Wanting Yang, Asia Development Director explains the profile of U’Wine strategy in China and why we choose to focus on this country.
How do Chinese people perceive wine?
10 years ago, Chinese people spent less money on wine and just looking for exploring different drinks. Today wine has yet become very important in their lives for gifts, parties and important life moments. They also consider that wine can bring them good health, then more and more Chinese consumers choose wine as their daily alcohol beverage.
How do you see the wine evolution in China in the next 5 years?
People have started to drink less but better and this trend will strengthen over the next 5 years. Between 2014 and 2018 the wine consumption in China has increased of 28%, which will make China become the 2nd largest market in the world in 5 years. Also, wine education is getting much more popular in China than a few years ago. According to WSET data, in 2018 academic year there were about 94,000 candidates including nearly 22,000 Chinese. For Bordeaux Grands Crus wines demand will always exist because this is not a product that can be copied.
How Chinese wines could be compared to French Grands Crus?
Actually, China has a long history of making wine. Their first western style wine company Zhangyu was established in 1892 in the Yantai region, which is where Lafite Rothschild group owns a vineyard and where they launched LONGDAI 2017 their very first Chinese wine in September 2019. Moreover, the Chinese wine industry has begun to pay more attention to the quality of wine though there is still a long way to go. French Grands Crus are significantly more mature and stable, it is then impossible at present to compare them to Chinese wines.
U’Wine wants to share its unique wine experience to the Chinese wine lovers whose average age is massively getting younger. Young Chinese consumers are bolder, curious and make more sophisticated choices to differentiate themselves socially. They become today the dominant wine consumer in China. Besides, purchasing bottles of Grands Crus wines is no longer enough to satisfy them; they need more different experiences to satisfy their curiosity of famous wine regions and tailor-made services at their fingertips. This is exactly what U’Wine can provide and will offer them through digital, Grands Crus Experience and its access to the greatest wines in the world. U’Wine potential is huge there, the challenge is just in front of us!