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 Edward Heath 'raped 12 year-old boy at Mayfair flat'
- 2 London is the most googled city in the world
- 3 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 4 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
- 5 Richard Dawkins ridicules Sabrina Corgatelli for claiming her giraffe kill was 'ethical'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
iJobs Money & Business
£35 - £50k DOE: Guru Careers: A Tax Manager / Accountant (ACA / CA / CTA) is n...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Contracts Executive - Cit...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...