Subscribe to keep up with the HKIWSC latest

Chinese wine consumers developing greater confidence

Chinese wine consumers are starting to look beyond famous Bordeaux brands and developing greater confidence in their own tastes, according to the head of China’s largest premium wine importer.
Speaking to the drinks business this week, Don St Pierre Jr, CEO of ASC Fine Wines, said: “While typically consumers are interested in Cabernet Sauvignon or certain regions, with Bordeaux being the most important, what we are starting to see is that the consumer who has been drinking wine for three-to-four years has developed a sense of confidence in their own tastes and preferences and that should lead to a much greater variety of wines being consumed in China.”
Continuing, he explained: “Now they are tasting, liking and buying but before they were tasting and liking, but not buying, because they had not heard of the wine and it wasn’t a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Bordeaux château.”
For those labels looking to capitalise on this trend, St Pierre added: “What works is a lot of effort at the point of sale to communicate to the consumer so they can understand the product.”
Stressing the changing situation, he also said: “In the past, let’s say we invested US$30-40,000 in brand promotions such as tastings and point of sale material in specific channels, the resulting sales were very limited. But now we are seeing a stronger tie between effective investment and increased consumption.”
Concluding, he said: “There are new waves of consumers coming into the market for wine every year – and each year the wave is bigger.”
St Pierre is currently relaunching Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR) (Lafite) throughout China having taken on the exclusivity for the company’s wines on 1 January this year.
A future edition of the drinks business will feature a full interview with Don St Pierre.
Chinese wine consumers developing greater confidence