Fear of wine fakes is biggest barrrier to sales in China

10 January, 2013

Consumers’ fear of fakes is the biggest obstacle to imported wine sales in the Chinese off-trade, according to Wine Intelligence.

The global research company surveyed 1,000 drinkers of imported wine in China and found 44% of respondents were put off by the prospect of fakes among higher-end wines.

The sample, taken from the affluent imported wine drinking community aged 18-49, which Wine Intelligence estimates to be around 19 million consumers, also registered concerns about “what the wine would taste like” (38%) and a “lack of good information on the back label” (34%).

Rui Su, research manager at Wine Intelligence said: “As with anything new, they are worried about making a mistake and wasting money, which is at least as much of a concern to Chinese as it is to consumers in the West.

“The big challenge for this year is for retailers and producers to reassure Chinese consumers that what they are buying is genuine, as well as good quality.”

In more general terms the research, which is part of Wine Intelligence’s China Landscapes 2013 report that was published yesterday (January 9), found the outlook for imported wine in China to be positive.

Chinese wine consumers are still very interested in learning more about the category, the report said and highlighted the surging demand for wine from reputable online retailers.

Su added: “Most Chinese consumers who can afford to buy imported wine are intensely curious about the product and eager to understand it better.”

Much of the growth over the next five years will now come from increased distribution in what Wine Intelligence terms “the huge new urban areas of China’s interior”. 

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