Luxury Chinese Liquors Become Multibillion-Dollar Brands – Businessweek
Even though you probably have not heard of them, two brands of Chinese, high-end alcohol—Moutai and Wuliangye—are among the best-selling luxury liquors worldwide. They don’t just excel in the luxury liquor market, either. The Hurun Research Institute, a wealth-analysis group in Shanghai, counts them among the 10 most-valuable luxury brands overall, pegging their “brand values” based on the net value of brand equity above such well-known European names as Gucci (PP:FP), Rolex, and Cartier (CFR:VX). The Institute estimates Moutai’s brand value at $12 billion and Wuliangye’s at $7 billion.
Many members of China’s wealthy and corporate elite are investing in—and indulging in—high-end spirits and wines. Hong Kong surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest wine-auction market in 2010. Last year, a bottle of vintage Moutai, with an initial biding price of RMB 2.6 million, sold for RMB8.9 million (about $1.36 million) in the city of Guiyang. In January, a bottle of Wuliangye brewed in the 1960s sold at auction for RMB980,000 ($155,687).
The bidding war would likely shock any American who has tried the liquors, which present an acquired taste that critics have compared to gasoline. (There’s no significant market outside China yet.) Chinese fans of Moutai, a sorghum-based liquor that’s up to 53 percent alcohol, describe it as exceptionally smooth, possibly as a result of using clean water from Guizhou province. Wuliangye—made from sorghum, rice, glutinous rice, wheat, and corn—is up to 52 percent percent alcohol and somewhat less expensive.
Strange Random Luxury Quote:
“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” ― Coco Chanel
- One Chinese Liquor Brand Is the Life of the Party (rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Kweichow Moutai outshines Apple in rewarding shareholders (wantchinatimes.com)
- Letter from China: Do You Know the Way to Wuliangye? (nytimes.com)
- Shark Fin, Premium Booze Off the Menu for Cadres in Chinese City – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- * High-end Chinese brands coming soon (chindia-alert.org)
- China airport drink name stirs spirited mockery (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Maotai: Status symbol and driver of business in China (wantchinatimes.com)