March China Buzzwords | Coffee, Tulips, 315 and The Layoffs

We believe that the key to connect with your ideal Chinese consumers is to understand the world they are living in and what they are talking about. Each month Double V. summarizes the buzzwords from major social media in China. We are your eyes and ears to understand the daily life of Chinese consumers. Subscribe us for first-hand information about Chinese consumers and China social media.


Coffee ☕️

Baidu Index of Coffee☕️ over the past 90 days


#Luckin Coffee

Luckin Coffee announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 financial results on March 24. Luckin’s net income in the fourth quarter was 2.4327 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 80.7%. The average monthly number of transaction customers reached 16.23 million, with a year-on-year increase of 67.1%. Same-store sales of self-operated stores increased by 43.6% year-on-year. In the fourth quarter, Starbucks' same-store sales in China fell 14% year-on-year. Now Luckin Coffee is taking over the baton from Starbucks and continues to cultivate the coffee consumption habits of more young people in China.


#City of Coffee: Shanghai

In March this year, COVID-19 broke out in Shanghai. The city conducts lockdown management. A netizen on Weibo, @千金金金金不换 published a post which soon went viral. It gained a total of 487k engagements. Under this post, it even attracted the official accounts of brands such as Starbucks and Luckin Coffee to comment.


Shanghai has the highest number of cafes per capita in the world, surpassing Paris, Rome and New York. In February this year, Blue Bottle's first store in China opened in Shanghai. On the opening day, consumers queued for up to 8 hours to get a cup of coffee.



Tulips🌷

Baidu Index of Tulips🌷 over the past 90 days


Cherry blossoms and peach blossoms used to dominate China's spring, but this spring, tulips are the most popular spring element on Chinese social media. Currently on Xiaohongshu, Tulip has collected 640,000 notes. In addition to buying tulip flowers, female consumers have also begun to pursue various products containing tulip elements, tulip jewelry, tulip cakes, tulip wallpapers, and even tulip makeup inspiration.



The 3.15 Gala 🚨

Baidu Index of 315🚨 over the past 90 days


World Consumer Rights Day, celebrated on March 15 every year, is a global event that aims to raise awareness about consumer rights and needs.

In China, it has become a national event. The China National Televisions, together with the government departments, co-hosts and broadcasts the gala on the evening of March 15 every year. It will focus on exposing a number of irregular consumption phenomena. The 3.15 Gala has become a symbol, the focus of public opinion of hundreds of millions of consumers, and an important force for the relevant ministries and commissions of the country to regulate the consumer market. The gala has been held since 1991, and it has been more than 30 years.


#Pickled Cabbage

This year, the most discussed case is the Pickled Cabbage (老坛酸菜). Pickled cabbage is a flavored food widely used in Chinese cuisine, a fermented vegetable similar to pickle. In China, one of the best-selling instant noodles is Beef Noodles with Pickled Cabbage from brand Master Kong. At this 3.15 Gala, it was revealed that the production of pickled cabbage did not meet the hygiene standards.


Bilibili’s creators captured the trend quickly. The videos containing Pickled Cabbage (老坛酸菜) can obtain up to 6 million views. Below are the most popular videos on Bilibili. We have also provide course for Bilibili marketing. Click here to enroll now!



#The Pre-cook Food

After the news broke, there was an uproar in public opinion. Consumers have expressed that they will no longer purchase the Pickled Cabbage beef noodle products. According to industry data, the sales growth rate of instant noodle products in China has been declining over years. Instant noodles are not the only choice for Chinese consumers. Fresher and healthier fast food such as pre-made dishes, low oil and low salt have become the new favorites of consumers.


In our previous report, we analyzed the successful secrets of some emerging brands in F&B industry. Click here to free download full report.



#Overseas brands pointed out by the 3.15 Gala

China's consumer market is becoming more and more standardized, and the import and export of products, product quality, after-sales service, and advertising laws are all subject to stricter management. We recommend our clients to understand the ever-changing market rules in China to avoid potential risks in advance.



Saving Money💰

Baidu Index of Layoffs over the past 90 days


#Layoffs

In Q1 of 2022, Internet giants Alibaba, Tencent, Didi, JD.com, and Bilibili have successively announced large layoffs of more than 20% of employees.

#Price Reduction

Brands also take the initiative to explore the market beside 1-tier cities, due to the pressure of sales. For example, both Heytea and Nayuki’s Tea have cut prices. Heytea promises that all their drinks will be reduced to less than 30 yuan RMB; NEIWAI, the underwear brand, which is positioned as a premium and high-end brand, officially launched in Pinduoduo in March, an e-commerce platform where targeting on small-town and rural markets, where the most Chinese population live.

#Saving Money

Anxiety about the economy has led to a "money saving" craze among consumers, and the pursuit for cost-effective has become a trend on social media. On Xiaohongshu, there are more than 800,000 notes on best deals. You can find many notes about such topics - #500 yuan spending for a month, #pingduoduo good things collection #1688 supply (note: 1688 is a B2B e-commerce marketplace under Alibaba, known for its factory prices).

#Luxury Market

On the one hand, China's luxury sales hit a new high, on the other hand, it was a crazy spread of budget shopping tips. The differentiation of Chinese consumers is becoming more and more obvious. Brands need more refined operations in channel distribution and content selection to find the most suitable consumer group for you.



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