Exports of Liquors to China: Conquering the Baijiu Country

Foreign liquors have gained in popularity in China, especially in the first-tier city, and compete more and more with the traditional Chinese baiju. Restaurants and supermarkets now provide a subsequent choice of foreign wines, craft beers or even scotch whiskeys. It is also more and more offered as a present, and the Chinese middle-class is looking for new flavors. If wines have made their path into the Chinese market, some other liquors such as vodka and whiskey are increasing in popularity.

ASI Solutions, as a specialist in the Food and Beverage importation, is an ideal partner on-site to start your spirit business in China. We present you today the specificities of the Chinese market and the import process of these kind of products.

More Insights on the Chinese Market for Liquors

Did you know that China was the first worldwide producer and consumer of beers?

This fact should not make you afraid! China is still an interesting market for beer producers. Although Chinese wine market might start to congest, it is not the case of the other kind of liquors of which few have experienced China yet. In fact, Chinese consumers are willing to consume more imported products, including imported beers. Reputation of imported beers has increased over the last years, when Chinese beers were impacted by scandal and copycat. Fake alcohol have been spreading in China, but nowadays Chinese consumers are looking for higher quality products. However, they are worrying about appearances, and care more about social status. Consuming imported alcohol is also perceived as a distinctive sign of wealth.

Traditional retail channels are through wholesalers and supermarkets, but online sales are not outdone. Nowadays all the retails chains are also operating via online stores, and safe solution to deliver bottles are available. More and more consumers are ordering online. China counts 610 millions of online shoppers in 2018, an increase of 14.4% compared to 2017 (CNNIC, 2019). Delivery services are now able to carry more and more atypical goods, such as frozen, or even fragile bottles. Regarding this growing potential, an e-commerce strategy should be thought of for any goods imported in China.

Importing Liquors Into China: the To-Do List

For any Food and Beverages, producers and exporters need to be registered on the Chinese customs' website http://ire.customs.gov.cn/. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, who is in charge of the quality control and the inspection, will accept that you export your product to China after delivering you a certificate. Without this certification, Chinese customs is able to confiscate and dispose of your goods. In that so, feasibility check need to be done upstream, in order to verify the compliance of each ingredient with the Chinese market. Send your Original label and ingredient details with their origin to ASI Solutions and we will manage this procedure on your behalf. You may proceed to some testing in laboratory.

Building your branding is a pre-requirement. It might take some time, but it is essential for Chinese consumers to know your brand, and be aware of your story-telling and the quality you deliver in your products. It will be also easier for you to open an online store on the biggest e-commerce platform, such as Tmall, Taobao and JD. Some other channels are available for the smallest brand, but be aware that branding will influence positively your sales and will increase your chance to stay longer on the Chinese market.

ASI Solutions has built strong partnership with the best agencies in Shanghai, who will take care of your marketing operations and reputation. Starting with a suitable marketing strategy focusing and understanding the Chinese consumers will ensure you for long-term establishment on this market.

When Chinese consumers know your brand better, after having read some articles and good reviews or seeing some key opinions leaders testing your goods, they now want to taste your product! You are now ready to import.

Basically, liquors will follow similar process as food imports:

  • Certificate of health and phytosanitary are required and must be issued by the authority of the producer’s country.
  • In the case of liquors, some additional certificate are required by the Chinese customs and authorities: Bottling certification, Grape variety, Medal award, Beer wheat concentration… ASI Solutions drafts a case-by-case solution, and will send you the exhaustive list of documents needed for your import business in China
  • Last but not least, ASI Solutions will take care about the Chinese labelling, according to the Chinese regulations.
  • Packaging can also be done, and is really important in the case of liquors. Do not forget that Chinese consumers are used to offer liquors as a present, so they will pay a particular attention to the visual of the packaging.
  • When your bottles arrive in China mainland, you need to store We also can propose to store your liquors in our temperature controlled warehouse.

ASI Solutions will support you at each step of your business in China, and will take care of the project from its conception to delivery to the final consumer.

We used to handle more than 20 cases in Food & Beverages, and built our expertise to a 360 level. We will have a solution for you at each step of your supply chain and will consolidate your position on the Chinese market.

Discover our full range of solutions!