Newer Consumer Landscape Bolsters International and Domestic Brands in Chinese Spirits Market: Ken Research


Fermented distilled beverages are known as spirits. These are manufactured by distillation of grains, fruit, or vegetables that are already alcoholic fermented. All variants of spirits are manufactured using distillation, vaporization and condensation processes. Sprits contain a minimum of twenty percent alcohol content coupled with various fermented products. Spirits with strong aroma are widely consumed in China and are always a staple beverage at business dinners, weddings, and events. Western spirits struggle to enter the Chinese market because domestic drinks such as Baijiu and cocktails witnessed a tremendous growth. Baijiu is China’s traditional spirit and best sold spirit around the world accounting for a maximum share within China’s sprits industry. This trend has almost doubled the market for spirits in China. Maotai is the best-selling baijiu brand in China due to its aroma. However, other popular categories are sweeter, fruitier and strong aroma baijiu.

According to the study “Country Profile: Spirits in China”, the leading players in China’s spirit market are Beijing Red Star Co Ltd, Niu Lan Shan Distillery, Jiangsu Yanghe Group Co. Ltd., Sichuan Yibin Wuliangye Distillery Co Ltd, Shanxi XinghuaCun Fen Jiu Group Co. Ltd, Sichuan Mianzhu Jian Nan Chun distillery, Nanyang Company and Luzhou Lao Jiao Co Ltd. The major distributors within the China’s spirits industry are hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores, food & drinks specialists, dollar stores, vending machines, e-retailers, on-trade and other general retailers. All the spirits manufactured in China use glass, rigid plastics, rigid metal and others packaging materials which are dispensed in the form of bottles and cans. It was observed that there is a huge demand for brandy, gin & genever, liqueurs, rum, specialty spirits, tequila & mezcal, vodka, and whiskey in China.

China possesses an affinity for drinking extremely strong liquor which is bolstering the spirits market. The country possesses thousands of distilleries manufacturing many variants that are extensively in demand. With increasing consumption, the distilleries are close to running out of spirits, according to the latest research. China is also the world’s largest e-commerce market for spirits, according to the latest research report. Chinese online alcoholic beverage market is concentrated, with the leading two players, Tmall and JD,com. These leading players account for over 70% of the market and with around 772 million internet users.

China is the single largest beverage­-alcohol market in the world. The major factors affecting the country’s spirit market are newer urbanisation trends where consumers are exposed to branded products and international­-style spirits. This trend would increase sales and revenue bolstering the industry. The increasing brands coupled with quality within the Chinese spirits market will drive the industry over the next few years.

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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications



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