China workshop - Fast forward

China’s pace of change means wine market business models need to evolve rapidly to keep up

Last week, our Research Director and China Country Manager, Chuan Zhou, was on the road again to deliver our latest series of events, the China Market Workshop 2017. His tour of Iberia took him to Porto, Lisbon and Madrid, accompanied by the Wine Intelligence Spain and Portugal Country Managers, Juan Park and myself, Luis Osorio. The workshop, our most comprehensive overview of this fast-paced, often mystifying wine market, was built on the foundations of 8 years of careful observation and analysis of consumer behaviour and attitudes in China, and the wider marketplace. Commenting on the rapid change we’ve witnessed in that time, Chuan told delegates that “1 year in China feels like 7 years of development elsewhere”.

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During the 3-hour session, Chuan took delegates from the most influential organisations from the Portuguese and Spanish wine industries through the main factors affecting the Chinese wine trade today, starting with Wine Intelligence findings from our latest China Portraits 2017 report. His analysis of our raw consumer segmentation data touched upon the evolving makeup of the urban middle-class wine drinker, with a focus on how Millennials are shaping consumer habits from channel usage to consumption of wines from countries of origin besides France.

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The presentation also demystified the complicated web of regulation and distribution networks, dispelled common myths about wine labelling and brand naming for the Chinese market, highlighted regional differences in taste preferences and consumption habits and pinpointed cities primed for growth in wine consumption. Delegates also explored the uses of WeChat as a business communication tool and direct marketing tool, throwing into focus the importance of mobile devices for wine communication (for example, in the past month 25% of imported wine drinkers have used mobile phones to buy wine).

All the information distilled into Chuan’s presentation can be found across our series of reports on China:

China Portraits 2017

China Landscapes 2017

And our upcoming reports:

Sparkling Wine in the Chinese Wine Market 2018 (scheduled for publication in Q1)

China E-Retail & Communications 2018 (scheduled for publication in Q2)

China Label Design & Branding 2018 (scheduled for publication in Q3)

Author: Luis Osorio