The second breakout product in the tea drinking world: oil mandarin

Enjoying seasonal beverages is one of the great pleasures of summer for young urbanites. That equals a combination of two happy ingredients: a lot of sugar to please the brain cells and a little satisfaction to follow the fads.

Typically, seasonal drinks are nothing more than a combination of sour, sweet and creamy flavors. But over the past four months, a drink with an unprecedented taste has caught the attention of consumers in tier 1 and 2 cities: mandarin juice.

Most people outside of the Chaoshan region were not previously aware of the existence of this fruit, nor had they experienced such a novel drink at the new tea stores catering to people’s palates: the first sip was not a blast of sweetness, but a different kind of wonderful experience: sour in the mouth, sweet after a few seconds.

Starting from July, with the ripening of the new season of yucca fruit, the yucca juice, which has been in tight supply for two months, can be readily available in the stores of national chain brands such as Nespresso and Xi Cha.

On Weibo and Little Red Book, the glass bottles of yucca juice often appeared together with contemporary buzzwords like YYDS, representing a trend.

Soon, the Yakiniku juice craze spread to its origin thousands of kilometers away.

Cantonese people, who used to buy yucca as usual at this time of year, were disappointed instead. Customers wrote comments on online stores complaining that the recent yokan sold was “far more bitter than sweet”. One store, which starts selling homemade sherbet every July and August, said it would not be able to deliver until “after September 30” because the store owner could not buy raw yuquan.

In some WeChat groups that sell yucca juice privately in Lufeng County, where the yucca is produced, there is no news of new products for sale for a long time. They heard that some people came to buy all the yucca from their hometown.

Most of the fruits in the world have been taken under the banner of fruit merchants and circulated in the market in an orderly way. But yuquan is an exception. Chaoshan people consume the fresh fruit of Yutang, make preserves, wine, tea and medicine, but few people use it to make juice and have the ability to promote it on a large scale.

It’s been a while: new tea stores are holding a race to stop the new products. Throughout 2020, Xicha will launch a new product every 1.2 weeks on average, while Nespresso will do so every week. The longer the “seasonal-only” menu, the longer the lines seem to be. This year, the fruits entering the race include the usual peach, lychee and plum, as well as the new faces of perfumed lemon and raw coconut. So far, the oleander is way ahead.

It started with a local tea drink store in Shenzhen that introduced oleander squeezed juice. Then came the national brands. Naihue’s Tea and Hei Tea successively shelved their own oil citrus drinks in March and May 2021.

In order to squeeze the juice, the consumption of yucca multiplied. Naixue put out the banner of 66 yuankan squeezing a cup of juice, Shenzhen’s mixed juice then posted: a cup with 33, it has been thick to burst juice! Next, another brand proposed a standard: 50 pieces is just right. Boxes of oil mandarin were sent from the origin to tea drinking stores in first and second tier cities, into a variety of vessels, like a race for the latest ammunition.

Looking for the next cup of seasonal beverages, tea drink stores have accidentally made a niche fruit that has not even entered industrial processing into a hit, shaping a trend of consumption among urban youth and changing the production and leisure of the inhabitants of the origin. A fruit, because of the white-hot competition of tea drinking stores, will be thousands of kilometers apart from the people connected together.

The second super pop product in the tea drinking world

In this crazy race of new products, entrepreneurs dedicated to the beverage business have turned themselves into alchemists of various rich flavors, constantly adjusting ingredients and ratios in order to create a new excitement time and again, so that consumers can accumulate an impression of the brand.

Before a brand new flavor is introduced, it is often tested and adjusted many times. The more exotic the flavor, the greater the degree of risk-taking required.

At the beginning of January 2020, members of the marketing department and store operations team from across the country came to the Shenzhen headquarters for the annual meeting.

In the meeting room, they each got this small cup of drink, which was special in appearance alone; it wasn’t clear and transparent, it was an uncommon mossy green color, and when you looked closely you could see tiny scraps of fruit. Except for the local Guangdong staff, it was the first time they heard about the local fruit of Chaoshan, the oil mandarin.

That day, they tasted such astringent and then sweet taste for the first time. The strong flavor was a bit provocative and many employees were not confident it would be accepted by the wider public.

Another unsettling event for the employees followed, as all five of the East and North China employees who tried it had diarrhea, which was “very serious”. After the drink was introduced to the market, someone used four words to describe this small fruit – the scouring tool.

How to deal with the large number of customers’ complaints if it is launched? The marketing and operation of Naixin North China and East China are full of worries about the fruit juice on the shelves.

However, Peng Xin herself was confident about the unique taste of Yaokan, and she believed that this drink, which had amazed her palate, deserved to be tasted by more people. Store managers across the country were convinced by the founder, and the Naishu R&D team continued to make adjustments as they toned down the concentration of the oleander by about 40%, increasing the sweetness and neutralizing the sourness.

In fact, the diarrhea is not the “effect” of the oil mandarin, but the fact that it is too sour, which may cause intestinal discomfort to some people – the same Euphorbiaceae leaves. -It is also a plant of the genus Euphorbiaceae, but it is more friendly than the laxative croton and the poisonous lacquer of the Cape of Good Hope, which are not fruits at all.

After another two months, a manual based on the new recipe was sent to Nespresso stores across the country, guiding the staff to make bottles of “Bastard Jade Citrus”, which exploded on Weibo and Little Red Book.

Compared to the yuquan juice from other local tea stores in Shenzhen, the Naixue yuquan drink launched in March is sweeter and only offers one sugar level. This was seen by some Guangdong and Fujian people as not authentic enough. A month after its launch, Naixin launched a “low sugar version” and admitted that before “It’s a little bit more conservative. “

In May, when Xiecha hit the shelves with oil mandarin, the product line was already designed to be quite comprehensive. The three drinks were pure oil mandarin juice, poppy peach oil mandarin double squeezed juice, and olive oil mandarin double squeezed juice, covering different flavors, and also offering thickened version, standard sweet, and less sweet options.

The market acceptance exceeded expectations. For the past five years, the top-selling product of Nespresso has been Cheese Strawberry, but after the “Bully Jade Oleander” hit the shelves, it became the new top-selling product, which has lasted for four months and once accounted for more than 25% of all drinks. Sales exceeded 25%.

The first super pop in the new tea drinking world is the succulent grape launched by Xi Cha in 2018, before that few chain brands offer such a full-flavored tea drink. Nie Yunchen, the founder of Xi Cha, once confidently asserted that succulent grapes would be the top seller in the tea industry for a long time. This judgment may be related to the characteristics of grapes: good taste, mature cultivation, and can be sold all year round.

But these characteristics are the opposite of grapes, and now the oil tangerine has become the second super pop product.

Oleander has driven the small brands more obviously, “Late LastePost” learns that there are local tea drink stores in Shenzhen with Oleander series, which can account for up to 70% of the sales of the day.

Even in the Hei Tea, which is known for its numbering, there has never been a drink that opened at 8:30 am and sold out at 9:30 am before. According to Chen Yating, the store manager of the Shenzhen Aerospace Science and Technology Plaza store – the one below Hei Tea’s headquarters – this has been happening a lot lately. The most exaggerated time, a nearby office ordered 30 bottles of oil mandarin in one breath.

In April, the price of yokan, which was less than 10 yuan/catty in previous years, shot up to nearly 50 yuan/catty. In other cities, other brands that followed this wave of yucca fever include Lele Tea, CoCo, Michelin, Guiyuan Shop, Manji Dessert and so on.

So far, the way of eating fresh fruits directly by Chaoshan people has undoubtedly become obsolete, and consumers in big cities have fallen in love with the most fashionable way of eating oil mandarin.

Impossible ingredients for big brands

There’s a reason why this fruit wasn’t targeted before Yau Kampong juice became all the rage: it’s hard to call it delicious.

“People from other places didn’t seem to be able to drink it, except for Chaoshan. The “Little Monster of Tea Power” founded by Wu Zelong is one of the Shenzhen, one of the first two brands to sell oil citrus tea. Tea power in Shenzhen Futian’s three stores opened in Meilin, Shuiwei and Fuxing, are Shantou Chao business gathering place.

At the beginning of this year, Wu Zelong has heard from the familiar fruit merchants, there are customers in the market is a big acquisition of oil citrus. At that time, he had a trace of luck, thinking, naixue, hi tea should not be on it? Wu Zelong thought that the national brand would not have anything to do with the niche fruit in Chaoshan.

Even in Chaoshan, the habit of juicing oil mandarin is not common. It’s hard to tell who first tried to juice yucca, but that person mostly gave up. It is too troublesome to remove the core of yucca by hand, and yucca is harder than fruits like plum, so you can’t use the ready-made core remover. The juice yield of yucca is low. 66 pieces of yucca are needed for one cup of Nesher, which is still a big variety. If you do it by hand, one person can only squeeze about 10 cups a day.

Experienced tea drinkers are unlikely to consider yucca, but Wu Zelong is purely cross-border. 2016 began to do tea power before he was a television cameraman, completely untouched by tea drinks. In his third year of business, he set a goal to come up with a new product that is not available on the market every year. Wu Zelong wanted to be new and different, so he asked his cousin in Jieyang, Chaoshan Province to send a batch of oil citrus purchased from his hometown over, and began to study the recipe. In May 2019, Tea Power’s Little Monster launched a whole “Chaoshan series” of drinks, which includes the oil mandarin juice. drink, which includes Yau Kam juice.

After the juice is squeezed, you can add sugar, which is the secret to making any fruit taste good. The final method of juicing the yucca was born thanks to the improvement of yucca varieties in the past ten years. Because of the explosion of sweet oleander, the fruit that used to be mainly grown in the diaspora now suffers from coldness. Not only that, in order to create better economic benefits, Gao Guohua led many farmers this year to cut off the original soil-bred yucca planted in the ground and grafted on sweet seeds.

“All changed to ‘milk tea varieties’. “Gao Guohua said, now there are many customers will be called so.

Whose Yaokan? Whose yellow skin?

A friend heard I was going to Chaoshan this time before I left, and the first reaction was: “You can eat Chaoshan yu yu citrus. “

In the past, people called corn as “jade” rice, which was to describe the preciousness of this plant. The word “jade” was not in the name of Yutang, but was added by the marketing director of Nespresso, because the color of the drink in the light is like jasper. For other brands, some of them resort to function, some to fun. Xi Cha gave the prefix “Wang Juice” to Yucan, a harmonic stem; Tea Power’s little monster was named “Shanquan yuquan”; mixed juice called “yuquan Jinjin tea “; Guiyuan store called “oil citrus scraping water”.

Tea drink chain has been deciding the future of tea category. In the world of Xi tea, there are Jinfeng tea king, green yan. Naixue has jasmine first snow. These teas are all collocation tea, the brand itself named.

No less than the genius mind invented orange juice concentrate back then, oil mandarin, a cold fruit, ushered in the miracle of commercial forces at work.

Popularly known fruits, such as strawberries, mangoes and lychees are far more famous than the brand. And with the limited production and low visibility of Yaogan, tea beverage brands had the opportunity to bind this niche fruit to themselves.

With the relaunch of Yaokan on a large scale, it is still an open question as to who will get its say. But its explosion points to a path.

On May 11, the little monster of tea power launched another new product, this time Wu Zelong used another cold fruit from the Chaoshan region: yellow skin. in late June, the Naishu sub brand Taigai as well as Xi Cha each launched a yellow skin drink.