How to Sell Energy Drink in China?

How to Sell and Where to Distribute your Energy Drink in China . The general improvement in the quality of life in China in recent years has led many people to start doing sport. More than a question of appearance, Chinese are becoming aware of the importance of keeping healthy body. During the effort, athletes don’t just drink water, but tend to favor nutritious and energizing drinks. Irecent years, the consumption of energy drinks has become more and more fashionable and appreciated.

The beverage market, which is already doing well enough (reaching almost 30% of average growth from 2010 to 2014), is opening new perspectives. According to Askci Consulting forecasts, the energy drinks market will continue to grow every year to a constant level, reaching sales in 2022 up to 680 billion yuan.

Energy Drink in China: communication is very important

In a society driven by the fast pace of growth of the country, active people seek to be effective during their daily life. Energy drinks advertising must meet this need to influence consumers to purchase:

Red Bull came to the Chinese market in 1995, offering a new brand concept: energy drinks. This difference in positioning has given him its success on the market, which has lasted more than 20 years. The promotion of this brand is based on its impactful publicity and its outstanding slogan “your capacity, is superior to what you can imagine” (since 2013) which is already very energizing.

In China Branding is everything. 

You should know some E-commerce platforms in China

First of all, to sell, you have to understand how consumers buy. Among the many e-commerce platforms in China, the best known are Taobao and Tianmao, both owned by Alibaba Group. What’s the difference?

Taobao (or Resellers on Taobao)

Taobao is the reference website in China for shopping even if today there are many other websites. There is almost everything on it: food, household products, clothes, accessories … and the number of choices for each item (often endless) reflects the success of this platform. Taobao allows merchants to have their online store without necessarily owning a website. These stores are ranked according to their quality level. From the highest level of trust to the lowest: 金冠 jin guan (gold crown), 皇冠 huang guan (crown), 钻石 zuang shi (diamond), 心 xin (heart). The status achieved depends heavily on the rating of the buyers.


TianMao aka Tmall arrived much later (10 years after Taobao), and the website started running in early 2014. TianMao is directly linked to Taobao, it is somehow a sub-platform. The biggest difference is that TianMao concentrates on more well-known brands, and therefore features on its platform these brands official stores. This fact reassures more consumers about the authenticity of the product.


Jingdong is the second marketplace in China. And it is a good platform to sell your Drink in China.


The number one Supermarket in China can be a good channel

Your Reputation online: the first step of the Digital Campaign

Let’s go back to our Energy Drink in China. Consumers went more intuitively on this type of website today than on the official websites of brands, which is why e-commerce is essential for selling in China.

What consumers are watching on the Chinese internet

We just saw that shops on Taobao are noted (same for another e-commerce website in general). This notation is decisive for the position during the search and sales. With an overflowing offer, poorly rated shops may not even have the opportunity to be seen by consumers. Because the price displayed on products is not always in agreement with their quality, consumers rely more on other consumers’ indication and pieces of advice:

  • The number of recently sold quantities: this is the number of previous orders. The more there is, the more that inspires trust.
  • The product description: there is a section under the picture of the product which is often very complete about the composition, the quantity, and the information relating to the product.
  • Comments from other buyers: unfortunately we can not always trust them either because it is possible (often) that a lot of comments are fake, written by people specially hired for that. It also works in the opposite direction. It is possible to hire people to write negative comments about the product (because of the competition).
  • Photos: it is probably the most telling indicator because often photos of the products do not at all account for the reality. (In the case of drinks, it may not be the most useful point …).

Social Media in China is perfect to reach Young Audience

If you want to reach Young and Dynamic Chinese consumers, Social Media is today a must for any Brand Communication.

You can also take a look at our guide for social-commerce in China.

Selling online is almost an art, you need solid knowledge (and plenty of time to get used to it). What is certain is that this channel is essential to start your business in China.

Chinese consumers are getting more and more into the habit of buying online because it is practical and even the delivery service is very fast! (about 2 days to receive your parcel). On the side of traders, this also saves investment costs and allows them to test their product first.

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Need help from a Smart Marketing Agency?

Need more advice on the Chinese F&B market?

  • Feel free to discuss your development project with Gentlemen Marketing Agency.
  • Our team consists of experts from China, who will guide you in the development of your project.
  • Contact us to get our new case studies about F&B and our White book to have a better understanding of the Market. 
  • We have more than 600 clients already and know what to do … (We worked with Red Bull) 

1 comment

  • The brand Red Bull is at the centre of a dispute between its Thai owners and a China-born business tycoon whose investments include Red Bull Brand

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