Emerging Opportunities in the Chinese Wine Market, which was published yesterday, was researched between November 2011 and February 2012 and saw 21 interviews conducted with leading Chinese wine trade professionals.
Wine Intelligence's China-based team found a growing trend in the diversification of consumer tastes, which will mean Bordeaux wines will no longer be the sole interest of consumers.
Chinese wine trade professionals have also indicated that volume growth will come from the so-called Tier Two cities (outside of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) in the next few years.
In terms of style, it is expected that Chinese consumers will start to express themselves more and discover soft, fruity styles of red wine and more white wine - especially in the south of the country where the cuisine is more seafood-orientated.
Jenny Li, research manager at Wine Intelligence and the report’s lead author, said: “It’s probably fair to say that we are reaching the end of the first stage of China’s wine market evolution.
“As we progress towards a more mature marketplace we will see consumer demand shift from the professional gifting occasion towards purchasing for home consumption."
"Overall this is a positive move for the market, and will give Chinese consumers more reasons and occasions to shop the category. However it will also create complexity in the market, and will challenge the resources of retailers, distributors, and brand owners alike.”