Luckin’s Coconut Milk Latte victory: 3rd anniversary and renewed sales record

Key takeaways:

  • Luckin’s Coconut Milk Latte celebrates its third anniversary with co-branding efforts and fresh flavours that create excitement.
  • It has firmly grasped the minds of users by repeatedly making headlines and sparking discussions with its new product launches.
  • The success reflects Luckin Coffee’s branding strategy, emphasising IP co-branding and innovative product development.

In April, Luckin celebrated the third anniversary of its flagship product, the Coconut Milk Latte, surpassing sales of 700 million cups. In honour of its birthday, Luckin announced collaborations with singer Tengger and Pop Mart’s IP – THE MONSTERS (Elf Troupe), which has sparked a buzz among consumers.

The enduring popularity of Luckin’s Coconut Milk Latte in China’s coffee market is attributed to its distinctive marketing approach and efficient innovation methods. Let’s review its growth story.

Milestones of the Coconut Milk Latte

Luckin’s Coconut Milk Latte remains popular in China’s coffee market due to its unique marketing and innovative methods.

On 12 April 2021, Luckin launched the Coconut Milk Latte, which became a phenomenal product that was “sold out in 1 second” and “rushed on the whole network” as soon as it was launched. Introducing a new explosive addition to the Coconut Milk series every April has become a yearly tradition.

On 31 May the same year, to make it up to the regretful customers who couldn’t buy Coconut Milk Lattes, Luckin Coffee sent Lelush (利路修) to Hainan to pick coconuts. They also declared that “from this day forward, Coconut Milk Lattes will never go out of stock.”

On 11 April 2022, Luckin partnered with Coconut Palm Group Co. Ltd. to introduce the Coconut Cloud Latte, which quickly set off a check-in fever on social media platforms by virtue of the eye-catching “Coconut Tree Style” magical pattern on the cup sleeve and bag.

On 3 April 2023, for the drink’s second anniversary, Luckin invited the Rainbow Chamber Singers to sing a birthday song to commemorate the occasion and filmed a related commercial to wish everyone “Happy Coconut Milk” (pronounced similarly to “Happy Birthday”).

On 10 April 2023, Luckin collaborated with the endearing IP Doraemon to launch the Ice Suck Coconut Milk Latte, which once again set a sales record.

On 1 April this year, Luckin co-branded with Tengger to celebrate the Coconut Milk Latte’s 3rd anniversary and its milestone of surpassing 700 million cup sales. Tengger performed an exclusive custom birthday song, and a limited number of co-branded stickers were also released.

A week later on 8 April, Luckin announced its partnership with Pop Mart’s IP “THE MONSTERS” (Elf Troupe) to unveil a new limited edition Coconut Milk product – the Coconut King Latte, as part of the 3rd anniversary celebration.

New Coconut Milk Product Sparks Hot Topic

The latest addition, the Coconut King Latte, enhances the flavour profile by incorporating Coconut King Water sourced from Dannen Sado County, Thailand. Since its launch on 8 April, it has garnered over 5,600 notes on Xiaohongshu (RED) within a week, with the topic focusing on the discussion of taste evaluations, premium packaging, and comparisons with the original Coconut Milk Latte.

It is obvious that Luckin continues to use new product hype to stimulate users to spontaneously produce content, enriching the communication path between the brand and consumers. Celebrating the “Birthday of Coconut Milk” is one way of focusing on the output of creative content and dialogue with consumers, using the product’s anniversary as a time dimension.

Every year with the arrival of new Coconut Milk products, social media platforms buzz with discussions and comparisons among various “Coconut Milk” offerings. Such a heated topic naturally attracts more consumers who like the taste of Coconut Milk and inspires them to chase and buy new ones, and on the other hand, it also reignites interest in the classic Coconut Milk Latte, driving sales growth.

Victory Principle = IP Co-branding + Category Innovation

The hot topic boosts Coconut Milk lovers’ interest in trying new varieties while also reviving sales of the classic Coconut Milk Latte.

The growth trajectory of the Coconut Milk Latte can be attributed to two key elements: IP co-branding and category innovation.

IP collaborations help new products generate initial buzz and traffic, leveraging the product’s taste to sustain momentum and cultivate positive word-of-mouth. This creates a self-reinforcing cycle where increased attention drives sales, fuels trends, and stimulates further growth. This time, Luckin’s Coconut Milk Latte partnered with Pop Mart’s IP – THE MONSTERS (Elf Troupe), forming another interaction with trend-conscious young consumers. Purchasing any two cups earns a sticker, while retweeting relevant posts offers a chance to win a new series of blind box figures.

In terms of product innovation, industry reports highlight the data-driven approach behind the Coconut Milk Latte. At Luckin, each product undergoes a five-step incubation process: data analysis, menu management, research and development, testing, and optimisation. This ensures that products resonate with consumers, establishing them as industry leaders while minimising supply chain issues post-launch.