Q: What is your company’s background?
A: We produce fruit spirits. Many people are unfamiliar with the term, but they know schnapps and slivovitz: These products use fermented fruit fortified with 40-50% alcohol. We have a variety of products that are trying to cater to Chinese tastes, with an alcohol volume ranging between 38% and 56%. At present, I have three Hungarian distillery masters using German distilling technology, and the best fruit we can find in China.
Q: What is the market opportunity?
A: It’s very interesting. The product does not exist in China. Schnapps is impossible to purchase here, even in the expat supermarkets. It is unavailable. But there is a large expat population here, and Chinese consumers are looking for quality, natural products. There is going be to a lot of education required to get Chinese customers on the bandwagon. We are going after wealthier Chinese customers. In taste tests many Chinese women said they liked our product because they can drink it without the burning sensation of baijiu, but it has the same alcohol content.
Q: How did the Expo play into your plan to start selling into the Chinese market?
A: We wanted to start a bit earlier to fully utilize the Expo in Shanghai. The city is nice because it is the shopping window into China, and the Expo is a window to the whole world. Basically, we are setting up a system to market our product directly to other national pavilions, especially those that are familiar with our products, or at least familiar with the concept what a fruit spirit is. Our designs, in particular our lady-shaped bottles, get a lot of attention. I hope it will become the official drink of the Expo.