World Expo，wine producer's unique opportunity for boost brand awareness in the mainland
When the Shanghai World Expo opens tomorrow, wine distributors will be going all out to grab the unique opportunity it presents for promotions and boost brand awareness in the mainland.
After a slight lull last year, when the global downturn still held sway, China's wine market is booming again.
Sales at ASC Fine Wines outperformed forecasts in the first quarter this year, says chief executive Don St Pierre Jr.
ASC wines will be served and showcased in different national and regional pavilions at the expo, including Inniskillin at the Canada Pavilion, Brown Brother at the Australia Pavilion and Trimbach at the Alsace Pavilion.
"For many-wine producing countries, showcasing wine in their pavilion is an effective marketing measure that also draws visitors," St Pierre Jr said. "ASC acts as a bridge between our wineries and the wine-producing countries through our local network with embassies and consulates to organize wine-tasting activities in the pavilions.
"We are also in negotiations with the Shanghai International Wine Expo organizers to undertake a series of high- profile wine roadshows and tastings inside the [wine] expo venue to highlight some of the best collections from our extensive portfolio of more than 1,000 labels."
ASC also offers two tailor-made wine packages - one for casual parties and the other for formal receptions - to meet demand from corporate, government and private customers for their functions during the expo.
"The more opportunitie
s there are for wines to be exposed to Chinese consumers, the more opportunities there will be for Chinese consumers to learn about wine," the ASC chief said.
Jebsen Fine Wines of Jebsen & Co (China) will showcase premium wine brands, including Rupert & Rothschild, Mannenberg, Neil Ellis and Coldstream Hills, at the expo and also offer tasting sessions. Marketing manager Sarah Yen said the aim is to ensure smaller but quality-focussed boutique wineries get their fair share of attention even as commercial brands like Rosemount Estate and Lindemans come in for special attention for national distribution.
"We will be sending sommeliers to talk to visitors and offer tastings, but we don't expect the consumption trend to pick up rapidly," she said.
"I think Chinese consumers still need some time to accept this and begin to approach wine as an everyday drinking habit."
Managing partners Brendan O'Toole and Ian Ford at Summergate Fine Wines have been lobbying national representatives at the pavilions, trade commissions, chambers of commerce, caterers and Shanghai restaurants in an attempt to get maximum exposure for their wines at the expo.
Ford said: "A huge number of visitors is expected to visit the fair during its six months, so we've paired Concha y Toro wines with Japanese food as a lunch set in one of the restaurants at the World Expo."
Other Summergate wines featured include Hugel et Fils, Perrin et Fils and Domaines Barons de Rothschild in the France Pavilion, Antinori and Allegrini in the Italy Pavilion, and Concha y Toro in the Chile Pavilion.
"These wines were selected because they are of exceptional quality," O'Toole said.
"Also, they reflect the best heritage in terms of wine-making tradition, character and style."
Looks like fine wines are poised to become an indispensable part of the "Better City, Better Life" promised by the World Expo slogan.