The situation of champagne in China

Jun 06, 2013 No Comments by

The situation of champagne in China

If you look closely at the Chinese red wine market, you will see that this market is really booming now. Indeed, it exists some values related to wine for example when you have a glorious wine, it means that you have a special social status and that you are wealthy.

It’s strange because this is not the case for champagne contrary to western countries. To illustrate that, we can take the example of the Lafite that every Chinese know as a wine but they never talk about champagne. The director of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), an organism in charge of the promotion of the champagne recently said that the acceptance of champagne is limited in China compared with the red wine.

champagne

Concerning the figures of the champagne market, we count 1,3 million bottles sold in 2012 in China. This number was only 300 000 in 2006, the year of the introduction of champagne in China. Half of this demand comes from the city of Shanghai. The consumption of bottles was 900 000 liters of champagne in 2011 (for the comparison they are 1,3 million liters of red wine consumed).

Three reasons of the slow adoption of champagne in China

First, it’s a question of taste. Indeed, the palate of the Chinese does not really like the acidic taste of champagne. Generally they don’t really like bubbles, that is why in supermarkets you will not see a lot of lemonade or sparkling water. They also are not really fans of cold beverages. One of the solutions for the champagne to be more acceptable for the chinese is to add some syrup with it. Like that it will reduce the acidity.

The second reason concerned the perception of champagne compared with the one of wine. Indeed, champagne is really new for chinese people so they are still not used to drink it. If we compare with red wine, we can say that it’s trendy to drink wine nowadays and that chinese are familiar with the wine. The place of drinking is also different. In western countries it’s mainly to celebrate and before meals, in China it’s mainly in bars or clubs.

The last reason concerns trading policies and market positioning. There is a specific trading model for the wine, indeed the price for a bottle can be very low. It will not be the case for a champagne bottle because champagne producers and traders want to keep a premium image of their product. For example, in a supermarket you can have a bottle of wine for 50 chinese yuans but if you search for champagne you will have to pay 500 chinese yuans, it is thus multiplied by 10.

Scarlett Johansson Champagne

A way to change this trend could be to make consumer education and good marketing campaigns. Champagne is still considered to be a luxury product in China. Wang Wei from the CIVC said that there is a significant growth in the past six years. It also want that China become a market like Japan concerning champagne. Currently, Japan is the first market for champagne in Asia.

Read also our article about the future of wine in China.

 

Chinese Wine Industry, News

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