Visitors gather at Remy Cointreau's booth during the second CICPE. (Photo provided to China Daily)
China's consumption of imported wines and spirits like whisky and cognac has continuously expanded, fueled by a growing high-income group and increasingly sophisticated tastes, and global wine and spirits retailers are investing more in China to meet growing demand, said global wine and spirits makers at the just-concluded China International Consumer Products Expo in Haikou, Hainan province.
French spirits group Remy Cointreau, a two-time participant at the expo, said it hopes to continue strengthening close connections with the China market through the event. Since the establishment of the Hainan Free Trade Port, the group has taken Hainan as one of its most important strategic markets worldwide.
The company displayed an enriched portfolio of its products at the expo to further demonstrate its confidence and determination to invest in China. Besides key brands such as Remy Martin, Louis XIII, Cointreau, the Botanist Islay Dry Gin and Bruichladdich Single Malt Whisky, the company also presented its Champagne Telmont to Hainan consumers for the first time.
The group has expanded cooperation with high-end clubs, malls, premium restaurants and luxury hotels in Hainan. It is actively laying out its products in the local market.
"In recent years, spending on foreign liquor and spirits in China has continued to expand, and consumers have shown higher demand for premium brands. We are full of confidence in China and will continue to invest in the market and create more high-quality experiences," said Sophie Phe, CEO of Remy Cointreau China.
As one of the spirits brands that expanded its online sales very early in the game in China, Remy Cointreau has launched mini-programs on WeChat, held live-streaming sessions, and deeply integrated online and offline sales.
Meanwhile, Australian wine producer Penfolds, which attended the expo for the first time this year, displayed multiple styles of limited editions of its new products tailored for the China market, showing its commitment to the country.
"We have noticed changes in consumption habits in China and the emergence of new retail models. We hope to further discuss new business opportunities to link retail with different partners," said Wu Mingfeng, general manager of Penfolds China.
As for domestic enterprises, Clobotics－a company focusing on computer vision and machine-learning technology and founded in Shanghai in 2016－hopes to further tap the local market by attending the expo for the first time this year.
The company showcased its latest self-developed refrigerator with special doors designed for beverage and alcohol retailers. The doors digitally reveal which kinds of beverages are within, and technologically savvy staffers can help easily change the contents displayed on the screens.
"Some beer and beverage retailers are particularly interested in buying such refrigerators and using them at clubs," said Claire Chen, chief operating officer of Clobotics.
The first generation of refrigerators developed by the company, equipped with two cameras, has been widely used at convenience stores nationwide in cities such as Quanzhou, Fujian province. So far, the company has exported its products to more than 20 countries and regions.