Diageo Bets on China’s Homegrown Baijiu

on 10/03/12 at 3:41 pm

Industry

No matter where you are in the world, drinks conglomerate Diageo hopes that when you take your next celebratory shot, you’ll skip the tequila or scotch and order the baijiu instead.

Diageo, which owns Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whiskey, thinks that its newest brand, Shui Jing Fang baijiu, can conquer the globe just like some of its other famous brands have in the past. “White liquor” in Chinese, baijiu is a strong, clear-colored spirit distilled from grains including sorghum and rice.

“This is a brand with a lot of potential,” said Gilbert Ghostine, the Singapore-based chief executive for the Asia-Pacific region at Diageo.

The company took control of the traditional baijiu brand – upping its stake to 53% from 49% — last year and has since launched it in select markets around the world. Currently selling in seven countries and 40 airports, Shiu Jing Fang is the first baijiu brand in Diageo’s portfolio.

FULL STORY via WSJ

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