Diageo Whisky Summit returns to China

17th November, 2017 by Owen Bellwood

Diageo is aiming to raise global awareness of Scotch with its second annual Whisky Summit in China this week, bringing together more than 500 whisky experts.

Diageo will be showcasing whiskies from all 27 of its operational distilleries in Scotland at the event

The two-day summit, in Guangzhou, China, invites industry experts, whisky fans and business partners to share their whisky knowledge and discuss industry trends in a series of panels, workshops and masterclasses.

Mark Edwards, general manager of Diageo China, said: “Chinese consumers have a thirst for knowledge on Scotch whisky and a desire to refine their appreciation of its heritage, provenance and craft credentials.”

For the first time, Diageo will showcase all the whiskies from its 27 operational Scotch distilleries.

Visitors will be visually brought to Scotland through virtual tours of some of Diageo’s most famous distilleries.

They can journey through the four Scotch whisky regions and will have the chance to attend masterclasses given by renowned whisky experts like Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker master blender, Georgie Crawford, Lagavulin distillery manager, and acclaimed whisky writers Charles MacLean and Dave Broom.

The summit will also be attended by Chinese Scotch whisky experts Steven Lin and Sam Lu.

Edwards said: “The Diageo China Whisky Summit is one of the major initiatives we have kicked off to drive Scotch category awareness and excitement about Diageo’s Scotch portfolio. We put a strong focus on education to inspire and recruit new consumers.”

China has become the single largest alcohol market in the world and has a growing luxury consumer base. It is thought that by 2022, 75% of the nation’s urban population will be classified as middle class.

Scotch whisky exports to China grew by 45% to £27m (US$35.6m) in the first half of 2017, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), demonstrating the growing demand for Scotch among Chinese consumers.

Sarah Dickson, SWA global affairs director, said: “Scotch whisky is a globally renowned product and I am proud to be part of this Diageo summit that brings together so many industry experts and enthusiasts to celebrate Scotland’s national drink.

“Some £4 billion [US$527bn] of Scotch is shipped across the world each year, making it the UK’s biggest food and drink export, and a vast contributor to the country’s economy.”

The Diageo Whisky Summit runs from 17 November to 18 November in Guangzhou, China.

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