East Meets West – The Sky Is the Limit

Interview: East Meets West Fine Wines CEO and co-founder, Edouard Duval

The Greater China based wine importer East Meets West Fine Wines (EMW), was founded in 2003 with the goal of introducing market leading family owned wineries in Greater China. As a major wine importer and distributor, the company now has more than 200 professionals, exclusively distributing over 600 labels from 70+ wineries from 14 different countries to over 3500 customers in more than 150 cities in China. We asked company CEO and co-founder Edouard Duval how sales have been progressing.

We finished the year 2017 with a growth of 30% in value and 35% in volume. It is a significant growth in a very competitive market like China. We over-performed the market which grew around 15% last year (14% in volume, 16% in value). For the four first months of 2018, we are on the same trend with 28% growth in value with a bit over 30% in volume. The growth is still driven by good value and middle range wines (from 2USD to 6USD Ex-works per bottle). We actually saw last year a stabilisation in terms of proportion of sales in value in mainland China in wine type with red wine accounting for 65% of our sales, white wine 20%, rest being Sparkling, Champagne, Rosé and sweet wines.

VINEXPO FAIR IS WELL ATTENDED BY OUR PRODUCERS AND POTENTIAL ONES WE ARE TARGETING, CLOSE TO US AND WE WILL HAVE MANY CUSTOMERS FROM MAINLAND, HONG KONG AND MACAU VISITING

In terms of country of origin, Australian wines continue to be very attractive and to gain market share mainly on the medium and premium segment (10AUSD to 50AUSD exworks per bottle Segment) thanks to a Free Trade agreement in a market where value matters a lot now.

Indeed, Australia is this year’s country of honour. How do you work with Australian wines?

The Australian wines category in our portfolio is growing fast. We represent now 5 outstanding wineries with John Duval Wines, Kooyong, Voyager Estate, Coriole, Pikes from 5 different wine regions. Last year we had over 50% growth on that category but we see much more potential. We are actually looking also at new partners from the wine regions we do not represent yet as well as a strong partner for good value wines (2.5AUSD to 3.5AUSD) for 2nd tier and 3rd tier cities.

What are your key reasons for coming to Vinexpo HK?

Vinexpo Fair is well attended by our producers and potential ones we are targeting, close to us and we will have many customers from Mainland, Hong Kong and Macau visiting. It’s a well-organised event with a good venue & location in the city. The conferences planned are also very qualitative.


Photo: Edouard Duval, CEO & Founder, East Meets West Fine Wines (EMW)