Young beverage unicorn taking China by a silent, huge storm
This mostly unknown beverage unicorn has taken the Chinese beverage market by a huge silent storm in recent years. Genki (元気, Yuanqi) Forest was only founded in 2016 by venture capitalist Tang Binsen (38 yrs, Hefei, Anhui) and the company was valued at USD 2 billion last year in less than 4 years.
The company started off with zero sugar, low calorie oolong tea beverages and sparkling sodas and since then quickly expanded to energy drinks, milk teas, yogurts, collagen drinks a.o. Their first own beverage factory in Anhui province has been in operation since June 2020. Genki Forest topped both #cocacola and #pepsi as most sold beverage brand during China’s largest e-commerce event (Singles Day).
The branding design has had quite a Japanese flavor to attract health-conscious younger female consumers. 元気 (Genki) has no meaning in Chinese but it means healthy or energy in Japanese. Though the brand is now slowly adjusting their branding to avoid consumer perception risks.
Their 2021 ambitions are massively penetrating into other Asian markets and further diversify their beverage and health food portfolio.
Genki Forest seems like Coca’s or Pepsi’s decades long story adapted and fine tuned into an amazing #newretail rollercoaster ride.