How can I sell my wines in China? Part 1

– By Dan Siebers

This is part 1 of 5.

Many people wonder, “How can I sell my wines in China?”

They’ve heard so much about the booming China market and don’t want to be left behind. But the questions they should ask are, “Should I sell my wines in China?” or “When should I sell my wines in China?”

What have they heard about the China market? About the rising income levels? The huge homogeneous population? The amazing GDP growth?

There is truth in all these things, but the key point is that China’s success is built on its ability to manufacture goods cheaper than most other nations for the purpose of export. Of course, raw materials must sometimes be imported for manufacturing, but in general, importing finished goods into China is like driving in the wrong direction on the freeway.

In the wine market, in particular, most of what I’ve seen reported in the media is either incorrect or exaggerated. Of most concern is that more than half of the “hard facts” are wrong, including in in-depth articles in certain wine trade magazines. Why do the media give such a distorted picture?

Here are some issues to consider:
– Very little comprehensive professional consumer research in the area of wine has been done in China.
– The main source of consumer trends is anecdotal comments from individuals in the wine business.
– There is misinformation, which includes exaggeration, in the international media.
– The only source of hard data is import statistics by importers, broken down by country. These must be intensively filtered to draw out the “real” data.

On Friday, Part 2 in this series: Consumer trends

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