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    Upper-Middle Class "The Key To Imported Wine's Future In China"

    Much like similar findings by fashion, jewelry and auto researchers, a new study by Wine Intelligence concluded that viewing China as one monolithic wine market -- rather than many very different markets -- is a recipe for disaster for wine producers.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Number Of Upper Middle Class Consumers In China Expected To Reach 82 Million By 2025#

    Everyone seems to agree that China is one of the world's most important emerging markets for wine, but where opinions differ -- and differ wildly -- is in how to get China's burgeoning wine drinkers to buy more for personal consumption and develop a deeper interest in connoisseurship. What seems to be the key factor for wine producers to make a strong connection with Chinese consumers is truly understanding the market. Why, for instance, do Chinese buyers gravitate to red wine, particularly those from France? Do northerners and southerners display differing preferences? What role does income play in appreciation or consumption of wine?

    This week, a new study commissioned by Wine Intelligence addressed some of the important questions about how to crack the huge -- but fragmented and often frustrating -- Chinese market. According to the study, wine exporters will only see their investment and time commitments in China make a difference if they specifically tailor strategies to fit the particularities of the China market. Much like similar findings by fashion, jewelry and auto researchers, Wine Intelligence concluded that viewing China as one monolithic wine market -- rather than many very different markets -- is a recipe for disaster.

    From Decanter.com:

    'Global brand owners must find out what the Chinese really want, explain their products, and understand they must be tailored to Chinese needs,' Richard Halstead, chief operating officer of Wine Intelligence told



    decanter.com



    .



    Consumers still find the process of buying imported wine difficult because even in international supermarkets like Carrefour or Tesco there is little information on the label to tell them what the wine is.



    'I think most of the wine industry round the world would agree that Asia in general, and China in particular, represent a colossal opportunity for sales growth over the next 20-30 years,' Halstead said.







    'Yet the closer you get to the market, the more you see that global brand owners have a lot of work still to do, both in terms of distribution and product positioning, to really engage with Chinese consumers.'



    China is already the eighth largest wine market by volume. The report quotes recent data putting it at 72m cases, and growing at 18.5% per annum.



    Wine Intelligence considers upper-middle class consumers – those with over RMB50,000 (US$7,300) disposable income per annum – as 'the key to imported wine's future in China'.



    While 90% of the wine drunk in China is domestically produced, this growing rump of affluent consumers increasingly chooses imported wine.

    These findings fit with other recent observations by China wine professionals, which is to say that red wine will remain "king" for the near to medium-term, but as more women and younger professionals start to develop a personal interest in wine, there will be more opportunities in the white wine segment.

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