In terms of total volume, the wine market in China is the fifth largest in the world. Wine is becoming an increasingly popular alcoholic beverage among Chinese consumers, which bodes well for the continued growth of this market of 965 million adults. Wine benefits from an association with health and beauty, and the Chinese market is influenced by Western lifestyle habits, as well as the growing average income of Chinese consumers. The growth of e-commerce is also playing an important role, helping to attract more young consumers to wine.
Wine Intelligence figures state that there are approximately 52 million wine drinkers. Last year the Chinese consumed 0.88 billion litres of wine, which places China eighth in the list of wine consumers worldwide. This consumption was at its peak in 2017, when figures were the highest for the decade.
The Chinese market, according to globaldata.com, grows by approximately 10% every year, and is was valued at around $42 billion in 2021. However, COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions continued to undermine wine sales in 2021, with the value sales declining annually by 2.7% in 2021. Statista gives more moderate figures for 2023, that is, US$27.17bn, with expected yearly growth of 3.93% over the coming years. According to Staista, the average wine consumption per capita in China is expected to be around 1.14L in the current year of 2023.
It is a curiosity of the Chinese market that 66% of expenditure on wine takes place outside the home. In terms of volumes of wine sold, bars and restaurants account for 47%. In 2019 there were more than 7 million full service restaurants in China, and an additional 18 million fast food restaurants, and, on the streets outside, almost half a million food stalls.
The best-selling wine brands in China on the market continue to be domestic producers. Yantai Changyu Pioneer, Dynasty Fine Wines Group and Tonghua Grape Wine were the top three companies in the Chinese wine market by volume in 2021, while GreatWall Wine, Changyu Pioneer Wine Company and Dynasty emerged as the leading brands. Previously, local producers dominated the Chinese market, and the share of imported wine was less than 50%. Figures provided by CADA, however, show that imported wine has overtaken Chinese wine as the major force within the country, now accounting for more than two thirds of total market value.
E-commerce is of particular relevance in terms of avenues of commerce. The 2021 IWSR E-commerce Study predicted that the Chinese alcohol e-commerce market will grow at a rate of almost 16% until at least 2024. In many ways, this rapid growth was driven by the pandemic, but even with its end, the industry continues to grow. According to ecommercedb in the Chinese Alcoholic Drinks retail market, the online share is 14.7% and will increase by an average of 8.6% to 20.5% by 2027.
To better understand the preferences of the Chinese wine market, attention should be paid to the structure of imported wines by country:
As of 2021, here are the top ten countries importing wine into China:
• France – import value US$1.058 billion
• Australia – import value US$723.25 million
• Chile – import value US$269.7 million
• Italy – import value US$168.4 million
• Spain – import value US$162.1 million
• USA – import value US$75.5 million
• South Africa – import value US$32.9 million
• New Zealand – import value US$28.77 million
• Argentina – import value US$26.18 million
• Germany – import value US$25.8 million
When entering the market, the major cities are Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Baoding, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, and Linyi. But the market varies widely, for example, in the southern province of Guangdong, with its vast cities in the Pearl River Delta and western links to Hong Kong, imports roughly a third of all bottled wine. As elsewhere, red is more popular than white by a significant margin. Eight out of every ten bottles of wine consumed in China is red, making it the largest consumer of red wines in the world, surpassing even France and Italy.
Key wine distributors, China, are: Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co Ltd, Dynasty Fine Wines Group Limited, Tonghuagrapewineco.., Ltd, Yantai Weilong Grape Wine Co., Ltd, and Yunnan Shangri-La Winery Co Ltd
Currently, the top eight wine importers, China, are as follows: ASC fine wines, Summergate, Jointek, Aussino, C & D, Torres, Pernod Ricard, and Jebsen.
According to horizons, to sell wine in China most effectively, you’ll need to take advantage of popular events: Top Wine in Beijing, SIAL, Vinisud in Shanghai, Tang Jiu Hui in Chengdu. European institutions such as ProWein, Vinexpo, and Vinitaly, all have Chinese editions.