Chinese iconic “baijiu” brand, Moutai (traditional white Chinese spirit), is known for being the drink of choice amongst many Chinese businessmen. Now the brand is hoping to tap into the new consumer market by launching ice cream with two flavors: the original Moutai ice cream and vanilla Moutai ice cream, each sold at 39 yuan (USD 5.79) per serving.
Moutai is the most expensive type of baijiu, which is often referred to as China’s “national spirit”. The product is served at pretty much every festive occasion across the nation, from wedding receptions to business banquets. Moutai’s strong taste has earned it the nickname “firewater”, and many consumers are curious about how the company’s ice cream tastes. The new product also stirred “hot” discussions and debates on China’s Twitter-like microblog platform, Weibo. One netizen posted – “I cannot afford Moutai liquid, but I can afford Moutai ice cream”, and another post said – “Will Moutai launch other products? such as Moutai cray or Moutai spicy hot pot?”.
Moutai is not the first alcohol brand that sells ice cream; the innovative Chinese baijiu brand, Jiangxiaobai (江小白), collaborated with the dairy giant, Mengniu, to produce Suibian (随便), alcohol-centered ice cream with 2 flavors: white peach and caramel. The product contains less than 0.1% alcohol.
Moutai has been planning to sell ice creams for a long time. According to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the production output of Baijiu in 2021 decreased by 47.3% compared to its peak in 2016. The 2020 youth alcohol consumption reported that post-90s and post-95s young people are an important driving force for the growth of the liquor market. However, most young people buy baijiu just to honor their elders and give gifts to their boss on holidays, not for self-consumption. Nowadays, young consumers actually like low-alcohol wine. Moutai has no choice but to try other ways to win young consumers’ hearts.
Will ice cream be a good business for Moutai? The results remain to be seen.