Crafting the Future Business Strategy of Wine & Spirits Brands

Chinese consumers’ habits on wine & spirits are evolving faster than ever. Read along to discover SIX of the latest trends in the wine & spirits industry in China!

1. Omnilux Lifestyles: Diversified Demand Space

Drinking culture is omnipresent in China, representing a wide spectrum of drinking occasions from business entertainment to social gathering, from in-home consumption to out-of-home consumption. Identifying the first-win spaces and long-term spaces is key for W&S brands to grow presence and proximity in China.

Data source: Hurun Report, 2019

2. Neo Pleasure: [ Her Drinks ]

RTDs  (ready-to-drinks) was one of the best-performing categories during the pandemic, which was contributed by a host of reasons including low ABV trend, increasing young female drinkers, fit for home consumption, more affordable price, small bottle size and neo flavors.

Tipsy and healthy drinking experience has become a neo pleasure for young female consumers, which provides new territory for W&S brands to explore new product development.

Data source: TMALL Alco-Pop Drink Trend Report, 2020 & IWSR China Report, 2020

3. Consumer-centricity: From B2B to DTC

In 2020 brick and mortar shopping was severely impacted by the pandemic, but D2C has emerged as a more resilient pathway for business growth. Market leaders are making hard pivots to DTC practices to synergize marketing efforts in a consumer-centric approach.

4. Sophistication & Premiumization: The New Social Currency

Premiumization is particularly a key trend for spirit brands going forward. Revisiting the impact of the pandemic, one thing is universal – the more premium, the more resilient. As Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, premium spirit brands are now investing on aspirational and immersive on-trade experience and exhibitions to elevate the brand credentials and positioning in luxury space.

Brands like Macallan and Martell have launched a slew of mega exhibitions & events in these key cities in 2021 to craft and elevate its premium brand experience to Chinese consumers.

01. Macallan x Roca Brothers – Distil Your World

Macallan established a long-standing partnership with the Roca Brothers, crafting a culinary journey that explores the colors, flavors and culture of these leading cities through the eyes of Macallan and the Roca Brothers in Moscow and Shanghai.

02. Martell – Gourmet Theater

Martell collaborated with top chefs launching a host of new immersive food feasts in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xiamen, Shenzhen. The Gourmet Theater orchestrated a new tasting experience by pairing cognac with classic Chinese dishes to be closely connected to the movie concept.

03. Moët Hennessy – BLENDS by Hennessy Concept Bar

Hennessy has inaugurated its first concept bar BLENDS by Hennessy at the heart of Shanghai. With its futuristic atmosphere, the BLENDS by Hennessy? draws fashionable clientele and offers cocktail lovers a sensory journey to experience cognac cocktails in exciting new ways. 

5. Beyond Culture: Hainan As The New Luxury Mecca

“Cognac beyond the South & Champagne beyond the night”. As the future innovative & duty-free hub, Hainan offers massive opportunities for luxury W&S brands to go beyond drinking culture and to target the emerging segments of Chinese travelers to grow the travel retail business in China.

6. China Pride : Quality Wines Produced in China

Chinese wine’s star is on the rise, with China now being one of the top wine producers in the world. The growth of the Chinese wine industry suggests that there is keen interest for local wine communities around the world. China’s central government has approved a 15-year wine development plan for Ningxia region with a scale that could match the production levels of Bordeaux, France.

China Wine Map

Domaine de Long Dai, which is owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite, has been producing wine in Shandong since 2009.

Chateau Nine Peaks, which is established by Karl-Heinz Hauptmann, has been producing wine in Shandong since 2008.

Ao Yun, which is a Sino-French joint venture founded by Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has been producing wine in Yunnan since 2000.

Domaine Chandon Ningxia, which is owned by Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has been producing wine in Ningxia since 2013.


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