Wine export in China
In recent years, Chinese people have significantly changed: today, China is aware of the various types of Italian wine. This interest is strongly growing amongst young men and even more so amongst women thanks to an abundance of raw materials. Basically, China is a country of mindful and curious young individuals that are ready to be conquered!
In fact, China is undergoing several changes: restaurants are turning into more traditional eateries that serve regional dishes and there’s a boom of gourmet pizzerias and fashion stores in the newest districts of Beijing. In fact, the Italian wine industry must absolutely take the new Chinese generation into account, especially women, who are particularly attracted to innovation. However, the communication strategy used up to now has always focused on the male audience only: a public of experts and businessmen.
Shanghai, the city where wine is trendy
The young public of Shanghai wants an easy, light and fresh wine with an eye-catching and never boring packaging; the youngsters of Beijing, however, are seeking stronger, more concentrated and rich wines, perhaps as a result of the temperatures.
Ray Chen, the Sales Director of Sinodrink, who was interviewed by Gambero Rosso, explains: “There’s a huge change with regard to Italian wine. Sales are taking off and I don’t think this trend is likely to stop, at least not until 2019. You must understand that wine has recently become part of the Chinese people’s lifestyle. Today’s twenty-year olds are influenced by Westerners: they have grown up with wine and are more than used to drinking it at the table. This generation still doesn’t have a lot of spending power since they are still finishing their studies, but it will soon have discreet economic resources that are likely to change the market”.
“What I am aiming towards for the future,” continues Ray Chen, “is to bet on the wine from Lombardy. Said wine has the whole package: history, appeal, taste and flavors for all palates. At this point, the Italian wine cellars must drive the Chinese public’s choice and create a one-of-a-kind trustworthy relationship with the same.”
Some additional statistics
Based on very recent EUSME (European center that helps small to medium businesses develop activities with China) data from January to August 2017, it is clear that Italy is the fourth export country with a share of 6.6%, which translates into more than 100 million dollars. Although this data is encouraging and expanding, it is still very low compared to the French market, which holds a share of 43%.
China has entirely different commercial logics and standards compared to ours and to those of the United States or of any other European country; we cannot thus replicate the same export model and we must begin to think like the Eastern population.
Hong Kong, a gateway to the East
As usual, Hong Kong makes history on its own! Unlike in continental China, no import licenses are required, nor are there any rules, duties, fees or other. Furthermore, knowledge of the Chinese language is not mandatory. There are many positive aspects for Hong Kong and only one negative effect: ruthless competition.
Therefore, Hong Kong could be our main gateway to China.
Additional data: in the first eight months of 2017, Hong Kong’s wine imports reached 7.5 billion dollars. Most of the wine was imported from France, the United Kingdom and Italy. Imports from the United States and Italy recorded a growth of 16 and 22% respectively.
The road has been paved: now is the time to get on it in the best manner possible.