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Chinese consumers shifting towards 'mainstream' wines says new Wine Intelligence study

Published:  14 May, 2015

According to a new Wine Intelligence China Portraits 2015 report, the "traditional" Chinese wine consumer is evolving away from just drinking the top end Bordeaux wines and  "a new generation of wine drinkers who are drinking more frequently and seeking value in the category" are emerging.

The new report found that the number of prestige and iconic buyers are being overtaken by this new segment of drinkers.

The last study that Wine Intelligence did in 2012 compared to the 2015 results showed a marked difference in the market as to who the average consumer wine is.

Richard Halstead the chief operation officer of Wine Intelligence said: "Over the past three years the Chinese market for imported wine has begun a fundamental transformation. We are moving from the era where prestige wine was only bought as a face-enhancing gift towards a world where consumers care more about how it tastes - because they will be drinking it themselves - and how much it costs, because they are most likely paying for it themselves as well."

The new category to merge from the study was the "developing drinker" which shows a "bias towards graduates working in high earning professions in their late 20s and early 30s, who have picked up the wine habit mainly through business dinners, but who are now branching out on their own and drinking wine as part of their social life outside work." according to the report.

China's biggest online shopping day of the year is today.

The report which did not have the developing drinkers segment in 2012 now accounts for 19% of the improved wine drinking population.

The categorised the six recognisable consumer types among the 38 million consumers in China. The six categories include "developing drinkers", "adventurous connoisseurs", "prestige-seeking traditionalists", "social newbies", "health sippers", and "frugal occasional".

The report found that there was a defined shift away from the adventurous connoisseurs and prestige-seeking traditionalists and there has been a rise for the health sippers and frugal occasions consumers.

Equally the study examines each category beyond just the demographics of age, gender, and income brackets to further understand how Chinese consumers interact with wine, why they drink wine and what is shaping their buying decisions.