China leaps into top spot for red wine28th January, 2014 by Gabriel Savage
China has become the largest red wine market in the world after consuming 155 million nine-litre cases in 2013.
According to an IWSR survey commissioned by Vinexpo ahead of its Hong Kong fair at the end of May, Chinese red wine consumption has leapt by 136% since 2008.
This has seen the country push France into second place with nearly 150m cases, an 18% decline on its red wine consumption levels in 2007. In third place with 141m cases lies Italy, representing a 5.8% decline over the same period.
The report, which incorporates Hong Kong into its Chinese figures, highlighted a number of reasons behind this market’s appetite for red wine in particular. These include its perceived health benefits, especially in comparison to rice-based spirits, as well as the positive associations of red in Chinese culture as a whole, where the colour is associated with wealth, power and good luck.
While China’s buoyant economy, large population and growing appetite for red wine has made it a major export target for many wineries, the survey found that over 80% of wine consumed in the country is produced domestically.
Despite China’s position as the fifth largest producer of wine in the world, imported wines are expanding their market share. Between 2007 and 2013 wine imports multiplied seven times to represent 18.8% of all wine consumed in China today.
Vinexpo Asia Pacific takes place in Hong Kong from 27-29 May 2014 and is expected to attract around 18,000 visitors.