Change in the Drinking Habits of China is Huge Opportunity for All Beverage Makers

There’s some excellent news for all businesses- the Chinese alcohol market is picking up in a big way with consumers developing a liking for subtle and premium products.

Craft beer and winemakers are deemed to be the biggest beneficiaries of this change in the Chinese drinking behavior.

According to Euromonitor, a market research company, consumers in China preferred minimal drinking and selected premium products when socializing at formal occasions or business dinners. These products were picked for their better taste and superior quality. The firm also informed that the consumption of wine increased by 5.3% in 2016 as compared to the previous year, although the overall market for alcoholic beverages dropped by 3%.

In 2016, the total sales for beer also dropped by 4%, but craft beer has been witnessing an increasing demand in major cities. An industry report suggests that craft beer continues to be a new and interesting concept for several Chinese consumers. This alcoholic beverage enjoys decent popularity and is offered primarily in all the well-established regions, including a few urban areas. These are locations which have higher-earning middle classes and where consumers are more global-minded.

In line with the growing interest in craft beer, China Resources Beer, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the largest brewery in China, has decided to focus on imported and craft beer segments. It is also planning to develop premium brands.

Baijiu is a strong grain-based alcoholic beverage. It translates into ‘white liquor’ and is popularly served at business and official banquets. Baijiu has continued to enjoy a strong demand despite a widespread corruption crackdown, an offbeat taste, and a conservation drive.

In the earlier part of the year, Brand Finance consultancy suggested that Baijiu would be the most highly valued spirit globally with a 37.5 percent market share, beating whiskey with its 28 percent stake. The top Baijiu producing brands of the world have a combined market value of more than $22 billion.

Wine is a beverage that is slowly but steadily making itself as a staple in China. Investors in the country have bought over hundred French vineyards and several of them are located in Bordeaux, a primary wine producing region. Vineyards have also been purchased in Chile and Australia, among other nations. A top Chinese wine-maker, Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine, acquired 3 vineyards in the region of Chile in 2017.

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