China's lifestyle quality generates huge opportunities

2019-11-04 China Daily Editor:Mo Hong'e

By Wu Lei

As an enduring cultural symbol of fine life, the role of wine has evolved over time. Today, after meeting their basic needs, more wealthy Chinese families prefer to improve their quality of life by drinking more imported premier wines and buying more high-end global products.

What opportunities is this consumption trend generating? What kind of lifestyle do these people follow? Taking the example of imported wine consumption, I invited three special guests joining the discussion. They are Roberto Rossi, CEO of Amore Wine Italy, he is participating this year's CIIE. Leo Li is the curator of Shanghai International Wine & Spirits Museum, Xu Jidan is a wine enthusiast. 

Huge demand for high quality imported wine

Wine has evolved as part of life, culture and diet since ancient time. We are shooting inside a very fine wine cellar, looking at these beautiful imported wines, actually Chinese people have a long history of drinking tea and liquor, but today a growing number of Chinese consumers are likely to drink imported wine. Xu Jidan said when she could drink wine, she always wanted to try something new.

While Roberto says wine is a part of lifestyle, with the help of globalization, Chinese people are now embracing more of western lifestyles. And Leo Li said there are 3,000 wine importers in Shanghai. According to Wine Australia, in 2018, the Chinese consumed an average of 1.2 liters per person per year compared to 50 liters in France.

But both Leo and Roberto are very optimistic about Chinese wine market, they say the growing number of middle class families in China generate huge opportunities.

Challenges remain for expanding the market

Xu Jidan said the major challenges for imported wine market is that it is hard for customers to pick the right wine or good wine. Because there are so many brands that it is not easy for customers to pick up the right ones. 

It is not easy to know Chinese cultures and customers. His suggestions are to find a good partner, to localize their marketing strategies. And Leo said foreign brands need to focus on branding and marketing to build a good image, they are not only selling products, but also telling the stories behind the brand. 

New technologies boost imported products sales

With the help of e-commerce and other new technologies, today Chinese people have more options than ever, how to meet the growing demands of younger consumers? Roberto said they are now focusing on online sales, promoting more products through these digital channels, as today people have different ways of shopping, especially those millennials and money spenders, so they need to build their brand image there.

While Leo Li said Artificial Intelligence technology is also being widely used in wine promotion. They are using big data and AI technologies to make a smart wine cellar, which can recommend wine according to each customer's personalized needs.

As we can see Chinese consumers are now demanding more healthy, personalized and smarter lifestyles, which are expected to bring enormous opportunities to all sectors including drinks, food, clothing and cosmetics. Many believe both businesses and consumers will benefit from this increasing competition.


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