Sichuan province (pic: istock)
China Wine

China’s biggest wine drinking province is …

China's leading e-commerce JD.com has unveiled the most wine-loving province in China during the country's biggest online shopping festival on November 11.

During the Double 11 shopping festival, many bibulous online consumers in China took the chance to stock up their favourite drinks in good deals. For this year, Baijiu, beer and wine are the most popular drinks among JD.com’s online consumers. Different from conventional thinking, the most enthusiastic buyers for wine are from Sichuan, the southwestern province of China.

Double 11 shopping festival, or Singles’ Day, is held on November 11 every year on major Chinese retailer websites. Coupons and consumer subsidies would be offered on platforms to boost users’ consumption during this world’s largest shopping spree. The festival is regarded as a barometer of consumer sentiment and economic growth in China.

Here are some of the highlights from JD.com drinks consumer data.

Guangdong has the highest number of online drinks consumers

The top 10 regions with the highest number of online drinks consumers are Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Hebei, Henan, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Liaoning. 

The top regions with the fastest number growth in online drinks consumers are Shaanxi, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui, Chongqing, Yunnan and Tianjin etc. Each region recorded a year-on-year increase of buyers more than 30%.

Sichuan loves wine 

For wine, the top five biggest consumers are Sichuan, Fujian, Guangxi, Zhejiang and Tibet. 

Although Sichaun ranked as the ninth biggest online drinks buyer nationwide, the province is most intoxicated with wine, it turns out. The wine category is the most popular beverage choice for residents in southwestern Sichuan province as 20% of them chose wine for alcohol consumption. 

Not only residents there prefer wine, their per capita spending on drinks is high as well. Sichuan consumers, driven by 46+ age group, boast an average spending amount of over RMB 1,000 (USD 156) on alcoholic drinks. Its neighouring Chongqing consumers are mostly post-95s and post-85s and would spend over RMB 500 (USD 78) on average on drinks, according to JD.com. 

Opposingly, Hebei province in northern China is least into wine. The consumers in Hebei showed the most fear for wine as only 10% voted for the category.

For baijiu, the top five consumers are from Henan, Shandong, Hebei, Anhui and Jiangxi. Henan surpassed Shandong to become the largest baijiu consuming province with over 60% consumers favoring baijiu.

On the other hand, Shanghai consumers feared baijiu the most. Only 30% of them chose to drink baijiu, which is the lowest ratio of baijiu consumers in China.

For beer, the top 5 consumers are from Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Beijing and Ningxia; For fruit wine, the top 5 consumers are Sichuan, Beijing, Shanxi, Chongqing and Jilin.

Young generation prefer light drinks

The findings show younger consumers prefer alcohol with more affordable price and lower alcohol level, while middle-aged and senior consumers prefer stronger and traditional alcoholic drinks.

According to JD.com’s data, young people aged 20 to 25 prefer cocktails and rum. The popularity of cocktails can be attributed to the rise of bartending culture in China. Cocktails are also regarded as lighter than neat spirits and easier for young people to enjoy. 

Fruit wine and beer with generally low alcohol levels are most welcomed by 26 to 35 years old consumers. The rise of low alcohol beverages is backed by the emerging trend towards moderate drinking in China. 

Moving forward to the middle-aged group, baijiu and sake are first choices for consumers aged 36 to 45, and those aged 46 to 55 prefer wine and investment-worthy wine. These beverages generally are more expensive and contain higher alcohol levels, often used as gifting or consumed in social occasions. 

China’s traditional yellow and health liquor are most popular among consumers aged 56 or above. ‘Health’ liquor is usually made from medicinal herbs or animal parts. It is well received by the older generation because they believe it nourishes health and regulates body functions.

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