Chinese ecommerce market (pic: iStock)

Chinese ecommerce market (pic: iStock)

Research shows Chinese netizens no longer treat wine merely as a gift or panacea, but have developed a genuine interest towards wine, especially those of domestic production.

Research shows Chinese netizens no longer treat wine merely as a gift or panacea, but have developed a genuine interest towards wine, especially those of domestic production.

According to iiMedia Research on Chinese netizen’s wine drinking behaviors, more than 80% of netizens have the experiences of drinking and purchasing wines online.

In the past, wine has been perceived as a luxury gift choice in Chinese gift-giving culture as it is a symbol of wealth or power. The research found that 53.6% of them buy wine as gift. But what’s surprising is that 83.9% of netizens are also buying wine for themselves to enjoy, proving the demand has shifted from gifting to personal consumption. 

In terms of reasons to drink wine, 50.1% of Chinese netizens drink wine to relax and 47.6% enjoy the mouthfeel of wine. Meanwhile, 32.7% think wine would enhance the atmosphere of gatherings, and 18.2% would drink wine for food pairing. 

Health is still another major reason for wine consumption in China, according to the research findings. 46.5% of respondents for the research believe wine can bring health benefits, while 29.1% drink wine to maintain their beauty. 

Wine also plays an important role in Chinese social settings as 37.6% of the surveyed Chinese Internet users say they drink wine when they are at social functions.

Wine is also becoming an investment asset for some Chinese netizens. 22.8% say they buy wine for collections or future investment, and 8.9% of them think drinking wine can show their taste in lifestyle.

Wine buyers in China (pic: iStock)
Wine buyers in China (pic: iStock)


Surprisingly when it comes to imported wines and domestic wines, Chinese netizens leaned towards domestically produced wine brands. 72% of the surveyed netizens prefer domestic wine brands, leaving only 28% of them choosing foreign wine brands, based on the research results. 

The percentage expanded among higher earning individuals or white collar workers. 32.1% of the white-collar respondents favour foreign wine brands, which is slightly more than the general population. 

The research also affirms the assumption of Chinese consumers’ preference towards red wines over white wines. One of the reasons is said to be that red colour is associated with wealth and good luck in Chinese culture. As a result, 82% of the netizens favored red, and only 10.8% picked white wine, while 4% of them preferred rosé wine.

Marketing Strategy

Although luxurious packaging may attract Chinese consumers at first glance, their top concern is still the quality of the wine. 54.6% of netizens said they remembered a particular wine brand mostly because of the wine’s mouthfeel and taste. Packaging design, advertising and promotional activities come later, accounting for 18.7%, 17% and 9.7% respectively.

To infiltrate into the China market, the most effective way as the research shows is promotion on live streaming platforms, a new crossway between e-commerce and marketing. The research found that 48% of netizens obtain wine information from short video platforms such as Douyin, Kuaishou and Wesee etc.

Following the video sharing platforms, Chinese netizens also rely on close friends and traditional advertising channels including television, elevator/ in-store ads, which respectively account for 45.3% and 42.3%. 

Content-sharing platforms like Xiaohongshu (little red book), Zhihu and Weibo are important as well for people to obtain wine information and received 42.1% of popularity. 

Traditional wine exhibitions and wine fairs account for 33.9%, while books take up 12.2%.

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