5 tips to market your beverage in China

yoghurt consumption China

Maybe owing to the unavailability of tap water in China, the fact to often buy beverages has always been a formality. Moreover, with so many sales points available (there is an average of three shops in 100 meters in big cities) they are contributing to meeting and driving demands. Drink consumption seems quite like an addiction nowadays. In November 2017, this market reached 2088 billion Yuan in China which increased by 10.4% year by year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. But that’s not all, the market is projected to keep growing in the next 5 years. Because of the high gross profit in the beverage industry, it’s also very attractive for investors.

Evolution of Chinese consumer’s choice

In account of the increasing income of Chinese people, these years and their confidence in this trend, their desire to consume, and their expectation for consumption are constantly growing. From that perspective, while the price for a made-on-site drink is higher than bottled drinks, it is welcoming a very fast growth stage.

Over the past 30 years, Milk tea (often called Bubble tea) became the most popular drink in China. However, this is a controversial drink because of its high sugar content and composition (especially for the cream inside and the « bubble » made of starch). In fact, even if it is still very popular, Milk tea is known as an unhealthy drink and people are trying to consume less.

The success of 喜茶 (Xi Cha) in China

Xi cha (Heekcaa or Heytea because they changed the name) is known for its good taste and quality tea, it’s a new fashion brand of milk tea. The average price for a drink is 25rmb, less than Starbucks which is almost 30-40 RMB. For the ones who are living in a first-tier city, this price is quite affordable.

Xi Cha got its name and its reputation from the joyful name given to each of its drinks, promoting self-improvement, and persistence, which attracts a lot of consumers ( «Xi » means joy and “cha” for tea). It is also known for its long (very long) queue time before getting a drink. It’s common to wait 1 or 2 hours in front of the shop, sometimes 3 to 4 hours! Even if there are some people saying that it’s not as tasty as rumors said, the retweeting of Xi Cha’s product on the internet is still very important. Xi Cha took the real name registration measure and limited the quantity to two cups for each person “in order to counter 黄牛huang Niu” (a person who bought drinks and then sell them at high prices).

Be part of this trendy market

More and more Chinese are in search of a healthy diet and choose to turn to fewer calories and more beneficial drinks. Amongst the different kinds of beverages, the healthier ones, vitamin functional, nutrient, and energy drinks such as red bull are about to become very successful in China.


A child-friendly drink brand from Austria since 1973. Natural mountain spring water, an easy-to-hold bottle in playful colors. They have different fruity fresh flavors and are significant with their unique twist opening. They are a family-owned company that produces over 50 million bottles of the popular kids’ drink each year.

GMA managed the Twist&Drink social media campaign



  • Account Setup
  • Content Promotion
  • Ads & Event Promotion


  • Subscription account
  • Service Account
  • Content Promotion
  • Interact with Customers
  • Promotion with WeChat Games
  • Promotion with Small Gifts

However, having just an idea is insufficient here. There are things about the Chinese market to notice to get profit from this market. Gentlemen Marketing Agency provides 5 advice to launch your beverage in China :

  • Traceability of the product

Play on your origin, especially for foreign brands. Chinese people are attracted by imported products (see articles here because often, “foreign product” means “better quality”. Owing to the different food scandals that happened in the past, nowadays Chinese customers care a lot about where the product is from. As it contains more transparent information, it reassures them. Nongfu Spring, an old water brand in China plays on this for its advertising.

  • The product testing

The best way is to organize, if it is possible, a free product test in a public spot. Let’s suppose that a Chinese customer who tried your drink and is satisfied, will be more tempted to buy it as he just participated in the test. Also, the presence of other people in that place would push him to buy, as the “other people’s look” is very important in China.

Moreover, we can see in China the fact of “group consumption”. Chinese consumers tend to follow the purchase of others. Let’s suppose again the event attracts a lot of people around, it would be sufficient if some of them start to buy to let the others engage.

  • Packaging and design

Take care of the appearance of the product. The market is already full of offers, so to attract the consumer’s eye, you should consider it. Chinese consumers are sensitive to appearance, and a good design can make a difference (even bringing tweets). For example, you can choose to go on a pure design strategy, because it changes from what they can see every day (including packaging with a lot of colors, brand representation, and a lot of information). Or you can add caring messages which could contribute to the added value of the product. The difference that you create from the other brands can be a real advantage for your product.

  • Take care of the brand reputation

The word of mouth is very powerful in China. This fact joins what we told in this article, Chinese people trust more others than the brand itself. Good quality products and bad ones are classified very quickly as the information is transmitted very fast. It is very difficult to deal with the brand image after it is done.

  • Web presence and e-commerce

Today, the Chinese are very active on the internet to get or share information. This is a quicker and more reliable method for them, instead of dealing with employees in shops. It is necessary to ensure an online presence to catch the market demands. In addition, as consumers see the brand, they will have more confidence in them. Different channels of sales should be considered.

Do you want to market your drink in China? In front of the large supplies available on the market, ensure your brand reputation and your online presence. Do not hesitate to contact Gentlemen Marketing Agency, a digital marketing specialist in china. Our team of experts will be able to guide you in your project development in China by building an adapted strategy for your brand in China.

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