Bloomberg reports on efforts to take Moutai to a wider market in the wake of a two-year government austerity campaign that has gutted sales to government officials and state-owned enterprise executives:
[The campaign] led distributors of Moutai to slash prices by more than half, putting it within reach of urban professionals and curious trendsetters. Baijiu makers have also sought to rebrand the liquor as a sophisticated indulgence, sort of China’s answer to single malt Scotch. To attract converts, Moutai has stepped up its marketing to the masses, sponsoring a 43-part TV series about a legendary Qing Dynasty gunfighter-turned-winemaker who founded the baijiu industry. The company announced in December it also would spend 200 million yuan ($32.3 million) to start a division to promote its lower-shelf brands such as Prince and Banquet liquor—costing 300 to 500 yuan—to attract customers not yet ready to shell out more for its namesake tipple.
The article covers prospects for growth this year and includes quotes from a Guangzhou distributor who reports selling all of his 24,000-bottle supply for the Chinese New Year holidays.
“The reason? More affluent Chinese are starting to see the 106-proof, sorghum-based liquor as something to sip among friends, not just to buy the favor of powerful officials,” writes Bloomberg. Get the full article here.
Other recent items include this post by Time Out Singapore on the use of baijiu in cocktails — “The Chinese Conspiracy ($23) is a bolder interpretation, allowing Shui Ji Fang’s blue cheese-like notes to meld with yuzu juice for a sip that settles into a flavour not unlike soursop. Totally illuminating stuff…” — and this review by China Law & Policy of baijiu bar Capital Spirits in Beijing.
“Capital Spirits, a new bar in Beijing’s Dongzhimen neighborhood, successfully bridges the gap between foreigners’ misunderstanding of baijiu and the Chinese love of it,” states CLP. “Showcasing some of China’s finest and smoothest baijius, Capital Spirits gives the uninitiated a reason to respect – if not begin to love – baijiu.”