GAIN Report Number: 12805
China - Peoples Republic of
Marketing U.S. Wine in China
Kate Chan Research
The wine market in China is growing rapidly and is highly competitive. While U.S. wine exports to China continue to increase at double digit rates, our share of China's wine market is falling due to aggressive promotion by our competitors. American wines are premium products, but still relatively unknown to Chinese wine consumers.
The wine market in China is growing rapidly and is highly competitive. U.S. wines are generally not known and the U.S. share of the wine market continues to slide in the face of aggressive promotion by our competitors. Our wines are generally premium products and should be priced as such when appropriate. But neither our industry nor most individual wineries have been willing or able to put in the resources necessary to market a luxury product. The following report was commissioned by the Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, China and was written by Kate Chan Research. It provides a valuable perspective on the wine market and how U.S. wines and the U.S. wine industry should go about marketing their products in China.
1) In this report, the term “wine” refers specifically to still grape wine unless otherwise indicated- examples include “grape based alcoholic beverage”, etc.
2) The term imported “grape based alcoholic beverage” includes sparkling wine, still grape wine, vermouth and spirits. 3) China’s imported (still grape) wine accounted for approximately 93% of China’s total imported grape based alcoholic beverage. This report is mainly focused on “wine” – still grape wine.
Imported wines are identified as luxury/high end goods in China. While imported wines are not necessarily considered luxury products in the U.S.A and in Europe, they are viewed as such in China. Due to their relatively high price they reach a wealthy clientele. By definition they are a relatively high-priced, identity or status symbol of an elite/wealthy group, etc and have some high quality characteristics. Therefore, American wines need to position themselves as (mid high to) high end in China. Most importantly, the American wine industry needs to promote itself jointly with Amer ican wine importers/distributors in China.
Basically, there are three main reasons:
With the rapid development of the wine industry in China, the Chinese will know about quality wines sooner rather than later - like many currently developed countries. The development pace will be faster in China than in previously developed countries;
Imported wines are considered to be a luxury product in China, and will be undoubtedly welcomed by Chinese luxury consumers. This group of customers, currently estimated at 169 million people, are typical target customers of American wines; 3.
The initial impression is significantly important, especially for American wines in China. Similar to the French market positioning, “American wines” should position themselves as a high end brands. This will help develop a image and better sales in the Chinese wine market.
More detailed information is presented in the following sections.
China is changing rapidly and developing preferences for particular products and for products from certain countries. New world, including American, wines are emerging along with the development of the wine consumer. The Chinese wine industry continues to develop rapidly. Chinese wine consumption reached approximately 1.4 billion liters and 36 billion RMB in both volume and value in 2010. Imported wines accounted for...