A new favourite for overworked and under-slept Chinese urbanites has been springing up in Chinese cities – the 1 litre iced Americano.
According to the Chinese news site CBNData, this unorthodox coffee choice has been accounting for up to half of all coffee orders in some shops. Local coffee outlets in Beijing, Shenzhen, Hefei, and Tangshan all adopted the trend around the same time, with some of the brands also releasing spin-offs like a 1 litre iced peach Americano and 1 litre iced orange Americano.
The 1 litre iced americano’s main draw is its price point. At 25-30 RMB (3.70-4.40 USD), the huge coffee is no more expensive than the average cappuccino or latte, giving it an unbeatable performance-to-price ratio – a key criterion for China’s savvy young consumers. The sheer size of the coffee also works as a great marketing tool with the visual impact of a “large bucket” coffee instantly grabbing customers’ attention.
Chinese netizens have affectionately branded the product “the elixir of life for workers”, as it is large enough to provide continuous caffeine boosts throughout the workday. The wave of 1 litre Americano is in part inspired by South Korea, where iced Americano is the nation’s favourite. Some Chinese netizens have noted how on a recent Korean reality TV show two cast members were shown walking in a snowstorm clutching the cold drink, attesting to their love of the beverage.
1 litre coffees might be the go-to for brands looking to boost sales during the spring and summer months. Some industry insiders report a low repurchase rate since the freshness of the drink declines over the course of the day and some customers simply can’t drink it all. Nevertheless, the novelty of the drink makes it a great option for generating footfall in smaller coffee outlets over the summer.