The Chinese thirst for wine is attracting a growing number of companies

The Chinese thirst for wine is attracting a growing number of companies

The number of companies importing wine to China hit a record high of 3,863 last year – up 73% on 2010, a new report has revealed. 

The study, 'China Wine Market – Mind the Gap', found the number of importers had grown 200% in five years, as firms are attracted by “strong volume growth and sound margins”. It also suggests that wine has taken some share from premium Chinese baijiu producers. 

Looking ahead, the report, from banking firm Rabobank, notes: “Wine is well positioned for the future with a growing number of younger, 20-39 years old, more affluent consumers who are increasingly exploring wine as a viable alternative.” 

The study, released to coincide with wine and spirit exhibition Vinexpo Asia-Pacific 2012, also predicts in China “brands are expected to become increasingly important to consumers in the grocery, hotel and restaurant channels due to the clear need for brands to better guide their purchase decisions”. 

However, Rabobank warned: “As the market expands, both domestic and foreign wine companies continue to grapple with how to most effectively identify, reach and communicate to a very diverse and unfamiliar consumer base”.