“Chinese Coke” is resurrected, but it won’t be Coke that can beat Coca-Pepsi

Very Coke, the Chinese's own Coke.

People who remember this advertisement are not young anymore.

In 1998, Wahaha raised the menacing national industrial banner and launched the smash hit Very Coke.

At that time, many people joked:

Very coke, very ridiculous.
Very coke, must die.

However, this new product, which is called "Chinese Cola", had an annual sales volume of more than 2 billion at its peak, and it was once a triad with Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

But it was still only a smash hit, and very cola gradually faded out of the beverage market after a short period of time.

Now, Wahaha rushed up again with a brand new Very Coke.

"Chinese Coke" is resurrected?

Except the name is still very cola, everything else has changed.

Last week, Very Cola launched a series of new products. In order to get closer to young consumers who are now health-conscious, its first step is to position itself as "sugar-free."

The drinks are divided into 4 flavors: ginseng, oil orange, plum, and original flavor.

The first taste of ginseng looks very healthy and is suitable for workers who stay up late to burn their brains. The second taste of citrus fruit must fit the citrus tea that has caused a craze a while ago. The third taste of plum tastes, and it sounds like It's a bit of Chinese New Year's goods.

It looks like a fusion of old and new.

On September 27, Wahaha also posted a topic on Weibo-#中国人的可乐应是什么味的#, indicating that what to drink is determined by everyone’s vote, including ginseng, hawthorn, passion fruit, plum, ginger juice, 7 flavors including coriander and oil tangerine.

Wahaha also launched the top three ginseng, oil tangerine, and plum as scheduled. These four flavors are likely to be seen in the future.

The packaging of the new product also conforms to the prevailing national style, and the bottle has various national style patterns.

In the past, Very Coke was always a festive Chinese red. The Chinese red was quite festive, but it was also dubbed as a "pirated version" of Coca-Cola.

Now, its bottle body still has some red elements, but the new product color has become golden-this color, I am afraid that not only the Chinese people like it, but the world likes it.

In fact, Very Coke has not really "disappeared", but has gradually faded out of the consumer's vision, and the first-tier cities have not even been seen at all.

Last month, Very Coke changed its national style packaging to "return", but the sales in Taobao Tmall store were not optimistic, and only one or two people paid. The unofficial store next door, which specializes in "Seek Childhood Memories", sells more Coke than the new version.

This time, Very Coke launched a sugar-free series, as well as the healthy and popular flavors that are popular with young people. It really feels a bit of a "new resurrection", and it is quite likely to return to the mainstream Coke market.

In terms of price, the original price of 4 bottles of 550ml was 15 yuan, and the initial price is now 8.8 yuan. The original price is not much different from similar products of Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

Although the number of people paying for new products at Taobao Tmall stores has reached several thousand, and the enthusiasm is obviously much higher, it is still far from being "hot".

Can the return of "Very Coke" become popular again?

In this case, we must first go back to the years when it became popular, and look at the popular "Chinese Cola".

"Chinese Cola" disappeared one by one

Speaking of childhood Coke, in addition to very Coke, you may remember many brands .

Some look like copycat versions of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

For example, Happy Coke, Happy Coke, and Wanshi Coke, which is more coke than Pepsi. Every sad human being sees it, and it is estimated that they want to drink and relieve their sorrows.

Coca-Cola has not escaped the "cottage robbery." Not only is it delicious, but also Cori-Cola appears in the small shop. The name sounds very confusing-Cori-Cola? What the hell is this doing?

The old manufacturers also foreseen the trend of young people's slang in advance, and launched a chrysanthemum-flavored thirsty cola.

Of course, many Chinese brands really want to do the Coke business seriously.

In fact, Coca-Cola was introduced to the Chinese market as early as 1917. It is popular among the small and medium-sized Shanghai gentlemen and ladies, and it has the attitude of "foreign noble drink". However, after the founding of New China, Coca-Cola, which represented the extravagant capitalism, was boycotted by the government and soon fell into a period of silence.

The domestically produced Coke began to become popular in different places across the country.

Before Very Coke came out, the most famous one was Qingdao Laoshan Coke, which was born in 1953.

This is also the first carbonated beverage independently developed by New China, and its ingredients are completely original and are made from Chinese herbal medicines such as clove, ginger, angelica dahurica, jujube, amomum villosum, etc. Now that you drink it, you may not think it is Coke.

Before the 1990s, Laoshan Coke had always been among the "top eight cola in China" and once occupied 75% of the Chinese coke market .

At this time in Chongqing, China, another Coke that swept the country was born-Tianfu Coke in 1980.

This cola was jointly developed by the Chongqing Beverage Factory and the Sichuan Institute of Chinese Materia Medica. The ingredients include white peony root, angelica, and rehmannia glutinosa. It is also a "healing drink" of the old age.

Most "Chinese cola" have some "medicinal ingredients", which is why many "Chinese cola" in childhood are called "delicious version of Banlangen" by children.

At the same time as Very Coke, there was another named Fenhuang Coke.

This Coke, launched in the late 1990s, is also an authentic Chinese-style drink. It is full of righteousness and full of vigorous momentum. It has done its best to promote China's "dragon culture" and invited Jackie Chan as the brand spokesperson.

The three giants of domestic beverages were Very Coke, Jianlibao, and Fenhuang Coke at that time.

The explosion of Coke is also attributed to a completely different route at that time: to encircle the city from the countryside.

With its low price, no preservatives, and booming festive style, it quickly gained popularity among people in second- and third-tier cities. At the end of 2006, its market share reached 16%-17%, second only to Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

This is a lively history of the "contending of a hundred schools of thought" for domestic cola.

"Chinese Coke" is much more than the above mentioned. There are also Happy Coke launched by Shanghai Zhengguang and Soda Factory in the 1970s, Shaolin Coke launched by Guangdong Lianjiang Health Beverage Factory, and "Changping Coke" from Beijing…

But since the 1990s, when foreign cola brands swept China, everything began to change.

At that time, the Chinese market gradually deviated from traditional and conservative, international promotion of investment promotion, foreign Coke brands began to build factories in China, and spent a lot of effort in marketing, and large amounts of funds for cooperation and acquisitions, at the same time, it also used the advantages of shareholders to hunt and kill Sodas everywhere in the snow store, buy out sales channels to promote their own drinks.

All these have had a great impact on the "Chinese Cola".

▲Pepsi-Cola's first factory in China

After Tianfu-Cola cooperated with Pepsi in 1994, it was gradually marginalized; Laoshan-Cola's sales plummeted under the offensive of Coca-Cola, then it was acquired by Coca-Cola, and its production was discontinued in 1997.

Of course, there are their own reasons for exiting the market.

Fenhuang Coke spent a lot of money on advertising at the time. In 1998, it spent 150 million yuan. It is not as high as Coke's net profit, and it is increasingly unable to maintain production. Other brands of "Chinese Coke" are also more or less due to taste, marketing, and strategic choices. Insufficient, it was eroded by the two major foreign drinks, and gradually withdrew from the stage of history.

▲ Coca-Cola poster during the Republic of China

The reason for the collapse of Very Coke is very complicated. At that time, it fought vigorously against the two major Coke giants, and it was exported to the United States.

But the good times do not last long. Some people say that it is content with the status quo, because it can eat for a while and cannot last a lifetime. Some people say that it no longer innovates, has always rooted in the countryside, and does not keep up with the young trend; some people say It doesn't do much in marketing and publicity. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have already fully occupied the minds of consumers at this time…

Now when people think of Coke, there are only two types: Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

▲ Chinese youth drinking Coke in 1981; Time magazine in 1984

"Chinese Coke" is still hard to win

In fact, a few "Chinese Cola" have all returned afterwards.

In 2004, Qingdao Laoshan Mineral Water Company took back the Laoshan Cola brand and once again produced the old taste; in 2016, Tianfu Cola took back the formula from Pepsi and took back the trademark and returned to the market again.

However, the current pattern of the Coke market is too stable.

When people place orders for these old brands of Coke, the most common reason is: to relive the taste of childhood, relive the taste of hometown, and we don’t need to rely on a bottle of drink to prove whether we are strong or not.

Very Coke has gradually become a kind of "low version of Coke" and "cottage version of Coke" in people's minds. Even many young people have never heard of Very Coke.

The weaknesses of "Chinese Cola" mentioned earlier are also the strengths of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

▲ Pepsi invited many celebrities to endorse in 2004

They are well-funded, good at marketing, continuous change, and good at communicating with young consumers. They focus on the cultural image of Coke itself-young, energetic, and fashionable, and they are very good at using Coke culture to build their own brand and use this value To guide consumption.

Coke, a carbonated soft drink flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, citrus oil, etc. Although Coca-Cola has always covered their recipes with mystery, it is not difficult to make a carbonated drink with a similar taste .

Brand effect is their core competitiveness, allowing them to take root in people's hearts more and more.

Moreover, it now appears that the promotion of Very Coke is not as strong as Pepsi and Coca-Cola. More importantly, these two giants have unshakable forces in the channels, supply chain, and operation of the domestic carbonic acid market.

Even if you look at the world, among nearly 300 Coke brands, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are still the leaders in Coke.

There is a long way to go in the Coke market to move the two major coke giants.

But this does not mean that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are not in crisis. Their competitors are not each other, but all beverages.

The "0 sugar, 0 fat, 0 calorie" beverage launched by Yuanqi Forest has once again set off a new beverage trend for domestic soda. Behind its popularity, it still captures the psychological trend of contemporary young people's enthusiasm for healthy and fashionable consumption.

The awakening of people's health consciousness has had a great impact on the sales of "Fei Zhai Happy Water", because carbonated drinks are unhealthy in people's minds.

To consolidate their position in the industry, the two major beverage giants have not only launched a variety of sugar-free versions of cola, but also no longer rely on soda to keep the market, but have moved towards a "full-category" beverage company. Coca-Cola's largest recent acquisition was the purchase of the sports drink Bodyarmor for US$5.6 billion.

Wow, haha, in addition to "resurrecting" very Coke, we have also been doing a lot of youthful attempts, such as AD calcium milk IP, making robots, opening milk tea shops and so on .

Not only cola, coffee, alcoholic beverages, tea beverages, and fruit juice beverages are all becoming more popular in China’s new consumer market. The Arctic Ocean, Bingfeng, Emei Snow, Wuhan Second Factory and other old sodas are also returning in new ways. Create explosives, engage in joint names, and start second cards .

New opportunities are always there. How to win the hearts and minds of a new generation of young consumers is the secret of eternal youth for all brands.

When old brands try to revive and new brands are popular, one point worth noting is –

Coca-Cola and Pepsi seem to never mention rejuvenation, because they have always been tied to young people.

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