China has became the first market for red wine in 2013. According to the survey from Vinexpo, The Middle Kingdom ended the France’s dynasty as the biggest consumers in the World. The red wine industry has sold up to 1,8 billion of bottles during the year. This is an increase of 136% over the 5 past years. China goes ahed of Western countries as France, Italy, USA and Germany in the ranking. However all these countries overtake China in overall wine consumption. Even if, strangely enough, surveys show a slight decrease in the overall wine consumption in China for the year of 2013, an increase up to 30% are expected by 2017.
The consumption of red wine in China has been boost incredibly since 2005. Between 2008 and 2013, it has experienced a increase of 136 percents, while France market recorded a drop of 18%. Contrary to the widely believed idea, more than 80% of consummed wines are produced in China and the country is now the fifth producer market in the world. Productive area can be find all over the country. Provinces of Shandong (also now for its beer factory in Qingdao), Hebei or even Tianjin are known to contribute strongly to national production thank to the favorable humid climate of the east. The South of China provides some productive region as Yunnan as well.
However, imported wines constantly earn market share, as the volume of imports concerned went up by a factor of 7 since 2007. Imported bottles take advantage of the lack of perceived quality of chinese Wine by consumers, but cannot match China based production’s price policy. Thus, the growing interest from Chinese consumers to French or Italian wine result from a cultural specificity and not so much about an appreciation of the product. To buy and mainly to offer an expensive and famous French wine to drink will lead the buyer to earn face in Chinese society. Therefore this consumption is well-developed in the business environment. For middle class Chinese, drink red wine is still a really seldom commodity and some less financially privileged person have never drunk this beverage.
But this consumption in privileged business context are also associated to corruption and immoderate treatments. Then the new anti-corruption policy of the gouvernment can be a threat to this market.
Do you think China will reinforce its leading position on red wine market in the next few years?
Le figaro (french article)