Distributor Search & Chinese Market Entry Strategy for European Gin Brand

A young European spirit brand, established in 2015, have quickly grown to become the 2nd biggest in its region due to its special flavor and color characteristics. As of today, the brand is not present on any other markets, but it has an early stage plan to launch into Chinese market.

ARC Consulting was therefore contacted to provide a general market study and customize a strategic roadmap, followed by a full year implementation to roll-out the launching plan.

Gin cocktails

The project was broken down into three different parts.

Step 1: China Market Research and Strategy Report

  • Exploration and extensive understanding of the Chinese market and the related opportunities.
  • Competitiveness landscape, list and profile of competitors with business status-quo and benchmark analysis.
  • Overview study of the best channels of market entry and recommend market entry strategic roadmap.

Step 2: Distributor Search & Collaboration Formalization

  • List of evaluated potential distributors in China, including pros and cons.
  • Support in the process of initiating cooperation with chosen distributors, including facilitating negotiations.

According to the findings during the initial phase, the share drinks based on gin keeps on growing in China. On-trade consumption, such as at restaurants and night clubs, contributes to the majority of the market demand by value, whereas off-trade such as sales from retail channels are less profitable and impactive.

The study also unveiled that the common business model for spirits in China is that the brand office operates the marketing activities as well as international import logistics, while local distributors operate sales to end-users, as well as domestic logistics.

A roll-out strategy was formulated based on the market study and brand analysis. Premium product features and a high-end distribution channel were defined and established via partnership with a selected distributor. ARC Consulting provided the client with a full year holistic support to create sustainably growth and increase the ROCE (return on capital employed). Further, ARC Consulting’s team also supported the client with daily operational work, in terms of logistic arrangement and continued market exploration.

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