Scotch: China’s new status symbol

This is a really interesting WSJ article about the role of scotch in China and how it differs from other countries.

In China, Scotch whisky is becoming a status symbol for mostly affluent, self-made young men. Crucially, they are prepared to go straight for expensive single malts, by-passing the blended Scotches that tend to be a ‘starter’ whisky for new drinkers in the West.

David Pattison, regional manager of emerging markets at Morrison Bowmore Distillers, said recently that, in Asia, “young people are going straight to single malts, drinking in clubs and restaurants.” It’s also worth noting that this young Chinese audience is buying single-malts on-trade, in groups, rather than drinking at home. This, again, is in contrast to Western markets, which rely heavily on the off-trade for single-malt salesthat shows the majority of the single-malt market sales being off-trade.

Despite this trend, China is still some way behind other markets in terms of scotch consumption per-capita. Taiwan is actually third on that list, behind France and Britain.

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