Heytea x Bearbrick partnership coincides with 12th anniversary

On 13 May, leading Chinese tea chain Heytea released its second “Cool Black” designer collaboration. Just over two years after its collaboration with street fashion guru Hiroshi Fujimoto’s FRAGMENT, Cool Black 2.0 is a co-branding with the collectible designer toy label Bearbrick (Be@rbrick).

The new co-branded tea uses Filipino pineapples with “sijichun” (四季春, lit. four seasons of spring) tea base, an oolong tea from Taiwan, to create a sweet and sour taste. However, for most, it will be the merch and gifts that draw them in. Apart from your standard exclusive cups, paper bags, insulated bags and sleeves, the highlight of this Heytea Bearbrick collaboration is, of course, Bearbrick pendants, magnets, water bottles, toy cups and toy suitcases. From 13 May on, 965 Heytea branches will have themed decorations and after 31 May, 25 themed stores will open across the country.

This partnership comes just after the tea chain celebrated its 12th anniversary between 4-10 May, giving away free tea drinks through quizzes and raffles. There are also buy-one-get-one-free vouchers given to offline customers in-store.

As expected, on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, the topic “Heytea Bearbrick collab” (#喜茶BEARBRICK联名#) with its 1.03 million views, has been completely overshadowed by the “Heytea free tea” (#喜茶免单#) topic about the anniversary raffle, which shot to number 3 on the Hot Search list with 5.82 million views.

The anniversary discounts put Heytea’s prices lower than Mixue Bingcheng, who are known to be an affordable brand. Indeed, Heytea’s gradual price drop since 2022 has been noted as a strategy to compete with the likes of Nayuki in expansion. With many competitors going public or announcing plans for it, Heytea is facing steep competition in China. Whether Heytea is adding pricing and promotion to creative collaborations as part of its strategy is worth watching.


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