Recently, Li Guoqing, founder of Chinese e-commerce platform Dangdang, released a video questioning Luckin Coffee’s purchase of nearly half of the available Hambella coffee beans, suggesting that the transaction may constitute a hidden monopoly in the upstream supply chain.
Li believes that it is good enough to use mix coffee beans for a coffee chain, and buying Hambella coffee beans will make those who make fine coffees have no beans supply or cause the price of fine coffee beans to substantially increase.
Luckin Coffee responded to the suggestion in the comment area of Li’s post, stating: “More than 90 tons of Hambella coffee beans were won by overseas bidding. Referring it to upstream supply monopoly is a bit too scary.”
Luckin Coffee’s new Hambella coffee series is very popular. The company’s official Weibo account issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that the series in some cities and stores have been sold out, and nearly half of the 90 tons of Hambella coffee beans purchased were used in just 10 days.
Some netizens commented on the response, “10 days? It’s so funny.” However, some questioned the move as an advertising strategy, saying “they used the same hunger marketing strategy as the coconut latte they launched before.”