- Published on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 10:50
- Written by Carol Emmas
Vinexpo Asia-Pacific to is to give centre stage to the Chinese wine market after a Rabobank report revealed the number of importers has grown by around 73% in one year.
The report, named China Wine Market – Mind the Gap, shows the number of importers is estimated by China customs to have risen to 3,863 companies in 2011, with a rise of 200% in five years.
However, the research showed that, in an emerging market, both domestic and foreign wine companies continue to grapple with how to most effectively identify and communicate with a diverse and unfamiliar consumer base.
The research also identifies the difficulty global brand owners face to bridge the gap between the growth of the market and the opportunities they face in conventional market channels.
And while the growth story remains intact, it warns suppliers to be mindful of the apparent gaps, especially concerning Chinese domestic wine companies which have been largely caught off guard by competition from foreign wine imports.
It adds that they are, however, restructuring their businesses to ensure they are not denied their share of the market's future growth.
Other research reveals that wine has taken some share from premium Chinese baijiu producers. Baijiu, a local white spirit, is traditionally consumed and offered during government and business entertainment gatherings.
Its figures show the supply of wine has risen 14% year on year to roughly 1.4 billion litres in 2011, of which 17% (or 241 million litres) was foreign bottled wine, a 65% increase year on year.
Wine is also well positioned for the future among those aged 20-39 – more affluent consumers who are increasingly exploring the category as a viable alternative.
Plus brands are expected to become increasingly important to consumers in the grocery, hotel and restaurant channels.