China Distribution Fillip for Scotch Major
A Scottish distiller has secured a major distribution deal with a Chinese corporation, in an effort to increase sales in the country.
Loch Lomond Group, the distiller, has initiated a partnership with the state-backed China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (Cofco). The partnership will see the company’s Scotch whiskies reach consumers across China.
Cofco, the Chinese food & beverage and agriculture behemoth, has a network of over 1,000 sub-distributors, in addition to its own stores. The widespread reach of the corporation will make China one of the most important export markets for the Loch Lomond Group, which produces the Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia brands of whiskies.
The partnership will bolster Cofco’s target to become the leading imported spirits distributor in the country. The demand for imported spirits is soaring in China, where they have been traditionally given as gifts.
The Chinese market is expected to grow fast as the country’s middle class gets richer. Whiskey sales in China have risen by as much as 12 folds over the last decade.
At a fair in Chengdu, the capital city of the Sichuan province, Cofco launched Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia. The corporation is now distributing the distiller’s High Commissioner blended Scotch (which already sells well in other parts of Asia) and the Loch Lomond, Glen Scotia, and Littlemill ranges of whiskies.
The Loch Lomond Group sealed the deal by welcoming Castle Li, Cofco’s General Manager, and his team to the Alexandria grain and malt distilleries, and its Glen Scotia distillery located in Campbeltown.
Asia-Pacific accounts for nearly two-thirds of global spirits consumption, International Wine & Spirits Research said. The consumption grew 4.5% last year.
China, among the fastest growing regions in the world, has seen the entry of multinational companies such as Diageo.
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