Summary of How Come the Most Popular New Consumer-Goods Brands Didn’t Come Out of First-Tier Cities?

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

How Come the Most Popular New Consumer-Goods Brands Didn’t Come Out of First-Tier Cities? summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening
  • Overview


While you were being dazzled by the newest tech trends, the hottest start-ups, and the most inspiring or threatening artificial intelligence innovation, several traditional retail brands of snacks and beverages have entered China’s brand scene from backstage. Zhou Hei Ya, a company that makes processed-duck snacks, has gone public in Hong Kong. Three Squirrels, which specializes in nut snacks, is now China’s largest snack brand. Hey Tea, a milk-tea chain store, commands two-hour queues all day every day. Besides overwhelming popularity, these brands have another trait in common: None of them originated in China’s first-tier cities. In this article from the WeChat channel Insights into New Consumption, retail expert Long Mao Jun explains why lower-tier cities offer better breeding grounds for consumer brands and advises venture capitalists to pay attention to the budding consumer brands in second- and third-tier cities. getAbstract recommends Long’s advice to entrepreneurs, investors, marketers and trend watchers.

About the Author

Long Mao Jun is the founder and main writer of Insights into New Consumption, a WeChat wemedia account that reports on the consumer goods industry with a focus on consumption upgrade, start-ups and innovation.



China’s first-tier cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen – lead the country in fashion and lifestyle. These cities create trends and cultivate highbrow taste. Start-up entrepreneurs and venture capital investors naturally cluster in first-tier cities, which are rich in intellectual and monetary resources and provide the most thriving business environment. However, the newer consumer food brands that have risen to stardom – processed-duck snack company Zhou Hei Ya, nut company Three Squirrels, and milk-tea shop Hey Tea – all grew out of second- and third-tier cities. Before their widespread popularity attracted investors’ attention, these brands had relatively humble roots – Zhou Hei Ya in Wuhan, Three Squirrels in Wuhu, and Hey Tea in the little-known city of Jiangmen.

To have a successful consumer food brand, you need to reach as many people in the Chinese ...