度和价格敏感度大大增加,98元的光瓶酒需要多少人买账,才能三年狂销百亿?
在“黑盖”发布会上,泸州老窖销售公司总经理张彪表示:“泸州老窖的持续发展壮大,不仅要保持头部和腰部的领先,也要不断夯实塔基,深耕大众消费市场。”
对于大众消费市场,“深耕”当然有必要,但在此之前,更重要的还得是深度洞察。
品牌老化,需要解放思想
中高端酒、低端酒均遭遇严峻挑战,2022年半年度董事会经营评述中,泸州老窖表示要“坚定走‘回归中华名酒价值’的发展道路”。
作为行业内唯一蝉联五届“中国名酒”称号的浓香型白酒,泸州老窖确实有其底气。
只是事物往往有两面性,在酒业分析师蔡学飞看来,泸州老窖作为老牌名酒,已然面临着品牌老化的问题。
“品牌老化”不是说品牌成立时间太长,而是影响消费群体尤其是年轻消费群体的能力不如从前强势。这一点,其实也是泸州老窖无法坐稳行业第三、甚至守住第四都吃力的原因之一。
当然,对于更新品牌形象,提升影响消费决策的能力,泸州老窖和其他头部酒企一样,也做出了相关努力尝试。
茅台大力推进冰淇淋业务,汾酒打造酒心巧克力,洋河股份开卖盲盒雪糕,本质上都是希望能吸引年轻消费群体,提升自身在年轻人中的影响力和消费粘性。
而泸州老窖的策略是“广撒网”,先是力推冰饮白酒。
早在2009年,国窖1573就试图用“白酒冰着喝”的卖点来吸引消费者,但马上被质疑是营销噱头,这一策略遭到了“雪藏”;近几年,“冰饮白酒”的概念再度得到聚焦,还和快闪店、微电影等营销联动,只是对年轻消费者究竟有多大吸引力犹未可知。
其次,泸州老窖四面出击,面膜、雪糕、定制香水、酒心巧克力、奶茶等年轻人喜欢的品类,都有其身影所在。在酒类产品方面,也推出果酒、预调酒、鸡尾酒,同样是想获得年轻人的青睐。
动作不少,却都没有闹出什么动静,泸州老窖希望“创新产品不断探索新模式,实现新突破”,然而至少目前还没有达成。
或许面对愈演愈烈的“前三”争夺战,泸州老窖需要更务实一些。继续争夺高端酒市场的同时,努力培育次高端、中低端产品,量质齐升,而不是被“前三”或者“回归中华名酒价值”的执念牵着走。
认清现实,放弃幻想,昔日的荣光既是本钱又是枷锁,老品牌想要赢得新市场,不能只着眼过去自己有什么,更应该弄明白现在市场缺什么。
者:徐云流 ;来源:新熵(ID:baoliaohui),转载已获得授权。
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