The bottled wine segment grew moderately on both value (16.83%) and volume (21.57%) comparing to 2015’s import data. Average unit price slightly dropped 3.9%.
Below is the top 20 wine export countries (ranked according to import value) to China which accounted for 99.60% and 99.47% of shares in value and volume respectively.
*Ukrainian wine, replacing Austrian wine, ranked 18th in the import volume ranking.
The top five exporting countries were still France, Australia, Chile, Spain and Italy, who occupied almost 90% of the whole imported wine business (89.92% and 88.92% in value and volume respectively).
Alert to Spanish Wines
Spanish wine sales was dominated by a large portion of private label (aka OEM) wine sale at the price less than one Euro per standard bottle which drew down their average unit price (the only country sold below US$2/L). This has brought an impression to Chinese customers (especially distributors) that Spanish wine was cheap wine (meant low quality) which resulted distributors not willing to buy high price (quality) wine from Spain. This situation would get worser should Spanish wine industry not retrofit this. It would be a disaster if this impression expanded and implanted into Chinese wine consumers, no one will pay high price to buy quality Spanish wine. It’s a matter of strategic decision to trade off Spanish wine’s future in China than today’s slim profit.
Small is Beauty
Russian wine was the top performing star in 2016. The sales grew 232% and 243% in value and volume respectively. Followed by Ukrainian wine and Bulgarian wine.
Although the history is still short (less than 30 years) in view of Chinese to adopt grape wine in their daily lifestyle and drinking culture (in comparison to Bai Jiu (or white liquor), a general term of Chinese crop liquor), while the major wine consuming group, almost all started their wine drinking experience from French wine, especially Bordeaux. So now to those senior (in terms of their wine experience) drinkers, there’s a saying – ABB (anything but Bordeaux), this describes the trend of this experience group who would like to try something new, different and less familiar, that’s what brought these new performing stars to boost, but of course the promotion is still indispensable. China is so huge and wine producers from any countries can’t just put their wines on shelves and expected a result.
Related article: 2016 China’s Imported Wine Data I – General Information, A Moderate and Healthy Growth Year