HEYTEA: A unique journey for Chinese brands to go global

Time: 2024-01-09 17:05

With Chinese catering brands stepping onto the international stage, names such as Haidilao, Meizhou Dongpo, and Da Dong have already shone in foreign countries.
Compared with hot pot and roast duck, tea drinks, with their profound cultural heritage and brand characteristics, are embarking on a unique overseas adventure.
Today, Ai Fan will take you to see the overseas journey of HEYTEA.

Chinese tea brands go global

Currently, the domestic tea beverage market is approaching saturation, and future competition will mainly focus on the stock market of zero-sum games, which is also the reason why many brands are currently engaged in price wars.
For the tea industry, overseas markets provide greater imagination space, because new tea drinks have matured in supply chain and business model after years of development, which is enough to support new tea drinks to export their own brands, products and culture.
Mixue Bingcheng continues to open stores in 11 countries including South East Asia and Australia, with nearly 4,000 overseas stores. Nayuki chose Bangkok, Thailand as its first overseas destination and opened its first overseas direct store in early 2023.
Chabaidao has opened stores in Thailand and South Korea; Bawang Chaji has entered MY and Thailand; CoCo has nearly 100 stores in the Philippines; Luckin Coffee has opened 23 stores in Singapore as its first overseas destination.
As an emerging tea brand leader in China, HEYTEA has also begun the process of internationalization.

The unique overseas journey of HEYTEA

In the second half of 2023, HEYTEA's overseas business entered a new stage of accelerated development. HEYTEA has expanded from Asia to Europe, Oceania, North America and other places.After entering the new country, HEYTEA's popularity far exceeded expectations.By savoring the journey of HEYTEA's overseas expansion, we can see its unique features.
1. A modern interpretation of tea culture
As we all know, tea culture is an important traditional cultural carrier in China, and the success of HEYTEA brand in going global is due to the modern interpretation of Chinese tea culture.
In the past, tea culture was more associated with the elderly and was regarded as traditional and conservative, but HEYTEA took the lead in making tea drinks a trendy choice for young people, finding a combination of traditional culture and trendy culture.
In terms of brand connotation, HEYTEA integrates elements such as coolness, inspiration, and Zen, conveying recognition and innovation of Chinese tea culture wisdom.
At the same time, through innovative modern interpretations, the tea culture is inherited and promoted overseas, making it a fashionable and trendy choice that attracts young consumers.
2. Locate in the local core business district to quickly connect with the mainstream market
Most Chinese tea drink brands go global, mainly focusing on regional markets close to China such as South East Asia, adopting a strategy of small-scale pilot projects before gradually expanding; while HEYTEA chooses to directly enter major urban markets in economically developed countries such as Europe, the US, and Australia.
Most Chinese tea drink brands go global, mainly targeting regional markets close to China such as South East Asia, adopting a strategy of starting with small regional pilots and gradually expanding.
HEYTEA chooses to directly enter the major city markets of economically developed countries such as Europe, the US, and Australia.
HEYTEA's first store in Canada is located in the downtown shopping mall of Burnaby in the Vancouver area.
Entering the United Kingdom, HEYTEA's first store was chosen in the famous commercial district of SOHO in the West End of London, which is located in Chinatown and is the cultural center area of the West End of London.
In the Swanston pedestrian street in the center of Melbourne, Australia, HEYTEA has opened its first store in Australia, located near landmarks such as Chinatown and shopping centers.
Through this way, HEYTEA can learn and summarize the operation methods of different international markets more quickly, understand the overall context of different markets, and prepare for future expansion. HEYTEA's single-store model has matured, and the main difficulty in going global lies in the compliance requirements of different countries.
By piloting in major developed cities, HEYTEA can adapt to the international market faster and accumulate experience for large-scale expansion.
3. Adhere to the original flavor while also adapting to local conditions
HEYTEA insists on using natural ingredients to make tea drinks, which is significantly different from the common instant tea drinks in Europe and America, and is easy to form product selling points.
However, the product structure of HEYTEA's overseas stores has been simplified compared to domestic stores, retaining only some basic and common flavors.
This is mainly due to the fact that after the freshly made tea beverage companies go global, it is difficult to maintain the same high frequency of new product launches as domestic stores due to the differences in fresh products such as fruits in different regions. There are also certain difficulties in overseas procurement and localization of various ingredients.
Faced with this situation, HEYTEA adjusts its menu by selecting ingredients that are easier to purchase based on local conditions to adapt to different markets.
For example, the United Kingdom will add more mulberries and strawberries to its products, Australia will use more kiwi fruits, and in the US, it will replace domestic summer black grapes with US red grapes.
Localization adaptation of products and ingredients is a handy tool for HEYTEA.
4. Integrate local cultural symbols
Promoting HEYTEA's peripheral products can also bring unique brand experiences to overseas users.
Like the opening of new stores in China, HEYTEA will launch local limited refrigerator stickers while entering new cities overseas.
These refrigerator stickers combine local iconic cultural and geographical elements with HEYTEA's Axi image, which is popular among local consumers and has sparked a "clock in" craze on social media.
This creative peripheral product design not only enhances the interactivity and brand stickiness of HEYTEA in overseas markets, but also provides consumers with a fresher cultural experience.
5. Keen to collaborate with major IPs
HEYTEA is known for launching new product collaborations every week in the domestic market. If this innovative product strategy is replicated in overseas markets, it will also help attract more groups and expand HEYTEA's popularity and influence.
The new tea beverage industry has entered the stage of stock breakthrough and brand premium development, forcing more new tea beverage brands to turn their attention to foreign countries.
This is not only a self-rescue measure for enterprises to cope with fierce competition in the domestic market, but also a way to adapt to the environment of globalization and economic integration .

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