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  • Grégoire Musitelli (戈虎)

Young women are driving the wine trend in China and Korea 🍷👩🏻

The coronavirus outbreak has accelerated the wine trend among young women drinkers in China and Korea.


It appears that the wine trend among women have gained a momentum during the pandemic, especially in the middle class, for the young women market segment in the top tier cities.

The lock-down period had been beneficial for the industry as data shows that South Korea’s wine imports reached a record high in 2020 because Korean drinkers increased their wine consumption to enjoy at home.

Therefore, they show an increasing interest towards imported wines and spirits.


In China, the top social commerce platforms (Taobao, Red, Weibo) played an important role in wine marketing & awareness through Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) which has reinforced the wine trend.


According to CBNData, women from generation Y, are a leading group in China e-commerce.

The traditional rice wine (baijiu) is less popular among young women. Therefore, data from Kaola (cross border e-commerce) shows that women are after more elegant and delicate products with lower alcohol by volume, fruity flavours and engaging packaging, like fruit liqueurs, cocktails and wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are the most popular grape variety for young drinkers.



According to the latest Korea Customs Service data, the period between January to November 2020, South Korea imported US$239 million worth of wines, whereas in the entire 2019, the total value was US$204 million.

Even though, like China, the Korean market is not considered as mature yet, the growth trend is very encouraging.

Among the top wine exporters to Korea, you can find; Chile (n°1 for red wine), France (n°1 for white wine), followed by United States, Italy, and Spain.


As market research company Statista reflected, South Korea is one of the biggest markets for alcoholic beverages in the world as the nation embraces an immense drinking culture in both social and professional settings. South Korea have one of the highest per capita consumption of distilled spirits in the world, especially with soju Korea’s national alcohol.


Young women drinkers have been the driving force behind the South Korean wine market in recent years. We can see the same phenomenon as in China because young women prefer wine to traditional rice wines, such as makgeolli, which are considered untrendy. The research data also stated that South Korea retail value sales of wine in 2017 amounted to around US$2.4 billion and was expected to grow to $2.8 billion by 2022.

That’s a lot of positive trends for the wine industry in Asia, after a difficult year of pandemic for wineries and exporters.

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