On May 19, Chinese liquor giant Kweichow Moutai launched its very own ice cream parlor called iMoutai at its flagship store in the Maotai International Hotel, Maotai, in Southwest China’s Guizhou province. A style of baijiu, the brand’s namesake liquor, is a key ingredient in iMoutai’s ice cream.
A collaboration between the liquor brand and dairy specialist Mengniu, iMoutai offers two flavors of Moutai ice cream (original and vanilla), each spiked with the potent liquor.
China’s first iMoutai ice creamery
While Kweichow Moutai aspires to open more iMoutai branches across the country, public reception has been chilly so far.
Multiple hashtags related to the news were trending on Weibo, but the one with the most views (160 million at the time of writing) touched on prices.
Promotional poster for iMoutai
According to some netizens, iMoutai’s ice cream, which costs 39 RMB (5.84 USD) per scoop, is too expensive.
“You can eat several Shaoxing huangjiu popsicles for that price,” complained one commenter while implying that Moutai can’t hold a candle to huangjiu, another Chinese liquor with a 2,500-year history.
“You’re asking adult men to eat ice cream instead [of drink baijiu]?” questioned another.
Some context: The luxury alcohol is traditionally consumed by male clientele during business dinners, hence some netizens’ incredulity. For many, the idea of Moutai ice cream doesn’t gel with the brand’s image.
Established in 1999, Kweichow Moutai is one of few companies that has thrived throughout Covid. In fact, the company hit a historical record in the first quarter of 2022 with a net profit jump of 24% and sales amounting to 33 billion RMB.
Cover photo designed by Zhuohan Shao. Other images via Weibo
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam