China: world’s leading red wine consumer
China has become the world’s largest red wine consuming nation, ahead of France and Italy.
13 February 2014
Having downed more than 155 million nine-litre cases or 1.87 billion bottles of red wine in 2013 (up 136% compared to 2008), China – including Hong Kong – has become the largest red wine market in the world, followed by France with nearly 150 million cases and Italy with 141 million cases.
According to a market survey commissioned by Vinexpo, the international wine and spirits exhibition, whose Asian show is to be held from 27th to 29th May this year in Hong Kong, Chinese consumers have become increasingly attracted to red wine since 2005. Between 2007 and 2013, the Vinexpo/IWSR study reveals that red wine consumption grew 275% in China while it decreased by 5.8% in Italy and 18% in France.
The symbolic value of red
Apart from its virtues with regard to health, which have been widely lauded as an alternative to the impact of excessive consumption of rice-based spirits, the popularity of red wine is largely due to the symbolic importance of its colour. Red is a very positive hue in Chinese culture, associated with wealth, power and good luck. In business circles, these three values are fundamental.
Red wine is therefore an obvious choice for business hospitality where partners can drink to each others’ health.
Red is also the colour of China.
More than 80% of the wines consumed in China are made there and the nation is currently the fifth-largest producer in the world.
However, imported wines are rapidly gaining market share. Between 2007 and 2013, wine imports grew 700% and now account for 18.8% of all wine consumed in China today.
To meet this growing demand for imported wines, Asian buyers can meet a wide range of exhibitors at Vinexpo Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong on the 27th, 28th and 29th May this year.