Chinese Group Bright Foods Acquires Significant Stake In Bordeaux Wine Exporter
A recent trip to the Carrefour Spring Wine Fair in Beijing, as well as yesterday’s news of state-owned Bright Foods acquiring a significant stake in a prominent Bordeaux wine exporter, has inspired me to do a bit of writing on the wine culture in China.
Like many things in China, a first impression of Chinese wine culture may seem a bit confusing or even bizarre. However, the Chinese relatively new found fascination for fine wines makes for an interesting look inside an industry bursting with opportunity and growth prospects. Wandering around the streets of Beijing’s more refined areas – think Guomao, Sanlitun, and Gongti – you may be slightly surprised by the number of specialty wine shops you come across. The Spring Wine Fair at Carrefour was a major event attended by a number of large distributors as well as a wide range of both foreign and Chinese consumers.
While wines from nearly every region were represented at the Carrefour Spring Wine Fair, an especially large emphasis was placed on wines produced in various regions around France. China happens to be the world’s foremost importer of Bordeaux wine, with popularity for fine French wines swelling in Hong Kong as well as mainland China where the Chinese drank an export value of $430 million dollars.
Over the weekend, a state-owned Chinese food group named Bright Foods closed on a deal to acquire a 70 percent stake in Diva, a major Bordeaux Wine Exporter. Consumption in the Chinese market soared by 110% in 2011. This rise in consumption seems poised to increase steadily as China’s growing middle class continues to develop tastes for luxury goods produced outside of China. The sheer number of wine shops around major cities in China is evidence that the Chinese are developing a fondness for the product. China is in fact one of the world’s top 10 domestic wine producing nations.
Though this is a huge move for China to gain a dominant presence in the wine producing region of Bordeaux, it is not the first acquisition by Chinese investors. Of the 11,000 wine producing chateaux’s found along the Garonne river in Bordeaux, nearly twenty of them have been sold to Chinese investors, with more acquisitions scheduled for the near future.
Taken from Yahoo! News:
“Diva will be able to “reinforce its international development, especially in China, through Bright Food’s distribution network which includes hundreds of specialised shops,” according to Bright Food, a state-owned conglomerate that is one of China’s largest food producers.”
For more information on Bright Foods acquisition of Diva or general wine culture in China, please visit the following links:
Grape Wall of China – This is a great resource for everything involving wine in China!
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