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Keeping China’s Champagne flute full

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Gavin Jones — Director, Jebsen Fine Wines

Every day, we look beyond our shores, sourcing the world to bring the best beverages to China’s growing population of wine lovers. But we must also look inward, to understand the people we serve.

In doing so, what we have seen in recent times is a distinct shift in consumer behaviour when it comes to luxury spending. This appears to be a direct result of China’s slowing economy after decades of exponential growth. Today, the luxury beverage market is driven by the middle-class dollar. These consumers seek a unique, personalised experience from high-end products that cater to their personal tastes while elevating quality of life.

This is why we represent two different Champagne brands in China: Champagne Bollinger and Champagne Ayala. Bollinger is an absolute classic. The brand dates back over 180 years and is famously known as the bubbly of choice of the British royal family. While Bollinger embraces the traditional, Ayala has a different appeal. Hailing from the heart of France’s Champagne region, Ayala is also one of the longest-established houses with 150 years of history. Its style, however, is fresh, elegant and low dosage. This means it contains less sugar and calories than regular Champagne, making it perfect for the modern health-conscious consumer.

While these two powerhouse brands help us cater to different wine lovers, we will continue expanding our portfolio of premium beverages to keep up with China’s changing palate. In the first quarter of 2014, our website (www.jebsenfinewines.com) also underwent a quiet makeover. With a new look, improved navigation and an e-commerce platform for the Hong Kong market, it is part of our strategic investment to develop the industry and to win the hearts and minds of more consumers in the region.

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