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Great Potential for Foreign Grape Wine Retailers in China…but Proceed With Caution / 外国葡萄酒零售在中国有巨大潜力,但需谨投资


Author: Claudia Vernotti
Date: June 24, 2014

Great Potential for Foreign Grape Wine Retailers in China…but Proceed With Caution

While grape wine consumption is contracting in the more traditional wine markets of the West, mainly due to the negative repercussions of the global economic recession in the EU and the US, China is experiencing a major boom in the wine industry. The main factors lying behind this impressive growth of the Chinese wine market are increasing levels of income and a larger middle class, increased exposure to wine, increased health consciousness which has driven consumers away from both beer and spirits, and government support to both wine production and consumption. The “12th Five-Year Development Plan for the Wine Industry”, jointly issued by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in July 2012, targets production of 2.2 billion liters of wine by 2015, double the output seen in 2010, with an annual growth of 15 percent.

According to the London-based research company International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR), China was the world’s eight largest wine consumer in 2010. The Dinghong Fund, the first privately-offered wine equity fund to ever be established in China, forecasts that within the next couple of years China will overtake France to become third on the list, after the U.S. and the UK and ahead of Italy and Argentina. Despite such promising prospects, per capita wine consumption in China is still ridiculously low when compared to per capita consumption rates in European countries. In 2011, the Chinese consumed an average of 1.4 liters of wine per person versus 53.2 liters per person consumed annually by the French. This suggests that despite the promising developments of the past few years that have turned China into a key market for both domestic and international wine retailers, there is still room for further growth. In order to beat competition and position competitively in such a dynamic yet crowded environment, it is crucial for potential players, especially start-ups and small to medium sized enterprises, to weigh the potential opportunities and costs offered by the market, as well as having a good understanding of Chinese consumers’ preferences towards wine.

Opportunities vs. Challenges

With a population of over 1.3 billion people and rising per-capita incomes, Chinese demand for vintage wine and luxury products in general is increasing at an incredibly high rate, not only in the major cities but also in second tier cities. This has driven up the price of wine in China, allowing for greater profit margins for both domestic and foreign retailers. Wine drinking is often related to social status and sophistication, with special preference given to imported wine brands, which are seen as a status symbol and a guarantee of high quality. Imported grape wines, which are usually preferred over domestic brands, are playing an increasingly important role in Chinese grape wine sales, accounting for 21% of total apparent consumption volume in 2010. In contrast, export volumes from China are extremely small, at only 1.8 million liters in 2010. The vast majority of imported grape wine comes from France, followed by Australia, Chile, Spain, Italy, the U.S. and South Africa. With increased standards of living, Chinese consumers have also become more concerned with food and product safety, making it easier for grape wine to take shares from less healthy alcoholic beverages, such as beer, baijiu, and other spirits. Also, the government recently proposed an austerity campaign aimed at banning the excessive use of heavy alcohol during official banquets, opening up opportunities for the wine industry to fill this gap.

Those looking to enter China’s wine market need to be aware of the challenges presented by the Chinese market. First of all, grape wine is not a substantial part of Chinese culture and tradition; as such, despite the rapid growth of the industry, China still lacks a real wine culture and knowledge on wine and grapes is very limited. A second problem is that Chinese regulations make it extremely easy to counterfeit wine. As a result, adulterated wine (wine added with water, juices and sweeteners to compensate for the low quality of the wine) can be found everywhere, in bars, pubs and even at certain specialty wine stores. It is not uncommon to see expensive bottles being replaced with low-quality bulk wine, a risk that foreign brands need to be aware of. Imported wine is expensive due to the high customs and taxes added to the original value of imports. As domestic brands – Yantai Changyu, Greatwall and Dynasty are currently the major domestic brands of wine – are refining their production techniques and increasing the quality of their output while ensuring a more affordable price, Chinese consumers might decide to reduce their consumption of more sophisticated imported wines and turn to local retailers. Because Chinese consumers have a tendency to focus on brands, both internationally and domestically, smaller companies without a large brand name can find it difficult to position themselves in the market. This coupled with high marketing costs due to underdeveloped sales and distribution channels as well as complicated regulatory procedures all make new market entries especially challenging, particularly for SMEs.

In order to access the Chinese market, a foreign wine retailer needs to proceed through the following steps:

1) Sign a contract with a Chinese importer
2) Register at the General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (ASQIQ)
3) Register the label according to Chinese standards and translate the original into Chinese
4) Transfer all the customs documents to the Chinese importer following shipment
5) Go through the CIQ inspection
6) Pay all the necessary customs duties, VAT and other taxes.

Chinese Consumers’ Preferences

In contrast to the typical consumer of wine from the West who will usually consume at home for personal pleasure, the typical Chinese consumer prefers to drink wine out of the home and almost exclusively on special occasions, together with friends or business partners. Wine is often associated with social status, and serves to develop one’s personal mianzi, or “face”, in the same way luxury clothes or expensive cell-phones are used for this purpose. Shaun Rein, director of China Market Research Group (CMRG), points out that vintage wine has become the gift of choice for government officials, turning into a sort of “lubricant for business meetings”.

Red wines are by far preferred over white wines, with sweet or semi-sweet reds being the most favored. This preference for sweet tastes can be seen in the habit of many Chinese drinkers to mix wine with coca-cola or sprite, a practice that would be viewed as revolting in the eyes of French or Italian consumers of wine, who find it hard to imagine a Chinese consumer drinking wine in a shot form similar to how one might consume vodka or rum, for the simple purpose of getting drunk. In spite of, or maybe due to, a weak understanding of wine culture, Chinese consumers often make their decision to purchase a particular brand of wine based on the price and the design of the package. In fact, China turned out to be the largest consumer of Chateau Lafite Rotchschid, one of the most expensive wines in the world. As an example, a case of Lafite 1982 sold for a record HK$1.03 million, the equivalent of US$132,770 at the Sotheby’s auction in Kong Kong in October of 2011.

After considering the above analysis we can propose a series of practical advice for wine retailers interested in adventuring in the Chinese wine market.

1. Adapt to local habits
China’s wine market is extremely competitive and dominated by a few larger players. Smaller retailers should try to compete with larger brands by connecting with the Chinese consumer. An example of this could be to include Chinese characters or elements of Chinese culture in the packaging without losing the foreign element of the product. Frequent promotions could be another efficient way to attract the attention of the more price sensitive consumer. Offering smaller packaging, such as bottles of 250ml in place of the normal 750ml size, could be used to convince the least frequent drinkers, including women and young consumers, to purchase the product.

2. Create a story behind your wine
Explaining the history behind the wine can be a good way to educate the consumer as well as an attractive marketing tool.

3. Cultivate your wine e-reputation
E-commerce is spreading extremely fast in China. Wine retailers could exploit the well-established and very popular B2C websites to distribute their wine. Womai and Yihaodian are among the most common ones, while the amount of websites focused on wine are increasing; to cite a few: Yesmywine, Nicewine, Buyswine, Winekee. In addition to selling through e-commerce, a good market tool would be to open a Sina Weibo account through which your wine could be introduced to consumers.

4) Packaging should be ostentatious
Chinese wine consumers are attracted by the design of wine bottles, which should be attractive and colorful, while at the same time including all the relevant information to identify the origin of the product and demonstrate its quality.

Writer: Claudia Vernotti, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’14

作者:Claudia Vernotti
2014年06月24号

外国葡萄酒零售在中国有巨大潜力,但需谨投资

在欧盟和美国主导的全球经济衰退的负面影响下,传统的西方葡萄酒市场正在收缩,而中国的葡萄酒行业却越来越繁荣。中国葡萄酒市场惊人增长的主要因素包括:收入的增加、中产阶级数量的增长、葡萄酒知名度的增加、健康意识的加强促使消费者远离啤酒和烈酒、以及政府对葡萄酒生产和消费的支持。中国工业和信息产业部(工信部)和农业部于2012年7月联合发布了《葡萄酒行业“十二五”发展规划》,《规划》提出到2015年葡萄酒产量达到220万千升,比2010 年增长100%,年均增长15%。
总部位于伦敦的国际葡萄酒及烈酒研究公司(IWSR)的研究指出,中国是2010年世界第八大葡萄酒消费国。中国的首只葡萄酒私募股权投资基金,鼎红基金预测在未来的几年内中国将超过法国成为第三大葡萄酒消费国,仅次于美国和英国而领先于意大利和阿根廷。尽管有如此广阔的前景,与欧洲国家的人均葡萄酒消费量相比,中国的人均葡萄酒消费量仍然低得离谱。 2011年中国的人均葡萄酒消费量是1.4升,而法国是53.2升。这表明尽管过去几年取得的进展已经使中国成为了国内国际葡萄酒零售商的一个重要市场,但中国仍有进一步增长的空间。对于潜在的参与者来说,为了在这样一个充满活力而又拥挤的环境中击败竞争对手并占据有力竞争位置,衡量市场提供的潜在机遇和成本以及了解中国消费者对葡萄酒的喜好至关重要。创业型和中小型企业尤其如此。

机遇与挑战
中国的人口总数超过十三亿人,人均收入不断增长,对于上等葡萄酒和奢侈品的需求正在以令人难以置信的速度增长。需求的增长不仅发生在主要的大城市,也发生在二线城市。这已经带动了葡萄酒价格的上涨,为国内国际零售商带来了更大的利润空间。葡萄酒被认为是与社会地位和复杂的社交相关,消费者喜好进口葡萄酒品牌是因为进口品牌被看作是身份的象征和品质的保证。相比于国产品牌,消费者更加喜好进口葡萄酒。进口葡萄酒的销售份额也在增大, 2010年进口葡萄酒占葡萄酒表观消费总量的21%。相比之下,中国的出口量是非常小的,2010年只出口了180万升。绝大多数的进口葡萄酒来自法国,其次来自澳大利亚、智利、西班牙、意大利、美国和南非。随着生活水平的提高,中国消费者愈加关注食品和产品安全,这使得像啤酒、白酒以及其他烈性酒等的不太健康的酒精饮料所占的市场份额更加容易被葡萄酒所取代。此外政府最近所提倡的节俭节约反对铺张浪费的运动旨在禁止在公务宴请中过度酗酒,这为葡萄酒行业填补这一空白提供了机会。
进入中国葡萄酒市场也要关注中国市场的挑战。首先,葡萄酒并不是中国文化和传统中不可缺少的一个部分。因此尽管该行业正在快速增长,中国对于葡萄酒和葡萄的认识非常有限,所以缺少真正的葡萄酒文化,。第二个问题是中国法律的漏洞使得冒牌酒很容易出现,因此在酒吧、酒馆、甚至一些葡萄酒专卖店随处可以看见掺假的葡萄酒(掺了水、果汁和甜味剂以改善这些低质的葡萄酒)。昂贵的瓶装酒被替换为低质的散装酒并不少见,国外的品牌需要认识到这一风险。进口葡萄酒价格高昂的原因是很高的关税被加到了进口价格中。主要的国产品牌:烟台昌裕、长城和王朝葡萄酒在保证实惠的价格的同时正在改进其生产技术,提高产品质量。因此,中国的消费者可能会减少他们对更好的进口葡萄酒的消费而选择国内品牌。由于中国消费者更关注品牌,包括国际品牌和国内品牌,缺少一个大品牌的小公司可能很难找到他们在市场中的位置。再加上不发达的销售和分销渠道会导致高昂的营销成本、监管也很复杂,所有以上因素使得进入新市场是很有挑战性的,对于中小型企业来说挑战更大。

为了进入中国市场,外国葡萄酒零售商需要进行以下步骤:
1)与中国进口商签订合同
2)在质量监督检验检疫总局注册(ASQIQ)
3)根据中国标准,注册商标并将原文翻译为中文
4)装运后,将所有的海关文件交予中国进口上
5)通过CIQ检验
6)支付所有必要的关税、增值税和其他税费

中国消费者的喜好
与为满足个人享受而在家饮用葡萄酒的典型西方消费者不同,典型的中国消费者更喜欢在其他地方与朋友或商务伙伴一起喝葡萄酒,葡萄酒几乎只出现在特殊的场合。葡萄酒往往是与社会地位联系在一起的,是用来“长面子”的,奢侈的衣服或昂贵的手机同样如此。中国市场研究集团(CMRG)董事雷小山(Shaun Rein)指出上等葡萄酒已经成为给政府官员送礼的一个选择,变成了“商务会议的润滑剂”。
中国消费者对于红葡萄酒的喜好远远超过白葡萄酒,甜或半甜的红葡萄酒是最受喜爱的。许多中国人喜欢将葡萄酒与可口可乐或雪碧混起来,这可以看出他们偏好甜味。这在法国或意大利的葡萄酒消费者看来是令人作呕的,他们很难想象中国人像喝伏特加或朗姆酒一样“干杯”着喝葡萄酒,其目的就是喝醉。尽管如此,或许这也是原因,对于葡萄酒文化的理解的不够使得中国的消费者往往依据价格和包装设计来购买某品牌的葡萄酒。事实上,中国是拉菲庄园全球最大的消费国,而拉菲葡萄酒是世界上最昂贵的葡萄酒之一。举一个例子,1982年的拉菲在2011年10月的苏富比拍卖行的拍卖中以港币103万的历史记录在香港成交,这相当于132770美元。

根据以上分析,对在中国葡萄酒市场冒险感兴趣的葡萄酒经销商,我们提出了一系列切实可行的建议:

1.适应当地的生活习惯
中国的葡萄酒市场竞争十分激烈,由几个较大的参与者主导。规模较小的零售商应尽量通过与中国消费者建立联系来与大品牌竞争。比如说,在不丢失产品的西方元素的前提下在包装中加入汉字和中国文化的元素。频繁的促销可能是一种吸引对价格更为敏感的消费者的注意的有效方法。小包装可以吸引包括妇女和年轻消费者在内的不经常饮酒的人来购买该产品,比如将750ml装替换为250ml装。

2.为你的葡萄酒酒制造一个背后的故事
解释葡萄酒背后的历史可以很好的教育消费者,这也是一个有力的营销工具。

3.培育你的葡萄酒的电子声誉
电子商务正在以极快的速度在中国蔓延。葡萄酒零售商可以利用这些完备而又受欢迎的B2C网站来分销他们的葡萄酒。“我买网”和“一号店”是其中最常见的。专注于葡萄酒销售的网站也在增加,包括:也买酒 (Yesmywine)、 美酒网(Nicewine)、红酒客(Winekee)。除了通过电子商务销售,开设一个新浪微博账户也是很好的营销工具,通过微博向消费者介绍你的葡萄酒。

4.包装应该是炫耀铺张的
中国葡萄酒消费者被酒瓶的设计所吸引,因此酒瓶应该富有吸引力并丰富多彩。同时也应包括所有的相关信息,以确定产品的原产地来证明其质量。

作者:Claudia Vernotti,中美中心国硕士 2014

Author: Claudia Vernotti
Date: June 24, 2014

Great Potential for Foreign Grape Wine Retailers in China…but Proceed With Caution

While grape wine consumption is contracting in the more traditional wine markets of the West, mainly due to the negative repercussions of the global economic recession in the EU and the US, China is experiencing a major boom in the wine industry. The main factors lying behind this impressive growth of the Chinese wine market are increasing levels of income and a larger middle class, increased exposure to wine, increased health consciousness which has driven consumers away from both beer and spirits, and government support to both wine production and consumption. The “12th Five-Year Development Plan for the Wine Industry”, jointly issued by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in July 2012, targets production of 2.2 billion liters of wine by 2015, double the output seen in 2010, with an annual growth of 15 percent.

According to the London-based research company International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR), China was the world’s eight largest wine consumer in 2010. The Dinghong Fund, the first privately-offered wine equity fund to ever be established in China, forecasts that within the next couple of years China will overtake France to become third on the list, after the U.S. and the UK and ahead of Italy and Argentina. Despite such promising prospects, per capita wine consumption in China is still ridiculously low when compared to per capita consumption rates in European countries. In 2011, the Chinese consumed an average of 1.4 liters of wine per person versus 53.2 liters per person consumed annually by the French. This suggests that despite the promising developments of the past few years that have turned China into a key market for both domestic and international wine retailers, there is still room for further growth. In order to beat competition and position competitively in such a dynamic yet crowded environment, it is crucial for potential players, especially start-ups and small to medium sized enterprises, to weigh the potential opportunities and costs offered by the market, as well as having a good understanding of Chinese consumers’ preferences towards wine.

Opportunities vs. Challenges

With a population of over 1.3 billion people and rising per-capita incomes, Chinese demand for vintage wine and luxury products in general is increasing at an incredibly high rate, not only in the major cities but also in second tier cities. This has driven up the price of wine in China, allowing for greater profit margins for both domestic and foreign retailers. Wine drinking is often related to social status and sophistication, with special preference given to imported wine brands, which are seen as a status symbol and a guarantee of high quality. Imported grape wines, which are usually preferred over domestic brands, are playing an increasingly important role in Chinese grape wine sales, accounting for 21% of total apparent consumption volume in 2010. In contrast, export volumes from China are extremely small, at only 1.8 million liters in 2010. The vast majority of imported grape wine comes from France, followed by Australia, Chile, Spain, Italy, the U.S. and South Africa. With increased standards of living, Chinese consumers have also become more concerned with food and product safety, making it easier for grape wine to take shares from less healthy alcoholic beverages, such as beer, baijiu, and other spirits. Also, the government recently proposed an austerity campaign aimed at banning the excessive use of heavy alcohol during official banquets, opening up opportunities for the wine industry to fill this gap.

Those looking to enter China’s wine market need to be aware of the challenges presented by the Chinese market. First of all, grape wine is not a substantial part of Chinese culture and tradition; as such, despite the rapid growth of the industry, China still lacks a real wine culture and knowledge on wine and grapes is very limited. A second problem is that Chinese regulations make it extremely easy to counterfeit wine. As a result, adulterated wine (wine added with water, juices and sweeteners to compensate for the low quality of the wine) can be found everywhere, in bars, pubs and even at certain specialty wine stores. It is not uncommon to see expensive bottles being replaced with low-quality bulk wine, a risk that foreign brands need to be aware of. Imported wine is expensive due to the high customs and taxes added to the original value of imports. As domestic brands – Yantai Changyu, Greatwall and Dynasty are currently the major domestic brands of wine – are refining their production techniques and increasing the quality of their output while ensuring a more affordable price, Chinese consumers might decide to reduce their consumption of more sophisticated imported wines and turn to local retailers. Because Chinese consumers have a tendency to focus on brands, both internationally and domestically, smaller companies without a large brand name can find it difficult to position themselves in the market. This coupled with high marketing costs due to underdeveloped sales and distribution channels as well as complicated regulatory procedures all make new market entries especially challenging, particularly for SMEs.

In order to access the Chinese market, a foreign wine retailer needs to proceed through the following steps:

1) Sign a contract with a Chinese importer
2) Register at the General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (ASQIQ)
3) Register the label according to Chinese standards and translate the original into Chinese
4) Transfer all the customs documents to the Chinese importer following shipment
5) Go through the CIQ inspection
6) Pay all the necessary customs duties, VAT and other taxes.

Chinese Consumers’ Preferences

In contrast to the typical consumer of wine from the West who will usually consume at home for personal pleasure, the typical Chinese consumer prefers to drink wine out of the home and almost exclusively on special occasions, together with friends or business partners. Wine is often associated with social status, and serves to develop one’s personal mianzi, or “face”, in the same way luxury clothes or expensive cell-phones are used for this purpose. Shaun Rein, director of China Market Research Group (CMRG), points out that vintage wine has become the gift of choice for government officials, turning into a sort of “lubricant for business meetings”.

Red wines are by far preferred over white wines, with sweet or semi-sweet reds being the most favored. This preference for sweet tastes can be seen in the habit of many Chinese drinkers to mix wine with coca-cola or sprite, a practice that would be viewed as revolting in the eyes of French or Italian consumers of wine, who find it hard to imagine a Chinese consumer drinking wine in a shot form similar to how one might consume vodka or rum, for the simple purpose of getting drunk. In spite of, or maybe due to, a weak understanding of wine culture, Chinese consumers often make their decision to purchase a particular brand of wine based on the price and the design of the package. In fact, China turned out to be the largest consumer of Chateau Lafite Rotchschid, one of the most expensive wines in the world. As an example, a case of Lafite 1982 sold for a record HK$1.03 million, the equivalent of US$132,770 at the Sotheby’s auction in Kong Kong in October of 2011.

After considering the above analysis we can propose a series of practical advice for wine retailers interested in adventuring in the Chinese wine market.

1. Adapt to local habits
China’s wine market is extremely competitive and dominated by a few larger players. Smaller retailers should try to compete with larger brands by connecting with the Chinese consumer. An example of this could be to include Chinese characters or elements of Chinese culture in the packaging without losing the foreign element of the product. Frequent promotions could be another efficient way to attract the attention of the more price sensitive consumer. Offering smaller packaging, such as bottles of 250ml in place of the normal 750ml size, could be used to convince the least frequent drinkers, including women and young consumers, to purchase the product.

2. Create a story behind your wine
Explaining the history behind the wine can be a good way to educate the consumer as well as an attractive marketing tool.

3. Cultivate your wine e-reputation
E-commerce is spreading extremely fast in China. Wine retailers could exploit the well-established and very popular B2C websites to distribute their wine. Womai and Yihaodian are among the most common ones, while the amount of websites focused on wine are increasing; to cite a few: Yesmywine, Nicewine, Buyswine, Winekee. In addition to selling through e-commerce, a good market tool would be to open a Sina Weibo account through which your wine could be introduced to consumers.

4) Packaging should be ostentatious
Chinese wine consumers are attracted by the design of wine bottles, which should be attractive and colorful, while at the same time including all the relevant information to identify the origin of the product and demonstrate its quality.

Writer: Claudia Vernotti, Hopkins Nanjing Center MA ’14


作者:Claudia Vernotti
2014年06月24号

外国葡萄酒零售在中国有巨大潜力,但需谨投资

在欧盟和美国主导的全球经济衰退的负面影响下,传统的西方葡萄酒市场正在收缩,而中国的葡萄酒行业却越来越繁荣。中国葡萄酒市场惊人增长的主要因素包括:收入的增加、中产阶级数量的增长、葡萄酒知名度的增加、健康意识的加强促使消费者远离啤酒和烈酒、以及政府对葡萄酒生产和消费的支持。中国工业和信息产业部(工信部)和农业部于2012年7月联合发布了《葡萄酒行业“十二五”发展规划》,《规划》提出到2015年葡萄酒产量达到220万千升,比2010 年增长100%,年均增长15%。
总部位于伦敦的国际葡萄酒及烈酒研究公司(IWSR)的研究指出,中国是2010年世界第八大葡萄酒消费国。中国的首只葡萄酒私募股权投资基金,鼎红基金预测在未来的几年内中国将超过法国成为第三大葡萄酒消费国,仅次于美国和英国而领先于意大利和阿根廷。尽管有如此广阔的前景,与欧洲国家的人均葡萄酒消费量相比,中国的人均葡萄酒消费量仍然低得离谱。 2011年中国的人均葡萄酒消费量是1.4升,而法国是53.2升。这表明尽管过去几年取得的进展已经使中国成为了国内国际葡萄酒零售商的一个重要市场,但中国仍有进一步增长的空间。对于潜在的参与者来说,为了在这样一个充满活力而又拥挤的环境中击败竞争对手并占据有力竞争位置,衡量市场提供的潜在机遇和成本以及了解中国消费者对葡萄酒的喜好至关重要。创业型和中小型企业尤其如此。

机遇与挑战
中国的人口总数超过十三亿人,人均收入不断增长,对于上等葡萄酒和奢侈品的需求正在以令人难以置信的速度增长。需求的增长不仅发生在主要的大城市,也发生在二线城市。这已经带动了葡萄酒价格的上涨,为国内国际零售商带来了更大的利润空间。葡萄酒被认为是与社会地位和复杂的社交相关,消费者喜好进口葡萄酒品牌是因为进口品牌被看作是身份的象征和品质的保证。相比于国产品牌,消费者更加喜好进口葡萄酒。进口葡萄酒的销售份额也在增大, 2010年进口葡萄酒占葡萄酒表观消费总量的21%。相比之下,中国的出口量是非常小的,2010年只出口了180万升。绝大多数的进口葡萄酒来自法国,其次来自澳大利亚、智利、西班牙、意大利、美国和南非。随着生活水平的提高,中国消费者愈加关注食品和产品安全,这使得像啤酒、白酒以及其他烈性酒等的不太健康的酒精饮料所占的市场份额更加容易被葡萄酒所取代。此外政府最近所提倡的节俭节约反对铺张浪费的运动旨在禁止在公务宴请中过度酗酒,这为葡萄酒行业填补这一空白提供了机会。
进入中国葡萄酒市场也要关注中国市场的挑战。首先,葡萄酒并不是中国文化和传统中不可缺少的一个部分。因此尽管该行业正在快速增长,中国对于葡萄酒和葡萄的认识非常有限,所以缺少真正的葡萄酒文化,。第二个问题是中国法律的漏洞使得冒牌酒很容易出现,因此在酒吧、酒馆、甚至一些葡萄酒专卖店随处可以看见掺假的葡萄酒(掺了水、果汁和甜味剂以改善这些低质的葡萄酒)。昂贵的瓶装酒被替换为低质的散装酒并不少见,国外的品牌需要认识到这一风险。进口葡萄酒价格高昂的原因是很高的关税被加到了进口价格中。主要的国产品牌:烟台昌裕、长城和王朝葡萄酒在保证实惠的价格的同时正在改进其生产技术,提高产品质量。因此,中国的消费者可能会减少他们对更好的进口葡萄酒的消费而选择国内品牌。由于中国消费者更关注品牌,包括国际品牌和国内品牌,缺少一个大品牌的小公司可能很难找到他们在市场中的位置。再加上不发达的销售和分销渠道会导致高昂的营销成本、监管也很复杂,所有以上因素使得进入新市场是很有挑战性的,对于中小型企业来说挑战更大。

为了进入中国市场,外国葡萄酒零售商需要进行以下步骤:
1)与中国进口商签订合同
2)在质量监督检验检疫总局注册(ASQIQ)
3)根据中国标准,注册商标并将原文翻译为中文
4)装运后,将所有的海关文件交予中国进口上
5)通过CIQ检验
6)支付所有必要的关税、增值税和其他税费

中国消费者的喜好
与为满足个人享受而在家饮用葡萄酒的典型西方消费者不同,典型的中国消费者更喜欢在其他地方与朋友或商务伙伴一起喝葡萄酒,葡萄酒几乎只出现在特殊的场合。葡萄酒往往是与社会地位联系在一起的,是用来“长面子”的,奢侈的衣服或昂贵的手机同样如此。中国市场研究集团(CMRG)董事雷小山(Shaun Rein)指出上等葡萄酒已经成为给政府官员送礼的一个选择,变成了“商务会议的润滑剂”。
中国消费者对于红葡萄酒的喜好远远超过白葡萄酒,甜或半甜的红葡萄酒是最受喜爱的。许多中国人喜欢将葡萄酒与可口可乐或雪碧混起来,这可以看出他们偏好甜味。这在法国或意大利的葡萄酒消费者看来是令人作呕的,他们很难想象中国人像喝伏特加或朗姆酒一样“干杯”着喝葡萄酒,其目的就是喝醉。尽管如此,或许这也是原因,对于葡萄酒文化的理解的不够使得中国的消费者往往依据价格和包装设计来购买某品牌的葡萄酒。事实上,中国是拉菲庄园全球最大的消费国,而拉菲葡萄酒是世界上最昂贵的葡萄酒之一。举一个例子,1982年的拉菲在2011年10月的苏富比拍卖行的拍卖中以港币103万的历史记录在香港成交,这相当于132770美元。

根据以上分析,对在中国葡萄酒市场冒险感兴趣的葡萄酒经销商,我们提出了一系列切实可行的建议:

1.适应当地的生活习惯
中国的葡萄酒市场竞争十分激烈,由几个较大的参与者主导。规模较小的零售商应尽量通过与中国消费者建立联系来与大品牌竞争。比如说,在不丢失产品的西方元素的前提下在包装中加入汉字和中国文化的元素。频繁的促销可能是一种吸引对价格更为敏感的消费者的注意的有效方法。小包装可以吸引包括妇女和年轻消费者在内的不经常饮酒的人来购买该产品,比如将750ml装替换为250ml装。

2.为你的葡萄酒酒制造一个背后的故事
解释葡萄酒背后的历史可以很好的教育消费者,这也是一个有力的营销工具。

3.培育你的葡萄酒的电子声誉
电子商务正在以极快的速度在中国蔓延。葡萄酒零售商可以利用这些完备而又受欢迎的B2C网站来分销他们的葡萄酒。“我买网”和“一号店”是其中最常见的。专注于葡萄酒销售的网站也在增加,包括:也买酒 (Yesmywine)、 美酒网(Nicewine)、红酒客(Winekee)。除了通过电子商务销售,开设一个新浪微博账户也是很好的营销工具,通过微博向消费者介绍你的葡萄酒。

4.包装应该是炫耀铺张的
中国葡萄酒消费者被酒瓶的设计所吸引,因此酒瓶应该富有吸引力并丰富多彩。同时也应包括所有的相关信息,以确定产品的原产地来证明其质量。

作者:Claudia Vernotti,中美中心国硕士 2014

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