Scotch in China: positioned for premiumisation

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Johnnie Walker Blue Label Forbidden City Edition

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Forbidden City Edition

Greater China has the largest and fastest-growing super premium and above spirits segment in the world1 – and our portfolio of super premium and luxury Scotch whiskies is helping us meet Chinese consumers’ desire to ‘drink better, not more’.2

Our super premium and luxury Scotch portfolio includes Johnnie Walker, which is Greater China’s biggest Scotch brand by volume and retail sales value.3 It also includes fast-growing brands such as Mortlach and Talisker, and The Singleton, which is Greater China’s largest single malt brand by volume.4 The growth of Johnnie Walker Blue Label over the last four years shows how we are harnessing the trend of premiumisation through the combination of an outstanding liquid, powerful brand building and innovation driven by insights into local culture.

This year, the brand launched a series of eye-catching innovations, including the Forbidden City Edition and a limited edition Chinese New Year bottle celebrating the Year of the Ox – both of which sold out quickly. These innovations combine Chinese consumers’ deep pride in their culture with their demand for unique products that suit gifting and business entertainment occasions. They also trigger a desire to explore and learn about Scotch whisky. We are helping to grow that consumer interest, working with key customers and consumers on product education and mentoring events. For example, we have held 13 Whisky Summits across China and reached over 15,000 people through our Diageo Whisky Academy since 2017.

1, 2, 3, 4. IWSR, 2020