SA spirits soar at influential Chinese market

12 Apr 2023
South Australian spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be centre stage at China’s biggest and most influential food and drinks event starting today, fuelling opportunities with the State’s largest export market.
Having operated since 1955 and famed as the ‘barometer’ of the Chinese food industry, China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF) will provide SA businesses access to some 150,000 professional purchasers at one China’s largest professional events.
Held in Chinese megacity, Chengdu, the CFDF runs until Friday, April 14 and will see 28 South Australian brands from the gin, whisky and other spirits, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages such as juice and soda categories have access to more than 300,000 trade visitors expected to attend.
The State Government is supporting the South Australian delegation in attendance through a series of events that seek to demonstrate the State’s world-class offerings as SA continues to deliver on its status as the ‘spirit state’.
The Department for Trade and Investment (DTI) will run masterclasses and tastings – featuring award-winning bartenders – and match local Chinese companies with global industry leaders as part of key networking functions.
The South Australian-specific events are expected to attract a targeted audience of more than 200 buyers, importers, and drinks trade professionals, opening export opportunities in China and around the world.
It is the first time South Australian producers will feature in-person at the globally renowned fair, with previous events held part or fully online due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the third time DTI has held the SA beverage event series in China.
Those involved in the delegation are either new to the China market and keen to establish themselves, or already in-market and eager to expand their footprint.

Among those attending is Threefold Distilling, a local small-batch handcrafted spirits and liqueur business, specialising in gin featuring botanical ingredients.
The event aims to tap into the China spirits market which is worth US$175 billion a year and continues to grow. While local Chinese brands still dominate the market, western-produced spirits including gin, whisky and brandy are rapidly gaining in popularity.
South Australian exports to China were up 33 per cent to $2.5 billion in the year ending February 2023, demonstrating the steady turnaround and stabilisation of Australian-Chinese trade relations.
ABS data shows the South Australian spirit industry had an export value of almost $26 million over this period, representing 12 per cent of Australia’s spirit exports.
Spirit manufacturing in Australia generated $2.3 billion in revenue in 2022, with strong growth recorded in the Asia-Pacific region over the last five years.