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China’s super rich reveal their favourite drinks

An annual survey of consumption habits among China’s millionaires has revealed the country’s preferred drinks brands for collecting and gifting.

The Wealth Report charts the tastes and habits of 551 Chinese citizens with personal assets of more than 10m RMB

According to the Hurun Report 2013 Wealth Report, which was released in London this week, China’s super rich enjoy collecting watches, art and red wine, holidaying in France, driving Maseratis, gifting Château Lafite and drinking Rémy Martin’s Louis XIII Cognac.

In particular, of the 551 millionaires surveyed in the report, “the most commonly collected alcohol is red wine”, with the drink coming in third place behind watches and Chinese classical art when China’s richest citizens were asked what they most liked to amass.

Furthermore, a record proportion of wealthy Chinese admitted to collecting red wines this year, with 29% saying that they liked to amass wine in 2013, up from 23% in 2012 and 17% in 2011.

In contrast, the proportion collecting watches and cars is falling.

Meanwhile, when it comes to present-giving, Château Lafite Rothschild is the only vinous label in the top 15 “male millionaires’ preferred brands for gifting” – the first growth is listed in tenth place, ahead of Armani, but behind Burberry, with Louis Vuitton in top spot.

As for spirits, Chinese baijiu brand Moutai is listed in 13th place, dropping out of the top 10 since the label became the focus of media scrutiny, according to the report.

In terms of more general trends, the Wealth Report points out that the number of Chinese millionaires has now reached 1.05 million, up 3% on the previous year’s figure of 1.02m, although the survey stressed that the rate of increase has slowed to its lowest level in the last five years.

The report, which charts the tastes and habits of 551 Chinese citizens with personal assets of more than 10m RMB, including 69 with over 100m RMB, notes that 70% of Chinese millionaires are male and the average millionaire in China is aged 38 and owns 3 cars and 4 watches.

Chinese millionaires said their favourite car is the Maserati GranTurismo

It also records that as many as 70% of these very rich drink alcohol and 50% are “connoisseurs of red wine”, with red wine remaining the “preferred alcohol” for 49% of those surveyed, followed by whisky (16%), Chinese spirits (15%), Champagne (12%) and Cognac (8%).

Chinese millionaires admitted to sleeping 6.6 hours on working days and 7.2 hours on the weekend on average, while they said that their favourite cars are the Rolls Royce Phantom and Maserati GranTurismo, and their number one travel destinations are France and the US.

Their “best drinks brands” when it comes to imported and local spirits, as well as Champagne and wine, are listed over the following pages.

Top 5 best premium imported spirits

Cognac and Scotch are the preferred imported spirits among Chinese millionaires. Although Hennessy is China’s best-selling imported spirit, it is the smaller Rémy Martin Cognac that takes top spot – famed for its highly expensive Louis XIII expression.

1 Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Cognac
2 Hennessy Cognac
3 Royal Salute Scotch
4 Johnnie Walker Scotch
5 Martell Cognac

Source: Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013

Best Chinese Spirit: Moutai

Moutai is the luxury local spirit of choice among China’s richest citizens, although its popularity is said to be declining since it became the focus of media scrutiny according to the Hurun Report.

Indeed, as previously reported by the drinks business, baijiu producers have resorted to aggressive discounting in China to maintain sales volumes.

Reasons cited by db for the drink’s downturn include a ban on buying luxury goods among government officials, and the negative press surrounding “vintage” baijiu – a term that has been abused in China due to the lack of laws governing the use of the term on baijiu labels.

Tougher driving laws have also been imposed the last two years, and a new lower threshold for drink driving has led many to replace baijiu with non-alcoholic beverages.

Source: Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013

Best Champagne: Perrier-Jouët

Interestingly, the rich Chinese surveyed by the Hurun Report cited Perrier-Jouët as their preferred Champagne brand, not the largest player worldwide, Moët.

Perrier-Jouët’s brand strength in China doubtless centres on its prestige cuvée Belle Epoque (pictured), which is particularly popular in the US, the top travel destination for China’s millionaires, along with France.

The Champagne brand is owned by Pernod Ricard, which owns and distributes some of China’s most sought-after luxury spirits labels, such as Chivas Regal and Royal Salute whiskies as well as Martell Cognac.

Source: Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013

Best wine: Château Lafite Rothschild

Finally, readers of db won’t be surprised to see that Château Lafite Rothschild is perceived to be the best wine brand among China’s wealthy elite.

Deemed to be the first of the firsts – referring to its position as the best of Bordeaux’s five first growths – the label also features in the Hurun Report as the tenth most gifted product among China’s male millionaires.

Source: Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013

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