Pretty in pink: Barbie comes to tea with Hey Tea 

Leading Chinese tea chain Hey Tea has joined hands with Barbie with a collaborative oolong tea. Like most recent co-branding efforts, the tea comes with exclusive co-branded cups, bags and gifts, including diffuser cards and a badge with a pink version of the Hey Tea logo with an added ponytail. As one may expect, these items draw more attention than the tea itself. However, customers need to buy a two-tea set menu from Hey Tea’s WeChat mini program to get a gift and they are only available on the first two days of launch.

The crossover comes following Hey Tea’s disclosure of its ingredients calling for transparency in the tea industry. Unsurprisingly, full disclosure was given to ingredients in this Barbie co-branded oolong. Shui Xian oolong tea leaves from Fujian and Hey Tea’s proprietary high-protein milk are among the disclosed ingredients.

Hey Tea put out a teaser topic “#喜茶和芭比联名了#” (#heyteacollaborateswithbarbie) before unveiling the crossover. The hashtag gained 69.38 million views, ranking no. 18 on the Hot Search list on Weibo. On October 30th, the launch day, Hey Tea changed its Weibo profile banner to a pink version with a ponytail. The subsequent topics “#喜茶芭比粉#” (#heyteabarbiepink) and “#喜茶芭比联名#” (#heyteabarbiecollaboration) got 2 million and just over 1 million views respectively. Reposting the hashtag #喜茶芭比粉# will entitle users to enter a prize draw for one set of tea and gifts. For the occasion, Hey Tea also launched a livestream on Douyin named “Barbie Pink”.

With blockbusting collaborations like Luckin x Moutai and internet sensations such as Hey Tea’s own crossover with Fendi, co-branding remains a powerful drive for tea and coffee brands.


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