China. Yes, China again. Asia in general is already an important market for Cognac, but China is the most interesting market for Cognac at the moment. Camus created a ‘Maison’ in Beijing to spread Cognac culture. But first, let’s get an overview of the 5 biggest trends regarding products in China.

Cuvee 3128 Camus

What are the 5 big trends in China for 2010?

  1. The car
  2. Luxury
  3. Cosmetics
  4. Internet
  5. … finally, spirits and Cognac

A car is critical in China, if you want reliable transportation. But a car also works as a status symbol. 10,3 million cars were sold on the Chinese market in 2009 (that’s a + of 53%). Already today, China is the biggest market for cars, even before the USA. It’ll probably be 15 million sold cars in 2010. Wow.

Then luxury : It’s totally chic to buy great brands, jewels etc. It mainly serves as a social function. Luxury products work well in China, a market about $10 billion, with growth of 12%. China is about to become the biggest luxury market in the world.

Cosmetics : As the Chinese society gets more and more aware of outer appearance, cosmetics and beauty products become more important. Companies like L’Oréal are on the move, the market is just about to develope.

Internet
:
384 million users are online, that’s 30% more than in 2009. Of course there is censorship – we should not forget that. Still, the internet market in China is booming.

Finally: The booze.
Chinese love their Baijiu (beer, based on rice) but Whiskey, Vodka and of course Cognac become more important. Spirits sales saw nice growth in recent years and the market especially benefits from a strong nightclub and Karaoké culture. Like in Japan, the businessmen are the heavy consumers of high-end Cognacs. See our article on Cognac in Japan, here.

Cognac market 2009 (BNIC)

China is the third biggest export market for Cognac, after USA and Singapore. Around 12 million bottles are shipped every year to the far eastern country. If you look at the graph below, you see that there was pratically no crisis effect in China – sales remained stable.

Exported Cognac Bottles to China in million (BNIC)

L’Or de Martell is a bottle especially targeted at the Chinese market, and it works rather well here. But also Camus is a big name in Asian countries like China, Singapore or Japan.

Let’s have a look at how Camus works in China

The House of Camus established its Chinese Cognac and Wine cellar in March 2009. Since its creation, the trading house Camus tries to spread the culture of wine and cognac in China.

Camus lineup in China

But it’s not only a cellar, it’s an exclusive club for wine and cognac drinkers.

The House of Camus in China: Spreading cognac culture

The Maison Camus is situated in the best zone of Beijing. One of the company managers explains :

“China has a long history and tradition of alcool, but the Chinese people does not know a lot about French wine and eaux-de-vie culture. Chinese think for example, that wine is good for health.”

The idea was to create a modern luxurious ambience in the Maison. This is why Camus picked a French interior designer for creating the space.

Camus Maison Cognac

Cold, cool luxury design of the Maison Camus

“We wanted the house to be elegant, but not too much. We were interested in a romantic athmosphere, where our clients can discover our products step by step.”

The Maison Camus functions as flagship store and cultural embassy at the same time. So the store also offers Grand Cru wine bottles of five major Bordeaux manufacturers. It’s also part of French culture and not even that far away from Cognac country.

Cognac is one of 5 big Chinese 2010 trends and how Camus handles local consumers

So you’ll also find Grand Vins like Chateau Latour, Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschuld in the cellar.

Obviously, the clients and guests of the ‘concept-Maison’ are quite rich. Private evenings can be held at the location, receptions or company events.

If you ever comes to Beijing, perhaps thet’ll let you in :

Maison Camus
Reignwood, Nº 8 Yongandongli, Jianguomenwai, District of Chaoyang, Beijing

Sources and Pics: www.infojouetsweb.com, french.china.org.cn

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Max is a spirits expert and speaker, into marketing, technology, startups, and business development. He’s also a farmer. He likes tools and machines, Game of Thrones, and Better Call Saul. Included in his Top 10 Cognacs are the Audry XO and Bache Gabrielsen 1973.Max founded Cognac Expert in 2010 at his family’s estate in Poullignac, in the Cognac region, France. Started as a blog, today Cognac Expert is the world’s largest website about all things Cognac, a blog, and a specialized online shop featuring 800+ different Cognac bottles.

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