Blog: Olly WehringDiageo - Who will buy my baijiu?

Olly Wehring | 31 May 2012

Amongst the sideline talk at this year's Capital Markets Day from Pernod Ricard yesterday, check this, from a China Daily reporter.

Talk over dinner last night turned to baijiu, the domestically-produced white spirit and national drink of China. The category accounts for a staggering 99% of spirits sales in the country, with imported spirits – annual volumes of a still-healthy 5m cases – making up the final per cent.

What was Diageo's thinking in getting involved in baijiu, the reporter asked me. Could the company be keen to grow the Shuijingfang brand in China, or is Diageo looking to introduce baijiu to export markets?

I proffered the possibility that Diageo is hoping to use Shuijingfang as its way in to the Chinese consumer, before looking to turn him on to the likes of Johnnie Walker.

“No,” the reporter fires back. “That will never work.” The baijiu consumer is such, due to a mixture of compulsion and national loyalty, I'm told. A Chinese civil servant, for example, - of which there are a few - will buy baijiu and baijiu alone when it comes to spirits.

I'm hoping Diageo knew this before it made its play for Shuijingfang.

Unless, of course, baijiu's going to get its own gondola end in Wal-Mart and Tesco some time soon?


BLOG

Did Alibaba's 9.9 Global Wine and Spirits Festival flop?

Major wine players flocked to China ready for online giant Alibaba's 9.9 Global Wine and Spirits Festival, which took place on 9 September....

BLOG

Is Vietnam about to curb late-night drinking?

In May, Heineken's CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, called Vietnam the "poster child" for international beer thanks to strong demographics and growing demand....

BLOG

Heineken brings commercial know-how to new recruitment drive

Heineken is known for its flashy adverts. Now the brewer has given the star treatment to a new recruitment drive with a glamorous and highly-persuasive ad that, quite frankly, had the staff here at...

BLOG

Queues are forming for latest (Jim Beam) Apple product

Move over iPhone 7 headphones-gate, there is a new Apple product causing a stir. Or a shake. Or just a shot....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?