Shanghai Häagen-Dazs – Fanciest Ice Cream Shop Ever

Shanghai Häagen-Dazs

If you recall my last video from Shanghai, I went shopping for 40 cent beer and $10 Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Quite a few readers commented about the price of Häagen-Dazs in China and wonder how the company can sell their product when local ice creams sell for 20 times less. Well, it seems that not only does Häagen-Dazs sell well in China, they sell so well that the company runs what has to be the fanciest ice cream shop in the world!

Häagen-Dazs is a great example of the power of the brand. When your product is perceived to be of an exceptional quality, you can command a high premium for it. Häagen-Dazs is to ice cream what Apple is to computers.

The Shanghai Häagen-Dazs ice cream store/restaurant (I don’t know what to call it) is located at the Shanghai Grand Gateway Plaza, home of Microsoft China and a really high end shopping mall. First time visitors will be quite taken back by it. Baskin Robbins has got nothing on this place! It’s a full sit down restaurant but all they serve is Häagen-Dazs ice cream. The prices are well beyond what a typical Chinese worker can afford. The most expensive item on the menu cost 238RMB ($35US). Our banana split came in at 79RMB ($12US). To put all this into perspective, the average income of a Chinese factory worker is 1000RMB ($150US) per month.

If I didn’t think the Shanghai Häagen-Dazs caters to foreigners and rich locals only, I did when the waitress asked if I wanted the receipt made out to my company! They also offer a VIP card. To qualify, you have to spend 500RMB at the store during a two month period. Let’s see. 500RMB can buy 167 beer or two of Häagen-Dazs’ most expensive ice creams. Which would you go for?

45 thoughts on “Shanghai Häagen-Dazs – Fanciest Ice Cream Shop Ever”

  1. Ben Pei says:

    238rmb.. Hmm their cheapest ice cream can feed a family there for a month! I am sure Sarah knows that..

    1. Pretty interesting stuff. Thanks for the local Chinese culture and pricing reports John!

    2. Wow…. thats unbelievable ben if thats true!!

  2. I’d go for the 167 beers. But that’s just me.

    1. Ben Pei says:

      Can I join in your beer fest?

      1. Hey, of course! You can’t drink beer alone… that would be like admitting you have a problem. 🙂

  3. Amar says:

    Hey never knew you are travelling to china these days,, wow the video was quite cool.. i think m gonna go and eat a ice cream at baskin robbins today.. thank god, its there in my city. The ice cream looked pretty nice and i wish i could have it.. Save some for me john

  4. Is ice cream in general expensive in China or just Hagen Dazs?

    1. John Chow says:

      Just Haagen-Dazs. Local ice cream sell for way less.

      1. Jake Stone says:

        Just can’t wait for you to reach Hong Kong leg of your journey. I’m sort of hoping you’ll visit Honeymoon Dessert there. That shop is almost enough a reason to visit Hong Kong.

  5. Paul U says:

    I would go for the beer!

  6. I like how the strawberries were cut. Looks delicious!

    How expensive is the sushi in China?

  7. 50 Cent Game says:

    lol that desert looks nice 😛

  8. Xbox-controller says:

    Get a beer tbh :D!

  9. geekmba360 says:

    I’ve been to the exactly the same place in Shanghai. Very fancy. In fact, most of the fast-food American restaurants in the US are much fancier in China — for example, Pizza Hut in China is really nice.

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Not to mention that everything tastes much better. Never liked McDonald’s until I tasted the McDonald’s hamburgers in Asia.

      1. Same here but I think had more to do with having something familiar from back home.

        1. Jake Stone says:

          Possibly that too, but as a Finn the whole cultural concept of McDonald’s doesn’t mean anything to me. Now that I’m back and I go to eat at McDonald’s I just can’t take that rubbish. I wonder what kind of drugs they put on burgers in Asia… 🙂

  10. I can go without food but I cannot go without my Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Yes I’m a sucker for this brand and you’re right, the brand sells.

    Peter Lee

  11. Tushar says:

    No offence, but Microsoft in China is a joke. They sold like 50 copies of Vista in the first week after release.

    1. Dating says:

      Right on Tushar I am with you on that one!

  12. Same thing in Japan

  13. Wow they do it up right!

  14. Thats really looking great with those decoration and all. Seems to me that John really love decorating food.

    Look at the ice cream plate … this one is different and I have doubt whether eating in such plate will be comfortable …

    What do you think ?

  15. This is the perfect example of price high sell less. I am sure they will not able to compare their sales volume with the local ice cream sales.

    But high price and sales less is also a great model of business. You just have to establish yourself …

  16. Why are you always presenting food so tasteful? Now I want some IceCream, even that is somewhat cold in here.

    Still not sure to pay 10 dlls for that brand, I guess I will look for the less expensive ones, they must taste good enough. Are they?

  17. Michael Zhao says:

    High rollers only!

  18. Pahn says:

    wow,, delicious,, yum

  19. Wow! That’s so awesome

  20. Lol thats ridiculously swank

  21. directagents says:

    They have the same type of thing in Paris on the champs elysee. The haagen daz is super fancy- you can get a martini with your icecream!

  22. Gregg Gordon says:

    That is similar to our experiences in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The main tourist street has a Haagen Das every 5 minutes. We took my Dad down there, and due to the heat he wanted ice cream and he’d pay. After we each ate our $8 single scoops of ice cream, we convinced him from then on to either have buy $1 cones at McDonald’s or go 30 seconds off the main tourist street to get $2.50 hand made ice cream from shops owned by Italian ex-pats.

  23. fas says:

    That ice cream sure looks delicious. Are you getting some to the US for Dot Com Give away :p

    1. John Chow says:

      I think it will melt by the time I get it on the plane.

  24. Ahhh dang, lucky you! I think I visited a Haagen Dazs, but not a high class one like this, lol.


  25. Say what you may but a Haagen Dazs in Shanghai was perhaps my best memory of China – The best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.

    This post made me upload the video of that moment:

  26. game-girl says:

    I like ice-cream very much and especially so beautifully served on a nice place.I know it is fattening,but I’d rather eat one if I were there.

  27. ScoobySnacks says:

    do they have the local flavors at the Hagen Daz store too? stuff like lychee or even the weird ones, like durian?

  28. I think I actually saw you there John, I wasn’t 100% sure if it was you, so I decided to play it safe.

    I live down the street from the Haagen Daaz you visited. I actually pass by it almost every day!

  29. Candace says:

    Yummy!! But makes sense why so many in the Chinese culture look so healthy and thin, they can’t afford delicious ice cream!
    We Americans on the other hand have ice cream socials! Enough said!

  30. appleblogger says:

    wow. that sweet and cool!

  31. Andi says:

    God, that’s really bloody expensive…

  32. Susan says:

    I want the blue col bolt dishes that they are served on those are gorgeous ….

    I would go with the beer…just kidding~

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