Reporter Yang Tianyue

After experiencing the price reduction of Heytea and Naixue one after another, Luckin and Kudi "fought a price war", and the ready-made beverage track was still lively. Recently, a cup of 40 yuan of freshly made yogurt has become popular and has harvested a large number of traffic and "fans". Freshly made yogurt has joined the ready-made beverage track as a "new force", reviving the financing boom and store opening wave similar to the early days of new tea drinks.

Industry analysts believe that the ready-made yogurt industry is currently in a period of rapid development, and the market pattern has not yet been fully determined. High-end positioning brings market opportunities to brands, but also puts forward higher requirements for product quality, food safety, service system, etc.

A cup of freshly made yogurt for 40 yuan became popular

On Tuesday evening, the Moyogurt store on the 5th floor of Xidan Joy City was crowded, mostly young white-collar workers. "I heard that you usually have to wait 40 minutes." After waiting for more than 20 minutes, citizen Xiao Wang left satisfiedly with yogurt. Judging from the public review information, the brand has recently opened many stores, and the popularity is not low, and many consumers even commented that "recreating the hot scene of Heytea back then".

The popularity of the store has been going on for months, and what really brought jasmine yogurt to the public's eye was a questionnaire survey released by its official WeChat public account. For the upcoming new Musang King durian milkshake to collect consumers' psychological prices, there are four options: 68 yuan, 88 yuan, 108 yuan and "I don't buy". The reporter noted that the voting activity has been stopped, but the amount of discussion it has triggered is still expanding.

Since last year, the prices of most of Heytea and Naixue's products have bid farewell to the "3" and turned to products in the range of 9 yuan to 19 yuan. This summer, Luckin and Couddy's "price war" even lowered the price range of freshly ground coffee to less than 10 yuan. While coffee and milk tea are "rolling" prices, freshly made yogurt is "out of the circle" due to high prices, which quickly attracts people's attention.

Most of these freshly made yogurt products are combined with fruits, nuts, cereals, etc., and they are ready to drink. The signature avocado yogurt shake of Mo yogurt is known as "add a whole avocado", K22 yogurt strawberry features "about 15 strawberries in a cup", and several popular Blueglass products are mainly selling points such as "using 100% organic ingredients" and "1000 billion active probiotics per cup". After "rolling" raw materials, the price of products also rises.

The reporter noted that the price of K22 four products is 18 yuan, the price of jasmine yogurt products is mainly concentrated between 20 yuan and 40 yuan, and the price of Blueglass is generally more than 35 yuan, which is called "Hermes in the yogurt industry" by some netizens on social platforms. Despite the high price, these "Internet celebrity" yogurt are quite loud. On a social platform, yogurt-related topics exceeded 400 million, and on a short video platform, many yogurt brand topics were viewed more than <> million. Freshly made yogurt has become the "new favorite" of afternoon tea for urban white-collar workers.

New growth points for capital entry into the industry

The once unknown freshly made yogurt suddenly became hot, and behind the rapid expansion of the new track was the continuous influx of capital hot money and the franchise effect brought by brand promotion operations.

Public information shows that Moyogurt opened its first store in Lingang, Shanghai in 2014, but it has been tepid. In 2019, it began to enter first-tier cities, and at the end of 2021, it opened up national brands to join, and then the brand began to accelerate its expansion. Last year, the number of stores in the country soared to 500, and it is said that it has exceeded <>,<> stores, and the official website even puts forward the goal of "committed to building the first listed yogurt beverage company".

Blueglass has experienced a similar pace of development. Tianyancha information shows that the brand was founded in 2012 and did not receive its first round of financing until 2020, the specific amount was not disclosed. In July 2021, the brand obtained more than 7 million yuan in Series B financing. The reporter's rough statistics found that at present, the number of stores in Beijing is not less than 2, and there are also layouts in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, and the number of stores nationwide is nearly 40.

In addition to the above-mentioned "Internet celebrity" brands, there are also a number of brands in the track that have been favored by capital. Lanxiong Fresh Milk, which originated in Beijing, received a Series A financing from IDG Capital in 2020. In March this year, the new brand Prince Forest, which has just been established for one year, received tens of millions of yuan angel round financing from Zhongpinshu Technology. In July this year, Limo Yogurt, which focuses on the concept of low fat and low calories, received a round of financing of 3 million yuan, and the investors were Luhai Investment and Jinyixin Investment.

Behind the "gold-absorbing" of the ready-made yogurt track is the increasingly hot consumer market. According to the "2021 Yogurt Consumption Trend Report", in the domestic dairy consumption market, fresh milk accounts for 86% of the types of dairy products that consumers like to buy, followed closely by yogurt, becoming one of the most sought after dairy categories.

High-end positioning should strictly control quality

After being "out of the circle" due to the high price, Moyogurt responded to the inquiry about consumers' psychological prices. It said that the questionnaire does not equal actual pricing, the pricing strategy is not high, and the company is still considering trade-offs. Some people in the industry believe that this self-directed and self-acted drama is also one of its marketing strategies. In fact, the brand has been hyped on social platforms this year, causing high-profile discussions and suspected scalpers to line up, all similar to the expansion route of the new tea brand.

According to food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng, after 2019, China's FMCG industry has split into different levels, and brands have selected different customer groups in the process of market differentiation. Different brands and positioning have different premium capabilities and pricing levels, and high-end brands do not target consumers who pursue high cost performance, but pay more attention to consumers' personal consumption experience and feelings. High-priced yogurt matches high-end positioning, opening up space for its profitability, but the market space is also relatively narrow.

"From the perspective of market economy, the strategies of these brands are also in line with commercial logic, but high-end positioning will continue to test product quality stability, food safety assurance, and service system matching while bringing market opportunities to brands." Zhu Danpeng said.

Recently, jasmine yogurt has been exposed by consumers, and some netizens have questioned that its milkshake raw materials use ice cream puree in addition to milk and fruit, including food additives such as glucose syrup and refined vegetable oil, and the product quality is inconsistent with the high price positioning. Blueglass was also picked up by netizens that the ingredients contained white sugar and ranked second, which conflicts with people's impression of low-calorie health and no burden.

In the answer to the joining question, Moyogurt also answered the question of the high price of its products, saying that it was based on the big data of consumption in the beverage industry, market research and comprehensive evaluation, and it was also a stage of high quality and high price gradually moving towards the development of the market. But many have questioned whether it is generally acceptable to mass consumers. "Whether the follow-up can maintain high growth depends on how the brand can ensure the stable operation of these links and maintain user stickiness." Zhu Danpeng said. (Source: Beijing Daily)