Despite the difficult year, sparkling wines find its way in China. Its dynamics are a bit different from that of still wines. Quite a reshuffle in the ranks, some winers some losers, I included U.S., to show the obvious impact of the trade dispute. And yes, those are the USD CIF prices per bottle declared at China Customs.
The sparkling wine category in China is extremely small compared to the still wine category. While Germany consumes five bottles of still wine for every bottle of sparkling wine, China consumes 100 bottles of still wine for every bottle of sparkling wine. Moreover, Germany consumes 45.5 million 9-litre cases of sparkling wine while China only drinks 1.5 million according to IWSR data. Despite the small size of the Chinese sparkling wine market within a global context, it is showing interesting signs of growth.
Sparkling Wine in the Chinese Market 2019 delves into some of the key trends in this small but growing category. In China, sparkling wine is still very much regarded as a drink for celebrations and special occasions; therefore, it is no surprise that Chinese sparkling wine consumers have a high awareness of Champagne and a very low awareness of other types of sparkling wine such as Cava and Prosecco that are more associated with less formal occasions. However, this could all change as the market is seeing a proliferation of cheaper sparkling wines under 100RMB through online and offline retail channels. This is making sparkling wines more affordable to the average consumer, particularly young professionals, since more expensive sparkling wine types such as Champagne had been previously out of their reach.