In what must have been an attempt at a promotion, Starbucks have provoked the ire of Chinese customers when they introduced a limited edition, quirky product which they call the ‘Cat Paw Cup’. The first batch of 1000 cups sold out in less than 1/10 of a second apparently. They were sold on the massive Chinese website Alibaba. Starbucks were accused of hunger marketing which is to provide limited supplies to drive up demand.
It is a very cute looking product which they sell for US$30 or ¥199 the trouble is they ran out of the product and fights broke out as you can see in the video below (this may not show for the indefinite future – sorry).
Starbucks were also accused of trying to drive up demand artificially which they denied. They plan to sell the remaining cups online on Friday. Apparently this is not the first time they’ve had a problem with limited edition products as a form of promotion. High demand has left customers disappointed in the past, most recently in the US when they released a limited edition red cup during the holiday season in 2018.
China is Starbucks’ largest market after the United States. They want to open thousands more stores across the country but face competition from a local business called Luckin Coffee.
You have to say that these cups do indicate an interest in the domestic cat. And it’s happening in China. I hope this translates to better domestic cat welfare and, as soon as possible, the ending of the barbaric killing of street cats for consumption in the cat meat market in the south of the country.
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