Over the past few years, the wine market in China has known a steady decrease in all indicators – consumption, imports, and domestic production. The trend had begun before the COVID-19 pandemic but was certainly exacerbated by it.
Despite going through a “self-adjustment” phase, China remains a large market that is highly relevant for European wine exporters. It is also a difficult market, especially due to the competition with wine exporters from other countries, some of which enjoy preferential trade agreements with China.
Wine culture in the country has kept growing significantly and will continue to do so. Although 2023 has not shown signs of improvement, the Chinese wine market continues to present opportunities for EU wine producers. Knowing the market and being prepared to grasp existing opportunities are key factors of success. This new EU SME Centre report, published in partnership with the China-Italy Chamber of Commerce, aims to equip European producers and exporters with the facts and figures they need to inform their decision-making.
The first chapter provides an overview of the dynamics of the Chinese wine market(s). It highlights the recent consumption drivers, channels and trends emerging after the end of the pandemic. We provide here a detailed analysis of domestic production and imports into China for various wine segments: EU wine exporters lead in most segments, but not all of them. The report also considers the current situation and the market outlook, reflecting the views of industry experts.
The second chapter provides a detailed overview of the regulatory and technical requirements for importing wine products into China. Overall, the process is relatively straightforward, especially when compared with other F&B categories. Yet, there are strict steps to follow, in particular to register the product on the dedicated CIFER platform and to use the correct Chinese label. Failure to do so may lead to imports being rejected by the Chinese customs.
The third chapter summarises a series of tips and recommendations that EU wine exporters should keep in mind or should leverage when selling in the Chinese market. To write this chapter, we interviewed industry experts and collected feedback from EU exporters. We also touch upon trademark registration and unique elements that EU producers can leverage, including the EU-China Geographical Indication Agreement, as well as funding opportunities at the EU level.
The last chapter includes three case studies developed through ad hoc interviews with wine industry experts in China specifically for this report. These case studies offer different insights into different aspects of selling wine in China, especially from an export perspective, communication and promotion perspective, and a livestreaming e-commerce perspective.
Wine Report Contents
1. Market overview
1.1 Consumption drivers and trends
1.2 Domestic production
1.4 Distribution and retail channels
2. Regulatory and technical requirements
2.1 General trade vs Cross-Border E-Commerce
2.2 GACC/CIFER registration
2.3 Food safety standards
2.4 Labelling and packaging
2.5 Customs rejections of wine imports
3. Opportunities, challenges and recommendations
3.1 Tips from European industry professionals
3.2 Register your trademark in China – immediately!
3.3 EU-China Geographical Indication Agreement
3.4 EU funding for agri-food promotional activities
4. Case studies from interviews with industry experts
4.1 Michele Taccetti – CEO of China 2000 Srl, Tuscany Region Promoter with the China-Italy Chamber of Commerce (CICC)
4.2 Simone Semprini – Sales and Wine Educator, VM Fine Wines
4.3 Francesco D’Aprile – Partner of P&D Consulting, representing Polvanera in China
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