Three Main Trends Reflected in China Food and Drinks Fair

2018-11-06 10:15 WBO葡萄酒商业观察

Write | Chang Yanan

Translate and Edit | WBO Jessie

Some well-known  wine enterprises such as ASC, C&DSummergate and Aussino, did not participate in this China Food and Drinks Fair in the past October. Instead, wine companies on the rise were showing positively, Great Wall, Wine&Wine and Auswan are the prime examples.


Certain exhibitors told me that the visitors flowrate in the first morning of the main exhibition venue was better than that of last year in Chongqing. 


But there were also exhibitors complain too, the overall environment is not good, the visited distributors were more careful in selecting new products. In the past years, clients made orders in the exhibition after talking with the exhibitors, whereas very few of them placed order in this October.


Wine products are more responsive to China's consumption preferences


After observation from two details of exhibited products, I concluded the first key words consumption power in the CFDF, which could be the driving force of label and bottle upgrading. In the exhibition center, many wine label designs are impressive, textural, simple and easy to identify.


In the past, many imported wines had similar labels and names, which couldnt be remembered by many vintners, not to tell ordinary consumers.


In this exhibition, there are many wine label designs are very prominent, simple feathers, mermaids, marble lines and fingerprints. I think this is really a big progress.


This shows more producers or wineries attached great importance on China market by adjusting their product constantly. Judging by this point, New World was doing better.



In terms of bottles, more heavy bottles or overweight bottles showed in the exhibition. Of course, heavy bottle was not just shown in this CFDF, but trend shows that more producers selected heavy bottle now.


Many unknown winemakers have also begun to focus on bottles or serialized products to be more acceptable to Chinese consumers.  


The driving force behind changes in these two details is actually “consumption power”. Only by respecting consumers, starting from consumers' needs and perceiving the changing trend of consumption power, can producers have more pertinence and effectiveness in product creation, business model selection and activity strategy formulation.


To achieve big stride in imported wine sales, wineries and importers have to study on Chinese consumption psychology, consumption culture and consumption preferences for wines deeply, which is the key factor to determine whether vintners can do well.


The concept of online sales shows less, and star endorsement appears more


Compared with CFDF in March, the booth for the new technology, O2O, Internet + new mode of exploration or display is gone, but suddenly a lot of star endorsement wine brands emerged. It seems that wine brands have returned to the most traditional way of communication and promotion, whether they are popular stars or outdated stars, at least they have increases the sense of topic and promotion point on such brands.


Wine industry has tested water on the Internet+, mobile, new retail and other concepts in the past two years, but when the so called trend gone, they will find that they are still in the original stage without move.


They have no choice but to choose the most traditional way. Of course, I didnt mean to deny innovation, nor to deny the value of technological development to wine industry, because the Internet itself has become a part of everyday life.



I want to emphasize that the application of new technology must be to improve or optimize the efficiency of wine enterprises and increase their value output. If this is not achieved, it is just a slogan, and the so-called new model has become a false proposition.


Celebrity endorsement can be done by many wine enterprises. Although it is risky, it is indeed an important way to stir up the buying desire on China market. When I visited the Suzhou terminal recently, there was a distributor who was selling a product endorsed by a star and sold out 6000 bottles in one month.


When he recommended the wine to his terminals, what he said was very simple. There was profit margin, advertisements and celebrity endorsements. You are able to "tell stories".


One of the most commonly used means of communication in wine brand is the return of communication value. The more traditional things and ways are, the more we think and understand them, and adjust them in the light of the new market environment, the more valuable they will be.


Based on this, I believe that all wine producers should return to the value itself to think about what value your products can bring to consumers, channels and partners. Only by consolidating your own foundation and service, producers and exhibitors could build a sustainable development model in the future.


Market concentrates on brand wines


The process development of wine industry is also a process of survival of the fittest, and also a process of maturity and rationality on consumption.


This process is reflected in three aspects at this CFDF. First, booth that showing OEM cooperation and copy cat wines for well-known brands has reduced sharply. Second, more producers and wineries are exploring products in series and brands. Third, a lot of potential buyers were consulting in the booth which shows strong power on brand operation.


Many of the distributors who come to the booth for communication care about profit margin, but pay more attention to the management and operation mode from the brand owners. Especially many vintners who have been selling wine for years,are more concerned about brand operation itself apart from profit.


They pursue relative profits instead of absolute profits, and more importantly, the rigidity and stability of the price system.


These have been verified in the experience of my visit to Southern Jiangsu market days ago. Many terminals are more willing to choose brand wines, even if the gross profit is relatively lower.


According to my judgment on wine business, less is more, especially working for imported wines which characterized by huge diversities and similarities.


When trade products are popular, resources are actually focusing on and moving forward to better head brands, and businesses and terminals are more willing to cooperate with such products.


Of course, this process is a very complex and dynamic process, fine wine will certainly have its market and group, but good quality wine must be enterprise branding or channel branding, fine wine can sell better in China after brand thinking or system operation thinking has built.