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11.15.2006

Now THAT's Cultivating a Market

canada_china_wine_love.jpgWhile the major wine producing countries of the word are busy trying to figure out what to do to penetrate the massive potential market of wine drinkers in China, some crafty governmental organization in Canada is already colonizing the kitchens and basements of the swelling Chinese middle class.

Figuring that the best way to get people to drink wine is to make it dead easy for them to learn about it, the International Wine Cultural Promotion Association (who ever knew there WAS such a thing?!?) has plans to give over 100,000 wine refrigerators and free wine magazine subscriptions to lucky middle-class families in China. Apparently they're also setting up some sort of wine consulting organization over there as well to "cultivate more wine collectors among the middle class."

Apparently they even did a photo shoot to show how successful it will be. I love their smiles, don't you? That and the fact that the "Canadian" girl looks like she's about to shove her glass down the poor Chinese girl's throat.

Of course, what they really should be cultivating is wine drinkers, before they move on to the collectors bit. I wonder how many bottles of decent wine they could have given these folks for the cost of these wine cellars? I also wonder where these newfound "wine collectors" will be buying the wine to fill up these shiny new wine fridges? Technicalities, I'm sure.

Regardless of some daunting hurdles and perhaps a little too much naiveté, I gotta hand it to this Canadian organization that seems to be out to bring wine to the masses. What I want to know is, how do I sign up to be one of the masses? The shipping is a lot cheaper to Northern California folks !

Read the full story.

Comments (7)

victoria wrote:
11.16.06 at 11:20 AM

Very interesting article. Well, someone is going to make a lot of money off of the Chinese market. A little suprising that Canada is the first one to react. Where is good old USA in all of this? I've heard a lot about China being " Americanized", but "Canadanized"...?

11.16.06 at 12:35 PM

I read about that about a week ago and thought it was either a joke or a misprint of numbers.I cannot find antyhing about this cultural association but if it is government sponsored, I am disgusted.Is this just another give away to benefit the big wine companies? And there are only a couple of them in Canada. One of them has recently been bought out by Constellation Brands. I am a Canadian and horrified that China is the beneficiary of such largess.

Ben Bicais wrote:
11.16.06 at 12:37 PM

I had no idea that Canada had an International Wine Cultural Promotion Association either, and it does seem like the cart is a little ahead of the horse on this one. $63 million for wine refrigerators and magazines?! I'm not sure if that is the best allocation of resources.

11.16.06 at 1:48 PM

Great reminder about the enormous potential demand for fine wine from China and it inspired me to write my own post called "Selling fine wine to the affluent Chinese". Here's the link: http://www.vinfolio.com/thewinecollector/2006/11/selling-fine-wine-to-affluent-chinese.jsp

Eric Mills wrote:
11.16.06 at 6:04 PM

I lived in China for a little over one year. This was 6 years ago -- and the wine, not so good. Granted, I wasn't everywhere, but I did get around. Regarding Ben Bicais's above post on the cart and the horse: he is exactly right, but this is not the first time for China to get ahead of itself. In fact, getting ahead of itself is what the country does best. They've skipped entire generations of "advancements" we've had in the west: VCRs, Landline telephones, etc., a person living in the Suburbs of Beijing might not have electricity at all times of the day, but they most likely have a cell phone and the ability to purchase/play VCDs or pirated DVDs. Yes, the kitchen might be one more area where she makes that leap: more than 10% of China might not have access to an oven, but a wine cooler? Sure.

11.18.06 at 9:58 AM

This is definately a story I want to track down more concrete information on. Thank you for the head-up!

carlos Serafim wrote:
11.22.06 at 2:14 PM

The giveaways are probably by the Canadian Dental Association so that they can get the chinese dental repair market a few years down the road.

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