Overview of Chinese Baijiu
Baijiu, a kind of white liquor existed for centuries, has been a favorite alcoholic beverage in China. In particular of some important Chinese traditional festivals or occasions, baijiu is always a right and appropriate choice for celebrating and serving guests. In China, people always choose to go to the supermarket to purchase several bottles of baijiu for family dinner or offering as a gift with a price range from few dozen yuan to thousands yuan.
Baijiu’s Market Report in China
According to an article, published on China Economic Review in the May 2008, named “Pouring a Big One”, Vin & Sprit (V&S) claims that baijiu is the world’s most popular spirit, with annual sales volume of 520 million 9-liter cases compared to vodka with 497 million 9-liter cases. Within this article, the rank of different baijiu brands’ market share was reported. The following is a list of baijiu brands with respective market share.
1. Wuliangye (五粮液) 45%: Wuliangye is made from five organic grains; those are Proso millet, corn, glutinous rice, long grain rice and wheat. In 2012, Wuliangye brand value exceeded 65.9 billion for 18 consecutive years, ranking the food industry first. During the event of 18th China 100 brand value list ‘freshly baked in London, Haier, Lenovo, Wuliangye three brands overwhelmingly occupy the top three brands. Wuliangye brand value following the 2011, a new high reelection to 65.919 billion yuan, and in the third place for 18 consecutive years.
2. Kweichew Moutai (贵州茅台) 30%: Maotai is famous for its virtue of sauce-fragranced taste which comes from that the town of producing Maotai possesses a unique climate and vegetation. As China’s offlical state banquet wine, Maobai was honored to be one of the world’s three best known liquors, together with whisky and cognac.
3. Guojiao 1573 (国窖 1573) or National Cellar 1573 10%
4. Shuijingfang (水井坊) 10%: Shuijingfang, as one of the National Cultural Heritage Sites, is the oldest ancient distillery which was reserved completely and perfectly can be found as for now. With alcohol content ranging from 53% to 70%, it is also famous for its clear and pungent tasting characteristic. Diageo, the multinational that owns the Smirnoff vodka brand, among others, took a 43% stake in Quanxing Group, which owns part of baijiu maker Shuijingfang, in January.
5. Others 5%
Foreign Companies’ Strategy and Performance in China
Similar to what Diageo did, four months after Shuijingfang purchased, France’s LVMH became the majority shareholder in Wenjun, another distiller. Then Vin and Sprit (V&S), makers of Absolut vodka, formed a joint venture with Jiannanchun, widely regarded as one of China’s top brands alongside Wuliangye and Maotai. V&S itself was acquired by French conglomerate Pernod Ricard at the end of March.