(Yicai) Sept. 18 -- The baijiu-filled chocolate liquors dreamed up by Kweichow Moutai, the world's most valuable distiller, and Mars-owned confectioner Dove sold out online within minutes and were out of stock at many physical stores after their launch on Sept. 16.
RT-Mart stores in Shanghai had sold 2,000 boxes of the Maoxiaoling chocolates as of noon yesterday, with half running out of stock, the Shanghai-based grocery firm told Yicai. The stores were hurrying to restock, with a reduced sugar version also on its way to the hypermarket chain's 26 locations in the city.
Each chocolate weighs 10 grams and contains 2 grams of Kweichow Moutai's baijiu, which is 53 percent alcohol by volume. Baijiu is a traditional Chinese fiery liquor made from sorghum and grains such as wheat, barley, or rice.
Baijiu makers are taking steps to attract more young consumers as alcohol preferences undergo a generational shift in China. Co-branding became a trend in 2016 when baijiu distiller Luzhou Laojiao came out with liquor-infused chocolate, ice cream, milk tea, and perfume, with the last becoming a smash hit.
The baijiu-laced lattes that Kweichow Moutai and Luckin Coffee debuted on Sept. 4 also quickly ran out. The product was gradually restocked at some of Luckin’s cafes in China on Sept. 10, with nationwide supplies to resume tomorrow, the Xiamen-based firm said on Sept. 11.
Ice cream, coffee, and chocolate have added to the ways that baijiu can be consumed, but not all liquor brands are suited to this kind of collaboration, an insider at one maker told Yicai. Brands can benefit from cooperating with Kweichow Moutai because its liquor has a certain rarity and luxury, but the Zunyi-based company may not always profit from such tie-ups, the person noted.
The unique taste of Kweichow Moutai liquor is its core competitiveness, according to a senior liquor dealer. Older people tend to order it in for banquets and business dinners as the pricey tipple has cachet, the person said.
But the short-term consumption fad among the young will fade, the dealer pointed out, adding that the young will not have any special preference for high-end baijiu such as Kweichow Moutai.
Editors: Shi Yi, Martin Kadiev