China News Service, Hong Kong, November 4th: Sichuan liquor goes to Hong Kong to meet global buyers: overseas markets have huge potential and urgent need to reduce unfamiliarity
Author Shan Peng
“Chinese liquor companies need to be more open-minded.” After receiving buyers from South Korea, Italy and other countries and regions, Cao Chang, a staff member of a liquor company in Mianyang, Sichuan, found that the overseas market’s understanding of Chinese liquor was far beyond his imagination. , this is undoubtedly a positive signal to open up overseas markets. “I used to think that no one was interested in liquor overseas. In fact, Italian buyers are very willing to act as agents, and Korean buyers are also very interested in spirits.”
The 3rd and 4th are the professional visitor days of the 15th Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair. In this wine-based exhibition, liquor seems to be a “maverick” existence. Nine well-known liquor companies from Sichuan “gather together to keep warm” and share an exhibition area to showcase the charm of Sichuan liquor to global buyers while “taking the pulse” of the international market trend of liquor.
On November 3, professional visitors learned about Sichuan liquor at the 15th Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Exhibition.Photo by Shan Peng
In the liquor tasting area with the words “Guochao” printed on it, a variety of classic Sichuan liquors are lined up on the bar for buyers from all over the world to taste. While drinking and drinking, the visitors could understand and feel the differences between the soy, strong and light aromas of liquor. Some interested buyers followed the example and walked to the Sichuan Baijiu exhibition area for in-depth exchanges. “The business cards I brought all glowed, and dozens of WeChat messages were added.” Zeng Yan, the person in charge of a liquor company in Luzhou, Sichuan, felt that this trip was very fruitful. “Before coming to Hong Kong, our liquor had been sold to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and other places, this trip hopes to open up a larger market.”
Sichuan is China’s main liquor production area, accounting for “half” of the country’s output and revenue in 2022. As Wuliangye, Luzhou Laojiao and other Sichuan liquor brands are developing overseas, more Sichuan liquor brands are eager to try it, hoping to occupy a place in the internationalization of liquor as soon as possible. Not long ago, Sichuan launched the “Sichuan Wine Global Tour”, and the six classic Sichuan wine brands went to Japan and Australia to look for business opportunities.
In recent years, it is an indisputable fact that liquor has become famous overseas and consumption has increased. To a certain extent, the establishment of individual liquors overseas has a lot to do with the increasingly close economic and trade exchanges between mainland China and overseas. As mainland businessmen continue to come to Hong Kong to discuss business, liquor has become increasingly indispensable at business banquets. Hong Kong dealer Zheng Simin, who represents many big-name mainland liquors, has witnessed the transformation of liquor in Hong Kong from consumers who don’t understand it and don’t drink it to people who start drinking it: “Twenty years ago, when I sold Moutai at the factory price, no one wanted it, but now everyone will buy it. .”
But outside of dinner parties, it is difficult for liquor to enter the daily lives of overseas consumers. Zhang Gaowen, a Hong Kong dealer who often travels between the mainland and Hong Kong, believes that the alcohol content of liquor is generally high, which makes it difficult for local consumers in Hong Kong who are accustomed to drinking low-alcohol liquor to accept it. In daily life, the liquor culture of the mainland has not yet been formed in Hong Kong.
On November 3, professional visitors experienced Sichuan liquor at the 15th Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Exhibition.Photo by Shan Peng
After visiting the exhibition, Steve, a Hong Kong citizen who works in marketing, said that liquor consumption is deeply bound to culture and eating habits. He suggested that potential consumers be introduced to liquor tasting methods and meal matching methods to break the role of liquor in daily life. the feeling of strangeness. At the same time, there can be more creativity in promoting liquor.
Cao Shubin, a professional sommelier who came to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, believes that in time baijiu can conquer more “overseas taste buds”, but before that, it is necessary to dig deep and tell the culture and story of baijiu. “Sichuan baijiu is of high quality, but It is necessary to display a series of things that reflect the liquor culture, such as the brewing technology and the history of the cellar.”
Before going to Hong Kong this time, Luo Guang, a liquor engineer from a liquor company in Luzhou, Sichuan, was thinking about how to “bend down” to embrace young consumers. In his view, overseas consumers may accept the light-flavor liquor with less strong aroma more quickly. “Fragrant liquor can also be used as the base liquor for cocktails, attracting young consumers to taste.” He said, “In short, overseas Chinese are currently the main group of overseas liquor consumers. I hope they will slowly bring liquor out of the circle.” (over)