XXXX has been named one of the top five most recognised Australian brands in China, despite the company saying it has put no resources into the market.
Instead Lion, which owns the Queensland-based brand, has attributed the awareness to tourism exposing Chinese visitors to the brand, as well as its ‘lucky’ branding.
The Australian Brands in China 2019 Index was undertaken by researchers from Monash University and Digital Crew, an Australian-Chinese digital agency.
They surveyed 9,000 Chinese men and women aged between 24 and 67 across two Chinese cities, according to the Australian Financial Review.
The researchers found that XXXX was number four in the top 10 Australian brands recognised by Chinese consumers, in a list consisting largely of hospitality and alcohol brands.
Amy Darvill, Brand Director at Lion, spoke to Brews News about the “pleasant surprise” of seeing XXXX make the list for the first time.
She said that Lion has not invested any marketing spend in China, and they do not track sales in the country.
However she put XXXX’s brand recognition in the notoriously difficult Chinese market to several factors.
“[Firstly] the significant number of Chinese tourists who experience the scale of the XXXX brand when visiting Australia.
“As Australia’s largest beer brand, XXXX GOLD certainly has a huge market presence and is very hard to miss, especially in QLD and regional Australia.
“There is no doubt that many tourists would have tried a few GOLD’s when visiting, or at least experienced how loved the brand is here in Australia
“Secondly, we can’t escape the symbolism of our colours. To my understanding both gold and red are considered lucky colours in China – and as key assets of our brand I am sure this contributes to our popularity.”
Darvill said there were no plans yet to invest further in the Chinese market, saying that Lion has a global markets team which focuses on expanding Lion’s craft beer footprint internationally, rather than exporting domestic mainstream brands.
The Chinese beer market is the biggest in the world, according to American multinational investment bank J.P. Morgan, with a 22.4 per cent share of global consumption.
AB InBev commissioned a report on international markets for its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which found that the five top brewers in the county are CR Snow Breweries Tsingtao, AB InBev, Yanjing and Carlsberg. Combined they accounted for 70.4% of the total Chinese beer market by volume in 2018.
Budweiser (licenced by AB InBev in that market) and Carlsberg are some of the bigger international beer brands.
According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, China is Australia’s largest trading partner, but it is also a “complex and challenging” market, affected by an often uncertain regulatory environment.
Austrade said it was a “heavily regulated” market with stringent regulations in place for food quality, labelling and product testing.
The Australian Brands in China Index found that the number one brand was Adina Apartment Hotels, followed by Qantas Airways, Mantra Hotels, with XXXX coming in fourth.
In terms of alcohol brands, Lindeman’s Wines, Bundaberg Rum, Hardy’s and Burch Family Wines also feature in the top 10.