Diageo, known for its prominent whiskey brands Captain Morgan and Johnnie Walker, speculated whiskey sales to go up significantly in China. The whiskey producer has been closely watching the emerging market which witnessed a notable growth in the number of whiskey drinkers.
Consumer goods businesses have always had a keen eye on the Chinese market which is capable of making huge differences in sales figures, owing toits massive population standing at staggering 630 million. Even a minute change in consumer behavior makes massive differences in sales. The sudden rise in interest among drinkers on whiskey marks a positive sign indeed. Diageo’s president in Asia, Sam Fischer, expressed his views on the Chinese market, saying, “What we're seeing in China right now is really positive. We're seeing an increasing curiosity around people”.
As explained by Fischer, whiskey has a vast business in the Asian market accounting 40% of Diageo’s total sales. It is notably high when compared with other regions (recorded at 25% globally). The rapid growth in middle class population, along with rise in urbanization explains the high demand to an extent. The young generation is becoming less prone to appreciating material possessions, and holds more interest in the consumption experience, and the story preceding the advent of a brand. Thisquite explains the popularity held by Johnnie Walker, explained Fischer.
Fisher commented in an investor callthat the changing demographics is a clear sign of growth of the whiskey market,hinting at a steep rise in middle class population by 2022. The entire 630 million will possible be categorized as middle class, according to Fischer.
Over 100 bars serving whiskey opened around the major cities including Beijing and Shanghai, within the last one year. However, international spiritsis yet to penetrate into the Chinese market. The local Baijiudominates the bar tables still.