North Pole carbonated soft drink has become one of the food items that has made it on the menu for dignitaries during the APEC summit in Beijing. The drink has come a long way from its inception in 1936 to its rebirth in 2011. Nostalgia is what makes this bottled CSD highly popular in Beijing. People tend to find comfort in their childhood. Amidst rapid changes and the disappearance of old Beijing architecture including the Hutong alleyways, the CSD reminds them of the old Beijing they used to know.
North Pole CSD is seeing healthy sales. Beijing Number One Light Food Group (北京一轻食品集团), the manufacturer, has estimated 2014 sales of North Pole CSDs at RMB 200 million (USD 32.6 million) and profit at RMB 50 million. Not a bad result for a traditional CSD. North Pole CSD production volume is also expected to reach 60,000 cases a year in 2015 with new production capacity coming on stream in 2015.
In Malaysia, old CSDs are hard to find. Therefor, it is pleasant a surprise to find old CSDs in bottle being sold in a Malay restaurant in the upmarket area in Mont Kiara. The CSDs are produced by Syarikat Mui Teng Long Hup Kee Sdn. Bhd., which is based in Kota Bharu, Kelantan is located in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia.
Will these rooster branded CSDs enjoy the same popularity as Beijing’s North Pole CSD? I am afraid not. Even for retro brand, you need to find the right balance between retro and contemporary to be able to attract new generation of consumers. These CSDs from Kota Bharu appears too old fashion and is in need of a new brand image. Look no further than the North Pole example.