Home> News

Tsingtao cements position in United Kingdom’s premium market

By Chen Meiling ( China Daily )

Updated: 2017-11-29

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 0

Tsingtao Beer, one of China's oldest beer brand, is gaining popularity in the United Kingdom due to its European-tailored taste, and has established a high-end Chinese brand image worldwide, according to the company.

With a history of 114 years, the Qingdao-based brewer has sold its products in more than 100 countries. Its overseas sales grew 12 percent last year, while sales in the Western Europe market increased eight percent.

The goal of Tsingtao beer to Go Global is not just to sell beer, but to build a world-famous Chinese beer brand.

Statistics from the Centre for International Communication Studies showed Tsingtao has acquired more than 90 percent brand recognition in many developed countries in Europe and North America.

This beer brand is developing more customised products to meet the demands of different customers, including beverages brewed with peaches and dates. Tsingtao will select and develop new tastes through cooperation with European partners.

Tsingtao has launched 1,500 beer products with over 20 different flavours, but that’s still far from enough in Tsingtao's prospect.

According to the market judgement of Tsingtao, the beer industry "needs upgrading and transformation to adapt to the emerging consumer-oriented market demands".

"In the past, whoever drank the most was the king. Now, customers tend to look for favors that best suit their own tastes and learn to have fun by trying different beers," said company executives.

That trend drives companies to produce more customised and varied beer products instead of mass standardised ones. In the UK, Tsingtao is widely available in mainstream restaurants, supermarkets, bars and stores.

Bonnie Yeung, the eldest daughter of the Yeung family, who runs a well-established restaurant in Manchester, said the beer is by far the best-selling beer brand in their restaurant.

"It's a well-recognised brand and many of our customers like the beers very much. Both the Tsingtao Lager and Tsingtao 1903 are great pairings with our food."

She said the beer goes well with food, especially prawn-stuffed chilies with black bean sauce. They even use Tsingtao to make some of their snacks.

James Wright, Tsingtao UK brand manager, participated in many of Tsingtao's brand campaigns in the UK. He said that Tsingtao is successfully building its brand by taking advantage of Chinese culture in the UK.

Tsingtao adheres to a "high price, high quality, high visibility" strategy.

"We never put our products in low-end markets," said Zhang Yi, senior business manager at Tsingtao's Brewery International. She added the premium price comes from strict supervision of high quality.

The rice used to make the beer is unshelled fresh rice, within three days of harvest. A bottle should be washed for 30 minutes. Water needs to be tested every two hours, she said.

Tsingtao's international marketing introduces some interesting Chinese cultural elements, including pandas, porcelain, the twelve Chinese zodiac signs and Chinese knots.

"Many foreigners who love Chinese culture even have fun collecting Tsingtao beer cans and bottles," Ms. Zhang said.

Tsingtao cements position in United Kingdom’s premium market