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British whisky and beer unveiled in China Food and Drink Fair in Chengdu
More and more Chinese consumers are now interested in Britain and British products, particularly since the 2012 London Olympic Game. British businesses and their Chinese counterparts want to introduce good quality British products to the Chinese market. This year, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) led a food and drink business delegation to Chengdu, participating in the 90th China Food and Drink Fair, which runs between 28-31 March. This event provides an excellent opportunity for consumers and business people in Southwest China to understand more about British food and drink and in particular, its beer and whisky.
The British delegation is made up of six British companies. They will showcase over 10 British whisky brands and more than 50 kinds of beers in Chengdu’s Exhibition Centre Hall 2. In addition to the products, they are bringing the brand history and British culture. Some of the brands are more than 150 years old and hailed from different parts of the UK. Different whisky distilleries use different ingredients and distilling technology, hence making products of varied colour and lustre, smell and taste. Southwest China is a region with a rich alcohol producing history, but the whiskies and beers the British delegation brings will surely give Southwest China a brand new alcoholic experience!
Without doubt, Scotch whisky and British beer are popular among Chinese consumers. Scotch whisky Association statistics show that China has been listed in the top 10 export markets for Scotch whisky. Whisky is the second most popular foreign alcohol in China, and its sales revenue has been going up at a double-digit rate for more than a decade. In 2010, the Chinese government recognised Scotch whisky as a ‘geographic icon’, guaranteeing its lawful right to be sold in China.
Britain has a unique pub culture, and British lager, bitter, brown ale and stout are loved by international consumers. You can now find more and more British beer in Chinese bars and supermarkets. The food industry is Britain’s biggest manufacturing industry. It provides 15% jobs in the market. In the past two years, Britain’s food exports have retained an annual 15% increase. The Secretary of State for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, Rt Hon Owen Patterson MP, enacted a food industry promotional business plan in October, 2013, and the next few years will see more emphasis on promoting British food internationally.
Simon Mellon, UK Trade and Investment Consul at the British Consulate-General Chongqing said:
This is the first time that UKTI has led a delegation to the China Food and Drink Fair. We hope that more consumers from Southwest China will get to know British whisky and beer and come to love them. Ever since the International Food and Drink Expo in September last year, UKTI has been endeavouring to bring more top quality British food and drink to Chinese consumers.