Grand Met hopes to tap into Chinese spirits
Wednesday 19 March 1997
But will Chinese yuppies develop a taste for for vodka? "The issue here is about developing a new category," Richard Watling, Asia managing director for the group's drinks arm, International Distillers and Vintners (IDV), said yesterday. "Vodka is a tiny category in China today. We think there is an opportunity to develop Smirnoff into the refreshment drinking area, that it is the younger consumers who are prepared to experiment, willing to pay a little bit of extra money for a high quality product that is mixable and a long drink. To that extent we are probably competing as much with premium local beers." In other words, vodka will not be pitched head to head against the national white spirit - bai jiu.
The Qufu production line is a $27m (pounds 17m) venture with the state-owned Qufu Distillery, producers of the successful Confucius Family Liquor. IDV has a two-thirds stake, and its Chinese partner holds the rest.
Advertising starts this week in Shanghai for Smirnoff, or Si Mei Luo (Thinking Beautiful Luo River) as it is known in Chinese, a wholly Chinese- made product. Grand Reserve, or Di Xuan (Emperor's Choice) brandy, is a new brand name to be pitched at the southern city of Guangzhou. Old Gold, or Ao Jin (Proud Gold), whisky is on sale in Peking, a brand name previously only used in Brazil, but a blend "crafted especially for the Chinese market".
Local production is IDV's preferred long-term strategy. So far, IDV's imports have been well under $100m a year, because its brands do not compete with premium status liquors.
But Grand Met's chairman, George Bull, yesterday said that, with imports accounting for less than 1 per cent of the total Chinese drinks market, IDV was aiming at the huge potential of the domestically produced market. At less than pounds 8 a bottle, the first three products are more affordable than imports, which are tariff rated at 70 per cent.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...