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Moutai baijiu plans European expansion

Baijiu maker Kweichow Moutai Company will increase its focus on the UK market as part of the Chinese group’s international expansion into Europe.

(Pictured L-R) Kweichow Moutai Company chairman Yuan Renguo and WSTA chief executive Miles Beale

Speaking at the Guizhou Trade and Economic Cooperation Conference on Tuesday afternoon (24 April), Kweichow Moutai Company chairman Yuan Renguo said that the UK is a “model market” for the company’s expansion into Europe.

At the conference, Kweichow Moutai Company signed an agreement with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) to build a “strategic” partnership between the UK and China.

The company saw its annual sales revenue hit US$12.1 billion last year, with profit up by US$6.4bn while revenue increased by US$4.1bn.

Renguo outlined the company’s strategic plan, which aims to see sales of Moutai overseas “account for more than 10% of total sales by 2020”.

“To this end, we will insist on a market-oriented and customer-focused service model, continuously expand and innovate in the market, make differentiated international marketing strategy, and continue to intensify efforts in network building, product development and market management,” Renguo said.

He also said that the firm plans to set up five international offices and begin an international marketing network “to promote Moutai liquor to different cultural backgrounds”.

In 2017, Moutai Group exported 17.5 tonnes of Moutai liquor to the UK, which contributed to nearly US$28.5m in revenue. As a result, the UK is one of Moutai’s fastest-growing international markets.

“Moutai attaches great importance to the UK market and we hope that we can win over more local mainstream groups in the UK,” Renguo said.

“We will study the needs of local markets in Europe, innovate the products’ alcohol content and taste, continue to launch new types of products that suit UK consumers’ tastes, expand sales and promote the brand recognition and influence of Moutai in the UK market.”

Renguo hopes the WSTA partnership will “push forward bilateral trade, investment, and the joint promotion of cultural and tourism industries in China and the UK”.

In 2017, Moutai was named as the most valuable spirit by market share with values climbing 60% to US$11.5bn, according to data from valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance.

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