China is world’s biggest consumer of alcoholic drinks. According to the recent data, China’s consumption of alcoholic drinks is expected to reach 84 billion litres by 2017, outweighing countries like the US and the UK. More and more locals learn to enjoy imported beverages in contrast to previously preferred local products. Big opportunity for foreign companies looking to export alcoholic beverages to China!
What are Chinese people looking for?
Changes in Chinese people’s eating and drinking habits have been supporting the significant rise in wine consumption. Wealthy consumers love to purchase premium red-wine bottles as a symbol of their wealth. In the first half of 2016, the imported red wine market grew at an impressive rate of 19.1 %. Hence, it is no surprise to see Chinese people consuming 2 billion bottles of red wine in a year.
The growth of the alcoholic drinks market in China is not only driven by wine. Foreign imported beers are becoming increasingly popular as the sophistication of Chinese consumers increases. Since, the imported beer market has seen an increase of 13.74 % of its year-on year value. Indicating the massive opportunity for small import breweries to enter the Chinese market. Imported premium beers are becoming part of a “modern lifestyle” in China. Most of all, consumers want to experiment new flavors and brands. The increased demand will favor SMEs that decide to invest in the world’s largest beer market, hence Chinese consumers switch from mass produced-beer to craft beer.
How to export alcoholic drinks to China?
- Identification of local distributer
- Registration on updated registration system for importers-exporters of imported alcoholic beverages
- Labelling alcoholic beverages
- Importer filing and label filing at China Inspection and Quarantine
- Documents Preparation and CIQ inspection
- Sample Inspection to clear Chinese customs
- Tariffs and Tax
How to sell?
China’s digital revolution represents an exciting opportunity for companies looking to enter the Chinese market. There are over 200 online e-commerce platforms companies can choose from – Tmall, JD, TaoBao, yhd, Alibaba and so on. Tmall launched in 2016 the “9.9 Wine and Spirits Festival day”, creating a dedicated event on the platform. The “9.9” event attracted 100 million orders on Tmall, with consumers buying and purchasing alcoholic drinks from more than 50 countries. Alibaba stated that sales were 10 times higher than the same day in 2015. Nevertheless, e-commerce platforms are not the only way to sell alcoholic products. Possibilities lay in retail stores, restaurants and hotels as well.
Although entering China market may seem challenging, companies should look into possibilities to import their alcoholic drinks to China due to the great advantage of the timing. Chinese consumers are ready for the variety and want to drink alcohol from other countries than China. Since, China’s spirits and wine markets abound with counterfeits and fake brands. Best that foreign brands could do, is to brand beverages as “premium” or “upscale,” and as a result, expect to attract many wealthy consumers in China.