Moutai and Luckin cause a stir with unexpected collaboration

Luckin Coffee, best known for its low prices and hyper convenient collection service, is upgrading its brand image by collaborating with Moutai Kweichow, one of China’s top liquor brands.

According to unofficial images of the campaign circulating on social media, the exclusive co-branded “liquor latte” is set to drop on September 4.  Given the ongoing price war being waged in China’s coffee market, which has seen the average price of a cup of coffee plummet to 9.9 RMB (1.4 USD), consumers are curious as to how the campaign will strike the balance between premiumisation and remaining competitive.

The campaign has prompted jokes about the potential outcome of combining coffee and alcohol in one product, with remarks like “drunk and alert at the same time” and “can I drive a car after drinking this?” filling comments sections under relevant posts on Xiaohongshu and Weibo. Netizens also joked about Luckin’s penchant for boundary-pushing collaborations, coming up with their own predictions for the next collaboration, such as “Luckin x Chongqing hot pot soup base”.

While Luckin looks to add prestige to its brand image, Moutai hopes to connect more with younger consumers. The past 18 months have seen Moutai push alcohol-flavoured snacks to new limits, with the most notable example being Moutai Ice Cream launched in partnership with the dairy giant Mengniu in May 2022.

The upcoming collaboration with Luckin is reportedly not Moutai’s first experimentation with coffee. Since June, the brand has been testing the waters at its ice cream stores in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Chongqing, with online menus revealing a huge range of bubble tea and coffee, with the option of a 2ml Moutai add-on.


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