Unexpected Crossovers and Co-brands—Shrewd Strategy to Attract Young Consumers
BY Jekyl HeSep 11, 2023


The young generation with robust consumption capacity has been gradually becoming the major force of the Chinese consumer market. Having grown up in the Internet era of information explosion, they are more open-minded and fond of novel things. In order to appeal to their attention, Chinese domestic brands carried out many unexpected cross-industry and co-branding initiatives. By venturing into new sectors and partnering with incredible brands, these brands aim to align themselves with the preferences and interests of the young consumer demographic.

  • Moutai’s co-brand with Luckin and crossovers to launch ice cream

One of the most noteworthy co-brands occurred on September 4, 2023, when Kweichow Moutai, a prominent Chinese baijiu giant, co-branded with Luckin Coffee, a leading Chinese coffee brand, to launch a Moutai-flavoured latte. Containing less than 0.5% 53-degree Moutai, this new offering is priced at CNY 38, but consumers can purchase at CNY 19 with coupons.

As a Chinese traditional liquor brand, Moutai’s unexpected cooperation with the coffee brand greatly captured the Chinese young generation’s interest. In the past, most young consumers in China were not able to afford it, but currently, they can have a coffee with Moutai with CNY19. This allows the brand to connect more young consumers and build up their acceptance of this flavour. According to Luckin’s official statistics, On the first day of product launch, the Moutai-flavoured latte sold 5.42 million plus cups, with sales value exceeding CNY 100 million.


Before the coffee product, the brand had also launched Moutai-flavoured ice-cream. In May 2022, Moutai unveiled three baijiu-infused ice cream with original, vanilla and green plum flavours under the cooperation with Mengniu. Ice cream is a favourable and affordable product for young consumers. With the roll-out of ice-cream products, Moutai realised brand rejuvenation and made it closer to young consumers. According to Moutai’s president, the annual sales volume of the baijiu-infused ice cream reached approximately 10 million cups. Within one year, three new flavours were added to the product landscape, and the brand continued to co-brand with ice cream brand Zhongjie 1946 in launching mini baijiu-infused ice cream in July 2023.


  • Mixue Bingcheng’s crossovers to animated cartoon and music festival

Additionally, not only the liquor brand traditionally targeting on middle and senior aged consumers eager to embrace the young generation, but also the ice-cream and tea brand originally close to young customers intend to draw more attention from them. Recently, Mixue Bingcheng filmed an animated cartoon with the brand’s own IP Snow King as the leading character, which narrated the Snow King’s adventurous journey to find the ice-ream sceptre stolen by the villain with the help of his friends. The well-crafted cartoon with humorous and relaxing content is flavoured by young consumers. Within 5 days of its release, it received over 3.6 million views on Bilibili, a well-known video website in China.


Mixue Bingcheng’s Own IP Snow King

Moreover, in May 2023, Mixue Bingcheng held a two-day music festival in Wuhan. The festival featured performances by renowned singers and bands, with tickets priced at an affordable CNY 199. Since the music festival is one of the young generation’s favourite activities, by organising it, Mixue Bingcheng can acquire considerable notice from young consumers and gain recognition among the fans of the performers. In addition, the festival site is also an excellent place for brand marketing. Promotional materials like logos, banners and tie-ins can be manufactured with brand-related elements to deepen the brand image among consumers. For instance, the 8-meter-high model of Snow King and the dancing Snow King doll at the festival captivated attendees and created a buzz on site.


  • Heytea’s co-brand with Fendi

Heytea, another tea brand in China, co-branded with luxury brand Fendi, in launching a special drink priced at CNY 19. The cup of the drink was in Fendi’s iconic yellow and printed with Fendi’s logo. Purchasing two cups of the co-branded product can be gifted a coaster or badge, as well as a handbag with Fendi’s English logo printed on it. As a luxury brand, Fendi is difficult for most young consumers to afford, but at present, they can purchase the co-brand product for only CNY 19. With the desire to obtain the first luxury item in life, numerous young consumers placed orders for this product. According to the public news, the speciality was sold out in many cities’ offline stores.


Based on the sales statistics of the brands’ unexpected co-brand and crossover products, and young consumers’ response towards these trans-industry initiatives, it is evident that these strategies effectively spark young consumers’ interest. In the future, more wonderful co-brands and crossovers are to be expected, as brands continue seeking innovative ways to engage young consumers.

**Disclaimer: The cover image and all images used in the article are from the Internet.

Jekyl He
ChemLinked Market Research Analyst
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