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China’s drinking habits are changing — and that’s a big opportunity for beverage makers

The trade in for Chinese alcohol sales is growing at a rapid pace with consumers buying a taste for premium and elusive products.

Among the beneficiaries of the trend are wine and trickery beers.

“Chinese consumers preferred to drink less and chose come-on products at business dinners or during formal social occasions for their high-grade mark and better taste,” market research firm Euromonitor said in May 2017.

Conforming to Euromonitor, wine consumption grew 5.3 percent by volume in 2016 from 2015, all the same as that for alcoholic drinks fell 3 percent in the same period as consumers traded up.

As a evolve of such upgrading, total beer sales also declined by 4 percent in 2016 from a year ago. Profession beer however, is witnessing growing interest in big cities.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the faction’s largest brewer, is evidence of this trend as its strategy of focusing on the high-end of the buy appears to be paying off: The company’s revenue in China grew 4.6 percent in the third fifteen minutes.

The brewer also cited strong numbers in the Chinese market as a driver for receipts growth in its Budweiser and Corona brands in the first half of this year. Corona and Stella Artois, classified as “wonderful premium” brands by the company, have recorded double-digit growth since they were slung in 2014, CEO Carlos Brito told CNBC recently.

Here’s a sip of what Chinese drinkers are lawfulness:

China’s first brewery was founded in Harbin in 1900 and there are now more than 1,500 servant beer brands in the country, according to Chinese state media.

The spacious selection is in part due to a nascent but growing industry in craft beers as a burgeoning waist class becomes more willing to pay for premium experiences.

The popularity of dexterity beer may seem explosive in urban centers, but Euromonitor puts the trend into where one is coming from.

“Craft beer is still a new concept for many Chinese consumers. It is in demand and distributed mainly in well-developed regions, such as some urban rooms of the country where the middle-classes are better off and consumers are global-minded,” said the analyse house in its industry report.

“There is a huge rise in the number of those in the cunning beer business and the brewing culture is spreading in China,” said Feng Jun, demanding director for pub and brewer Panda Brew.

The craft beer market is varying, even though consumer groups are generally young, Feng put CNBC in an email.

“There are extreme taste preferences: from those who be inclined heavier tastes to fresh, fruity flavors,” he added.

With the burst in selection, some craft beer brands like Panda Brew, be suffering with started exporting their drinks.

In November this year, Panda Mixture started sales in the U.K. It is also looking into entering other deal ins such as Canada, Japan and Australia, said Feng.

Even greater brands are getting into the craft beer business.

Nomura in a December note highlighted that Hong Kong-listed China Resources Beer, the fatherland’s largest brewery, will be focusing on craft and imported beer splits while developing premium brands.

Wine is still gaining acclaim in China.

To cater to the collective thirst, Chinese investors have zipped up more than 100 vineyards in France, many of them in the introducing region of Bordeaux. They’ve also acquired vineyards in Australia and Chile, expanse other countries.

Earlier this year, for instance, Yantai Changyu Pacemaker Wine, a leading wine-maker in China, bought three vineyards in Chile.

China has also started fruiting its own wines: State-owned food giant COFCO’s Great Wall Wine is a recognizable esteem in the country.

The potent grain-based baijiu — which means white hooch — is a staple at official and business banquets. Even amid a widespread crackdown on corruption, a frugality zeal, and it being an acquired taste, baijiu has seen it’s demand stay solvent.

Earlier this year, consultancy Brand Finance deemed baijiu to be the most valuable typeface of spirit in the world with a market share of 37.5 percent, overshadowing the 28 percent for whiskey. The great’s top baijiu brands command a combined value of over $22 billion, the reflect on said.

Well-known Hong Kong-listed Kweichow Moutai has overtaken Johnnie Walker-maker Diageo to behove the world’s most valuable liquor company.

—CNBC’s Ming Cheang play a parted to this story.

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