A Boutique Alcohol Spirits Marketing Agency
Capital Spirits LTD is the leading professional spirits and liquor marketing consultancy specializing in opening and growing new markets for baijiu around the world. Baijiu, the most consumed spirit in the world, is enjoyed only in China while untapped markets signal huge opportunities for business. Through our internationally recognized and award winning success at Capital Spirits Bar and Distillery in Beijing, we’ve identified and perfected how to build excitement and sell Baijiu to Western audiences. Our team of international professionals currently work with the full value chain of Baijiu including Chinese baijiu producers, China spirits distributors / exporters, major American and European importers, distributors, retailers and FB outlets in China and around the world.
We have made it our personal mission to introduce baijiu to the world after years in China have allowed it to steal our hearts, minds (and livers). The Capital Spirits LTD team leverages their multinational, multilingual experience and deep China, baijiu and spirits expertise to build key relationships within China, the EU and USA. With members from Germany, US and China, we are fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and German. Our team boasts core competencies in areas such as sales, marketing, branding, PR media relations/promotions, research, financial analysis, global trade import/export regulations, and f&b retail operations and management. Let us leverage our strong networks and expertise across Asia, Europe and North America allow us to facilitate key partnerships for your business today.
干杯 Gan Bei!
If you are interested in taking part in the fast growing market of Baijiu spirits, let us enable your business with our full suite of services
Spirits and Liquor Marketing Consulting Agency
Services for Producers of Baijiu (China)
The Capital Spirits LLC offers a range of services to help Chinese Baijiu producers make the leap into foreign markets and become the next major spirits label abroad. Capital Spirits LLC can help identify how to build your brand abroad, create an executable marketing strategy with the right triggers to activate your target audiences, finally how to build excitement, media attention and promotions to help drive sales abroad.
Brand Building & Marketing Strategy
PR, Advertising and Promotions
Sales Channel Development
Services for Western clients interested in baijiu
The Capital Spirits LLC offers a range of services to help foreign businesses tap into the growing baijiu spirits market. We offer custom services including sourcing authentic baijiu directly from producers, to replicating our successful bar operations as a franchisee.
The Capital Spirits LTD offers a range of services to help foreign businesses tap into the growing baijiu and western spirits market. We offer custom services to introduce your product into China as well as sourcing authentic baijiu directly from China producers for export.
Marketing and Branding Services
In the world of international spirits, brand image is everything. What story do you want to tell about your product? Why is your product so special? Is it the unique flavors created through a distilling heritage that goes back over 300 years or the special water, grain and distilling techniques? Whether it’s localizing your current brand or creating a new exciting Chinese spirits brand name, label and bottle design, our branding professional team will create a brand strategy on how to best convey your unique and get your brand story told to the world.
Creating buzz and excitement will help breathe life into brands and ensure they are at the top of mind for your target consumers. Whether it is a full-blown celebrity endorsed launch event, an international media roadshow, leveraging hand picked online tastemakers and bloggers, high attention grabbing targeted advertising, or a viral promotion campaign, CS will create high impact PR and advertising strategies to make sure everyone’s talking about and consuming your product.
Sales Channel Development
If you’re already in market as a recognized brand and just want to simply increase sales reach, let our expert team create a sales channel plan. Through CS’s many strategic relationships with spirits importers, distributors, and retailers we’ll help your brand get full reach across competitive the spirits market abroad.
The Capital Spirits, LTD offers a range of services to help Chinese Baijiu producers make the leap into foreign markets and become the next major spirits label abroad. Capital Spirits LTD can help identify how to build your brand abroad, create an executable marketing strategy with the right triggers to activate your target audiences, finally how to build excitement, media attention and promotions to help drive sales abroad.
Capital Spirits Ltd 为中国白酒品牌进入欧美市场提供各类品牌建设、营销策划以及媒体公关等服务，让与我们合作的品牌成为中国白酒行业的海外明星。Capital Spirits Ltd 可为各白酒生产商策划出一套完整可行的海外战略，并与我们的客户共同执行海外销售计划，从品牌重新包装、海外媒体宣传到欧美国家实地营销全程跟踪服务。
• Brand Building 品牌建设
• Marketing Strategy
• PR, Advertising and Promotions 公关，媒体和宣传
• Sales Channel Development
What is Baijiu?
Baijiu (白酒) is the most commonly consumed spirit in the world. According to government found statistics, 11 billion liters of baijiu were consumed in 2012, thereby greatly overshadowing vodka which only sold 7 billion liters worldwide.
Baijiu is a generic term for Chinese clear spirits but can vary greatly in flavor and alcohol content depending on choice of grain and production methods. Baijiu is the national spirit of China, and until recently was unheard of outside of its domestic market. Baijiu is a clear spirit, but is renowned for its unique concentrated flavors.
The Major Types of Baijiu
Baijiu has existed in its current form for centuries, and today there are over 10,000 baijiu distilleries in Mainland China alone. Due to such diverse history and production there are many different styles and categories of baijiu. Some baijius are unique to a province, region or village. There are, however, four major styles of baijiu: rice aroma, light aroma, strong aroma and sauce aroma.
Strong aroma baijiu is by far the most popular type of baijiu in China today. Strong aroma baijiu comes from Sichuan province and is also popular in Anhui, Jiangsu and Shandong. This type of baijiu achieves its unique flavor by undergoing the fermentation process in mud pits. Strong aroma baijiu can often have a sweet overripe nose and deep, robust flavor.
Light aroma baijiu is the second most popular type of baijiu sold in China and is popular in Shanxi, Beijing, the northeastern provinces and Taiwan. Light aroma refers to the flavor of the drink, not its strength, as light aroma baijius are usually bottled at over 50% ABV. Typically, light aroma baijiu is produced from sorghum and fermented for a short amount of time in clay pots. After distillation, light aroma baijius are often aged in ceramic jars. Light aroma baijus are usually delicate and dry in aroma and flavor.
Sauce Aroma Baijiu comes from Guizhou province and is very labor-intensive in its production. It takes about a year to produce a batch of sauce aroma baijiu, as fresh grains are added to brick-lined fermentation pits and redistilled month by month. Maotai is a
famous example of sauce aroma baijiu, and is the official spirit of China. Sauce aroma baijiu has a savory aroma and mouthfeel, from which it gets the name sauce.
Rice aroma baijiu comes from southeastern Guangxi province. Rice aroma baijius are made entirely from rice and therefore have a similar flavor to Japanese sake or Korean Soju, but are much stronger due to distillation. Rice aroma baijiu can have a sweet, floral nose and a subtly smoky finish.
What Makes Baijiu Unique?
Baijiu is unlike any other spirit in that it is made through solid-state fermentation. While western alcohol is produced through a two step process where, grains are first malted and then fermented. The essence of baijiu is its qu: a brick of previously fermented grains and yeasts unique to and often guarded by the distillery. Baijiu is made by adding qu with water and grains thereby causing simultaneous sugar conversion and fermentation. This fermentation either occurs in an underground mud pit or inside a ceramic jar. After fermentation the remaining concoction is distilled. Out of the still comes a pure clear spirit: baijiu. This baijiu is then refined through a two-step process: first the baijiu is aged in large terra cotta urns for a year or two. Upon maturation, the baijiu is usually blended to different strengths and grades. Due to this heavily-involved production process, baijiu is almost always hand-crafted using traditional methods.
Why Does Baijiu Matter?
“Baijiu is the world’s biggest-selling spirit category and represents a $23 billion market, according to research reports by McKinsey & Co and UBS. (Reuters June 3 2014)” “[maotai] was worth nearly $2.4 billion, surpassed only by Johnnie Walker Scotch, according to consulting firm Brand Finance. A 375 ml bottle sells for $160. (Reuters June 3 2014)” “Baijiu is by far the world’s largest spirit category by sales—accounting for $92.4 billion in 2012, according to the International Wine and Spirit Research group. That was well above the second-most popular drink, vodka, which saw $48.9 billion in sales.(CNBC 18 August 2013)”
Baijiu is the newest trend in the world of spirits. Despite having been enjoyed in China for thousands of years, baijiu is finally beginning to appear in foreign markets. Both vodka and tequila were nearly unheard of outside their respective home countries until the twentieth century today Baijiu is making the same invasion, and will be on the tips of everyone’s tongues.
The drivers of this trend are push and pull factors that together create a dynamic that is about to change the global spirits industry and bar concepts:
“…while the U.S. baijiu market is in “an early stage of development,” Diageo sees an opportunity to broaden the drink’s appeal to both the Chinese diaspora as well as America and adventurous experience seekers.
According to Diageo, 10 percent of Shui Jing Fang’s sales are made outside of China, and the brand is already sold at more than 40 airports worldwide. Dor says that Americans’ lack of a traditional alcohol to pair with Chinese cuisine also represents an opportunity.
“Sake has become ubiquitous with Japanese dining and tequila with Mexican,” Dor said. “Chinese cuisine has never had this natural complement. We see a great opportunity to change this.” (CNBC 18 August 2013)
“Still, Byejoe says it has sold more than 2,000 bottles, which retail at $29.99, since launching earlier this year. And with establishments like retired NBA star Yao Ming’s YAO Restaurant & Bar offering its products, the company expects sales to accelerate. (CNBC 18 Aug 2013)”
“Patron was the first ultra-premium tequila to come out, and then the ‘me-toos’ followed,” Trusch said. “When more people come onto the market, you’ll have more people singing baijiu’s praises.” (CNBC 18 Aug 2013)
Aside from being the most commonly consumed spirit in the world, baijiu is essential to negotiating business or politics with the Chinese. Richard Nixon solidified the west’s new relationship with China by taking a shot of Maotai with Zhou Enlai, and today no deal in China is confirmed without a baiju toast.
As China continues to open up, Chinese people are traveling far and wide. Millions of Chinese individuals emigrate to foreign countries every year, and even more travel for business and leisure. With these individuals comes a demand and appreciation for baijiu, as the Chinese spread worldwide, so does their culture, especially baijiu culture.
Baijiu Market Trends
The Push Abroad
Baijiu producers are seeking to enter new markets as domestic revenues continue to decrease. Essentially, the loss of baijiu revenues can be drawn to two primary causes: austerity, and competition.
Austerity: President Xi JinPing’s austerity campaign has hit baijiu producers the hardest. Due to slashes in budgeting, baijiu which was once a staple at official banquets and an essential luxury gift has undergone a tremendous reduction in domestic sales. baijiu producers are seeking new markets in the United States and Europe as sales fall at home after a crackdown on wasteful spending in China. (Reuters June 3 2014)
Competition: Furthermore, the introduction of foreign spirit brands to the Chinese market has created a new era of completion for the spirits industry. Young and old alike, the Chinese are now buying vodkas, whiskeys, brandies, and all sorts of spirits from the west.
The Pull Abroad
Simultaneously, there is a growing demand for baijiu in western markets, primarily due to the desire for new and exciting products, the growing Chinese expatriate community, and the spread of Chinese culture worldwide.
New and Exciting: Liquor stores in the USA and Europe are always looking for new products to sell. Rebranded vodkas and tequilas can only go so far, but as knowledge of baijiu spreads, so does the thirst to try it.
Chinese Expatriates: Millions of Chinese individuals emigrate to western countries each year, and even more travel for business and leisure. With millions of Chinese students abroad and families relocating, many Chinese expatriates are looking for a taste of home. This establishes that there is already a significant demand base in North America and Europe for baijiu.
Chinese Culture Moves West: Prior to the 1980’s no one outside of Japan had ever eaten sushi, or drank sake. As China’s power and influence grows, demand for Chinese cultural exports has grown exponentially. The restaurant scene in New York for example, has seen Xi’an famous foods emerge as an extremely popular restaurant. As people learn more about China worldwide, and interact with Chinese expatriates and businessmen, they will want to experience the spirit of China.
The Unique Position of the Capital Spirits LTD
We know how to solve the challenges of the industry
The Chinese baijiu industry is facing a series of challenges due primarily to changes in both government policy and market trends. (I would like to revisit this and pepper some actual research in.) First and foremost, the Chinese government which was (and possibly still is) the largest purchaser of baijiu by volume has enacted an austerity campaign. After undergoing some scrutiny for spending more money each year on fancy banquets than national defense, the Chinese government has cut back significantly on F&B expenditures. This has hit the baijiu industry hardest as once again, the government was their largest customer. Furthermore many of these baijiu company’s top-shelf bottles which sold for astronomical prices (over $10,000) which were exclusively sold to the CCP and PLA are no longer being sold. These bottles never actually reflected a market value pricing because of the obscurity of their exchange. (Tell me what points you want to highlight, this paragraph will need several revisions and some fact-based research)
The other main problem facing the Chinese baijiu industry is the changing perception that baijiu is an “old person’s drink”. While Baijiu used to be almost exclusive to the Chinese market, Chinese people 35 and younger prefer to drink wine, whiskey, brandy and other western liquors. These foreign spirits are perceived to be far cooler and more modern. Younger Chinese are going to bars and nightclubs for entertainment and are therefore drinking more of the spirits marketed to such demographics.
We can build new markets
Despite being the most popular spirit in the world, Baijiu is quite hard to find outside of China, or at least the Sinosphere (Malaysia, Taiwain, Singapore, Flushing Queens) Importers and distributors do not carry baijius and even if they did, baiju is currently inaccessible to most pallets. Our experience shows that baijiu can be well received by first-time drinkers and even with those who had negative past experiences, but the proper introduction and education is essential. Without that, baijiu, especially premium baijius (浓香，酱香) will never gain acceptance with Western pallets.
China: 中国北京大菊胡同3号 (DaJuHutong #3 Beijing)
USA: 81 Prospect Brooklyn NY 11201
81 Prospect Brooklyn | 3 DaJu Hutong Beijing