In a crossover that has become the talk of the town, Chinese liquor brand Kweichow Moutai teamed up with chocolate brand Dove to roll out wine-filled chocolates on September 16. The new product became such a sensation overnight that its stock vanished from official online platforms.
Due to the overwhelming demand, some buyers resorted to unofficial platforms like JD.com, Pinduoduo, and Xianyu, where the chocolates were being sold at exorbitant prices, marked up by 60% to 150%. In response to this situation, Moutai made an urgent call for “rational consumption”. They asked consumers to be cautious and purchase only through official channels. The company also assured that production for the wine-filled chocolates has been expedited and they will be restocked across various channels soon.
Some netizens hypothesized that the limited availability was a tactic of “deliberate hunger marketing”. Dove, however, countered this claim, attributing the scarcity to an unexpected demand surge and initial production constraints. They emphasised that the chocolates were not limited edition and discouraged consumers from buying at elevated prices on unofficial platforms.
Moutai has been rolling out so many collaborations recently, including one with Luckin Coffee, that netizens began joking that Moutai is almost turning itself into cooking wine that can be added to anything. The hashtag “Moutai is almost playing itself like cooking wine” reached the top position on Weibo’s hot search list, with 190 million views and 106,000 interactions.
Behind the phenomenon, industry insiders suggest that there’s a strategic play at hand. By leveraging Moutai’s powerful branding in a cooling chocolate market, Dove might be aiming to rekindle its prominence in China.
All in all, the Moutai-Dove collaboration underscores the potential of brand partnerships in generating buzz and tapping into new market segments. However, it’s equally critical for brands to ensure product availability to meet demand and manage consumer perceptions, ensuring short-term hype is converted into long-term loyalty.