SICHUAN LIQUOR GATHERED TOGETHER ON NEW SILK ROAD: JIANNANCHUN ACT AS PIONEER, LEADING THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE BAIJIU INDUSTRY
A thousand years ago，Jiannanshaochun (A traditional Sichuan Liquor product from Mianzhu) was brought to the Silk Roads from Chang’an city during the Tang Dynasty. After a thousand years, the Sichuan Liquor National Tour also started in Xi’an (formerly Chang’an), a hub city of Belt and Road, aiming to introduce authentic Chinese liquor culture to the world.
From August 8th to 9th, 2019, the Sichuan Liquor National Tour kicked off in Xi’an. The ancient capital city was accompanied by liquor fragrance. Many famous leading liquor enterprises from top four production areas of Sichuan participated in the exhibition, with “Six Golden Flowers” “Ten Tiny Golden Flowers”as typical representatives. (*Here refers to six liquor products & ten sub-categories liquor products in Sichuan) Moreover, 500 special guests were invited to attend the event, covering from local government officials to media, consumers and channel business partners. All attendees came together at Xi’an, the former starting point of the ancient Silk Road, to recall the eventful years and look forward to prosperous future.
The first stop event of Sichuan Liquor National Tour in Xi’an was sponsored by Jiannanchun. It was a gorgeous and well-known event of the industry. Agendas contained one journey started off from Jiannanchun plant on August 8th, a series of baijiu (literally means white liquor) products promotion sessions on the following day and a professional panel discussion on Belt and Road.
Sichuan Liquor Expedition: Keeping Pace with Times and How Can Chinese Baijiu Going Out
Xi’an is the starting point of ancient Silk Road as well as the representative hub city of the Belt and Road Initiative. Considering the market and historical culture factors, Sichuan Liquor National Tour 2019 was set to sail out from Xi’an. From Jiannanchun to Xi’an, China mainland to overseas, it is an aggressive expedition for Sichuan Liquor with focus on high quality and traditional culture.
Baijiu (Chinese clear liquor) is an important branch of traditional Chinese culture. It has been quite popular along the Silk Road since thousands of years ago. Nowadays, in response to the Belt and Road Initiative and to keep pace with times, baijiu is assigned the mission to promote its globalization and participates in the course of Belt and Road history.
Sichuan Liquor always plays a dominant role in Chinese baijiu market. Thus, its globalization roadmap can be seen as quintessential example of Chinese baijiu. To further expand the its presence in overseas, we invited guest speaker Dr. Wang Zhe, senior economist from Caixin think tank, diplomatic officers and enterprise representatives to the forum held on August 9 with theme of “Seize New Opportunities of Belt and Road Initiative, Facilitate the High-Quality Development of Sichuan Liquor”
In the forum, Dr. Wang Zhe shared his views regarding the development trend of Chinese economy in recent years through a macroeconomic lens by Caixin Belt and Road Index titled by Jiannanchun and pointed out opportunities and challenges that Chinese liquor industry faced under the trend of consumption upgrading and globalization. He suggested baijiu enterprises to produce modified version of liquors with less alcohol and light favor in case that they can compete with foreign alcohol types like vodka, whiskey, brandy in the oversea market. Meanwhile, the adaptation of international market is important, the essential aspect of baijiu going out is to spread Chinese culture. Dr. Wang emphasized that if we want to gain recognition from global market, we need to explain our culture in the way they could understand.
Regarding Chinese baijiu culture, one representative from Jiannanchun believes that since China is the only non-stop civilization country of the world, Chinese baijiu has been deeply rooted into our spiritual life. Therefore, in his eyes, when Chinese baijiu goes out, Chinese traditional culture also steps out.
In 2003, Bill Clinton, former president of United States, paid a special visit to Jiannanchun, which started the global market strategy of Jiannanchun. Over the most recent two years, as part of its global brand strategy, in 2017, Jiannanchun Group Co., Ltd. (JNC) signed on as a strategic partner and the exclusive baijiu sponsor of the Chinese Arts Gala, making the alcoholic beverage the first Chinese distilled liquor to be displayed at UN headquarters. In addition, one more small step in JNC's approach to expanding beyond the borders of its home market, JNC sent out its annual Lunar New Year message on one of the large billboards overlooking New York's Times Square. Chinese culture has always been an indispensable element of the market strategy.
Globalization: Jiannanchun is one of China's Earliest Pioneers in Baijiu Industry
In the forum, Gunther Marten (Minister Counselor of the EU Delegation), John Aquilina (Ambassador of the republic of Malta in China), Jose Castelao Lopez (Agricultural and investment specialist of Spanish Embassy in China) also proposed several great suggestions for Chinese baijiu going out during the discussion with “Six Golden Flowers” of Sichuan liquors.
All participants agreed that baijiu was a quintessential element of Chinese culture. Chinese baijiu goes out means Chinese traditional culture goes out. When Chinese baijiu goes into the global market, it is necessary to pay attention to the protection of intellectual property, endow Chinese liquor with international culture, and take the specific emotions of westerners into consideration. The international practice of Chinese baijiu is to make the global market recognize the historical and cultural significance behind it. Chinese baijiu industry can boost the drinking fashion by taking advantage of Chinese people living around the world through familiar culture knowledge education.
Gunther Marten (Minister Counselor of the EU Delegation) also pointed out the importance of intellectual property and appellations of origin for Chinese baijiu globalization. It is reported that the EU and China has reached an agreement of mutual authentication on over 100 products with geographical indication. It is undoubtedly a great opportunity for Jiannanchun, one of the few domestic giants companies authorized with “Chinese protected geographical Indication Product” label, to expand global market.
John Aquilina (Ambassador of the republic of Malta in China) especially mentioned that some foreign countries had no idea about the long-standing and massive culture details of Chinese baijiu. Thus how to bring iconic Chinese culture to the world is closely tied to increase the influence of Chinese baijiu in the fierce global competition.
Culture is undoubtedly one of the most competitive advantages of Chinese baijiu in the eyes of almost of all the foreign guests and diplomatic officials who understand both domestic and international market. At present, the export volume of Chinese baijiu accounts for only 0.17% of the total export volume. The key to improve overall sales in global market depends on brand culture. A strong cultural foundation opens the door to more opportunities where Chinese baijiu can succeed in the battle of Going-Out.
Jiannanchun has been working to enhance its international presence for years. It becomes one of China's earliest pioneers in baijiu industry thanks to the strong promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative. The first stop event of Sichuan Liquor National Tour was successfully completed. We believe that JNC, with a strong cultural background, would shine on the domestic and even global stage via branding events.