The gears of fate keep turning, the milk tea rivers and lakes are ushered in, and the "happy lemon" that once existed as a benchmark for milk tea brands in Chinese mainland is now disappearing in batches. Recently, the parent company of "Happy Lemon" announced that it has sold 70% of the equity of its subsidiary, Shanghai Xianjilin Catering Management Co., Ltd. ("Happy Lemon" is 100% controlled by Shanghai Xianqi Catering). At the same time, data shows that "Happy Lemon", which once opened more than 1000,<> stores around the world, has now closed more than <>% of its stores a year, and has successively withdrawn from first-tier cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

On November 11, a reporter from West China Metropolis Daily and Cover News inquired and found that in Chengdu, where milk tea consumption is hot, there are only two stores left for "Happy Lemon".

Why are these old Taiwanese bubble tea shops beginning to disappear? "Their decline is inevitable." Zhu Danpeng, an analyst of China's food industry, said that this is highlighting the acceleration of the innovation and upgrading iteration of new Chinese milk tea.

More than 60% of stores are closed in a year

Recently, the parent company of "Happy Lemon", Yaming Tiandi, announced that it has sold 70% of the shares of its subsidiary Shanghai Xianzhilin Catering Management Co., Ltd. for a sale amount of 11,2 US dollars (about 80,11 yuan), and "Happy Lemon" is currently 100% controlled by Shanghai Xianzhi Catering. In the future, "Happy Lemon" will develop under the brand licensing model, with agents responsible for brand management and business development, and the group's energy will be mainly focused on the United States and other overseas markets.

According to monitoring data, the number of "Happy Lemon" stores in China has decreased from about 2022 in 690 to 246 currently, and nearly 450 stores have been closed.
The reason for the closure of more than sixty percent of stores can also be found in the performance of its parent company. In 2022, the revenue of Yaming Tiandi will be about 1 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 81%; The net loss was about 45.6347 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 6%. In the first three quarters of 197, the company's revenue was 2023 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 1.34%.

Yaming Tiandi said in the financial report that due to the impact of the epidemic in the past two years and the intensification of competition in the industry, the company has continued to close loss-making stores, reduce its scale and adjust its strategy.
The reporter consulted Tianyancha data and found that 7 of the 6 companies invested by Shanghai Happy Lemon Catering Management Co., Ltd. have been cancelled, and only Chengdu Happy Lemon Catering Management Co., Ltd. remains.

Fans accuse Happy Lemon of "rotten"

Founded in 2006, "Happy Lemon" is the first brand to bring hand-cranked milk tea to Chinese mainland, and in 2009, it developed rock salt cheese milk tea, which is highly popular among "milk tea control". According to its official website, "Happy Lemon" has footprints in China, the United States, Canada, Australia, the Philippines and other places, and even opened stores on Costa Cruises, which has opened more than 2018,1000 stores as of <>.

But after 17 years of ups and downs, the milk tea rivers and lakes have already undergone earth-shaking changes.

On social media, netizens in Shijiazhuang, Jinan, Chongqing and other places posted that the local "Happy Lemon" stores were closed. The reporter checked the information of the closed stores mentioned by netizens in Dianping and saw that the relevant stores in Shijiazhuang and Jinan were temporarily suspended, and only one store in Chongqing was open.

"When I was a student, my favorite drink was 'Happy Lemon'." Some consumers say that now, compared with other brands, "Happy Lemon" not only has unstable quality control, but also slows down the speed of innovative products, so many consumers gradually stop patronizing it.

Some netizens also mentioned that the "Happy Lemon" stores near their homes have become Bawang Tea Queen. Some netizens even think that "Happy Lemon" is "rotten", "The best drink is still the menu from ten years ago, think about how to survive the competition." ”

How does Happy Lemon survive?

In recent years, new tea drinks have sprung up, including Heytea, Naixue, Mixue Bingcheng, Bawang Tea and other brands have occupied the attention of the consumer market, coupled with the emergence of various co-branded marketing, the price war is becoming more and more intense.

On the one hand, Wang Xiaokun, the founder of the new tea brand Tea Baidao, Liu Weihong and his wife, and Wang Bin, president of Sichuan Shuyi Catering Management Co., Ltd., appeared on this year's Hurun Report. On the other hand, traditional Taiwanese milk teas such as "Happy Lemon" and a little bit have gradually been "abandoned".

"Taiwanese milk tea entered the market in the 90s of the last century, but now, it is far from the mainstream consumer market." Talking about the loneliness of milk tea brands such as "Happy Lemon", Zhu Danpeng said that in terms of business philosophy, R&D team and market creativity, these brands can no longer match consumption upgrades, and their innovation and upgrading, iteration speed, and quality cannot keep up with the mainstream, which also reflects the changes in the consumption thinking and consumption behavior of the new generation.

Zhu Danpeng believes that the entire new Chinese milk tea track has entered a node of full competition, and it is also a node of a hundred flowers blooming and high-quality development. "I think that the 'players' of new Chinese milk tea, in addition to the head enterprises, other companies want to develop, or put innovation, upgrading and iteration in the most important part of their corporate strategy. After that, the integrity of the entire industrial chain, product innovation, service system upgrading, and customer stickiness strengthening are all important reasons for whether they can build a long-lasting business in the future. He said.

West China Metropolis Daily-Cover News Reporter Zhu Zhu