Ready-Made and Pre-Mixed Cocktails Market in China

In recent years, the ready-to-drink and premixed alcoholic drinks market in China has shown consequent growth. There is increasing consumer demand for innovative and qualitative drinks. Asia Pacific region accounts for the largest market share, whereas Western countries influence consumer behavior across the world.

The ready-made alcoholic beverages market in China, although being a niche market, presents great opportunities for Western spirits producers, as the demand will continue to grow by 13% by 2028. As most of the consumers are young Chinese adults who are already familiar with Western alcohol culture, we can expect a growing number of foreign companies to enter the alcoholic drinks market in China in the next few years.

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Chinese Spirits Market Overview

The Chinese alcohol market is the biggest in the world, with the volume sales accounting for 341 million dollars in 2023. The market is expected to grow 5.40% every year. The biggest segment is the Chinese spirits market, accounting for 253.10 million dollars.

Although the biggest market share still belongs to baijiu (traditional Chinese vodka), pre-mixed cocktails are generating bigger retail sales year after year, as young Chinese consumers embrace Western alcohol culture.

The RTD market in China may be small at the moment but it is predicted to increase exponentially. In the last ten years, the performance of RTDs and pre-mixed cocktails has been negatively affected by the recession, but both local and foreign brands are optimistic about the rising demand among consumers.

Young Chinese consumers are turning towards cocktails and premixed alcoholic drinks

In China, the demand for pre-mixed alcoholic beverages is high among young consumers. The ready-to-drink category delivers on convenience, as there is no need for preparations, unlike mixed alcoholic drinks. Moreover, pre-mixed cocktails have caught the attention of trend-conscious young single women between 20 and 30 years old, who like to go out in the evening for cocktails with friends.

This type of drinking spirit is preferred by young Chinese consumers, as they are convenient, easy to consume, and drastically cheaper than the regular cocktails offered in bars. Alcohol-based RTDs can also be consumed outdoors without the need for any extra preparation.

These alcoholic beverages gained popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the fact, that restaurants and bars were closed, young Chinese people in first-tier cities started ordering those drinks on e-commerce platforms and other online channels, to enjoy a good drink at home, without the need to buy separate ingredients.

RIO – the market leader in premixed alcoholic beverages

Among the wide variety of alcoholic RTD drinks in China, the local brand RIO is by far the most popular and holds the largest market share. The products are available in more than 260 major cities and in more than 1000 county cities in China. RIO alcopops are also sold in neighboring Asian countries, as well as Italy and Spain.

Alcoholic RTDs are mainly spirit-based, malt-based, or wine-based alcoholic beverages. Also known as alcopops. There is also another type of premixes that are considered high-strength but these, cater to drinkers who are looking for beverages with higher alcohol content.

How do local and foreign brands market premixed alcoholic drinks?

From the taste all the way to the packaging, domestic and imported brands have customized their products in order to cater to the consumer’s needs and demands. RTDs tend to have low alcohol intake and a soft drink-type taste. Most of them also have fun and attractive colors added to the stylish packaging, just like you can see RIOs’ products above.

Beverage makers highlight the convenience the RTDs offer through their marketing campaigns. Bottled cocktails are easy to transport and consume, making them the perfect beverages while attending karaokes, clubs, and even home parties. They make as light, refreshing alternatives to regular wine or beer.

Premade Cocktail on a Weibo Store

How to Sell Premixed Cocktails on the Chinese Alcohol Market?

China’s RTD market is unique and complex. Yet, many companies try to enter it without knowing where their product is likely to find the most success, who will buy it, and who they should be working with to sell it. Knowing your target market for your RTDs and premixed drinks is essential and targeting the ideal customer profile is the key to your success in the Chinese market. 

Tips to market your premade cocktail brand in China

In order for ready-to-drink companies to succeed in the Chinese market, companies should :

  1. Do a thorough competition analysis
  2. Identify the best local markets to target the premixed cocktails niche category
  3. Develop the right pricing strategy
  4. Craft a successful branding and digital marketing strategy and a strong online presence to reassure customers and potential business partners.
  5. After a few months of working on your online reputation and now that you have negotiating power, actively look for a local partner

Branding and the importance of a Chinese website

Branding is one of the most important elements of a successful market entry in China, regardless of the industry. Chinese consumers tend to buy products from brands they already know, well-known brands that they heard of, or products from companies that were recommended to them by family, friends, or influencers that they follow on social media. No one will purchase a product from a brand they never heard of.

Therefore, branding needs to be your first focus when it comes to the Chinese alcohol market. When Chinese consumers hear about you, they will look you up on Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, just like we do on Google in the West. To have good brand recognition, you need to have a Chinese website, targeted for your high-end spirits audience and optimized for Baidu SEO.


What is more, you need to send a clear and unified message with all your social media accounts, the website, and other presence online and offline. Chinese people really often confuse Western brands, as there are many of them on the market in China, so you need to make sure, your message is loud and clear.


E-reputation is linked with branding and is actually more important in China than anywhere else. As the market size for alcoholic drinks is huge and the competition is fierce, brands need to make sure the image that they show online is positive, otherwise Chinese consumers will turn to other brands. To work on a good e-reputation in the Chinese spirits market, it’s advisable to take care of good public relations and hire media that can write about us.

But what is even more important is to monitor comments and opinions that Chinese consumers post about our brand on e-commerce platforms, online stores, social media, or forums. One good way to paint a good picture of your brand is to start a forum group on Baidu Tieba centered around your brand or other niche topics from the alcoholic drinks market and slowly gain the trust of your potential consumers there.

Baidu Tieba

Promoting your brand on Chinese social media platforms

WeChat, Douyin, Little Red Book and Weibo have been attracting millions of users, making China the world’s biggest social media market, these also represent potential customers for you if you manage to interest and attract them!


Wechat is China’s biggest messaging app and social media platform, with 1.26 billion active users as of 2022. If there is only one platform to choose from, WeChat always should be your first choice, as this is the place where most Chinese Internet users are.

WeChat has many different features, making it easy for brands to promote their products using different content formats, preferred by different age groups. You can start a WeChat Official Account, which will be like an in-app website of your brand, that allows you to send newsletters to your consumer base. You can post content in a form of articles, short messages, videos, and also paid ads.

What is more, all the popular brands (actually over 95% of brands in total) have WeChat mini-program apps, which are built-in apps within the WeChat ecosystem. Those apps allow companies to create their own WeChat shops or brochures to attract an audience.

Rio – Mini-program Wechat


Weibo is a great app to reach a bigger audience, out of your followers base. It’s the biggest blogging network in China, with many options to interact with your audience. You can promote your alcoholic drinks through normal posts, videos, polls, engage through quizzes, organize lucky draws and many more.

Other social media platforms

Apart from WeChat and Weibo, there are many other social media platforms that can help you promote your alcoholic drinks in China. Among them, the most popular among young consumers is Little Red Book and Douyin (Tiktok). Both of these platforms are good for building great e-reputation as well as promoting the brand, especially with the use of Chinese influencers, which can quickly boost your brand recognition.

Companies that intend to succeed in the Chinese market must develop a good digital marketing strategy on the aforementioned platforms. We help you create and manage an active community on social media that will generate engagement and awareness of your brands. In other terms, use communities to spread the word and increase your online presence.

Finding the right distributors

Although promotion online is important for building brand awareness and gaining consumers’ trust, to sell alcoholic drinks on the Chinese spirits market you will need to find suitable distributors, that will help you enter Chinese supermarkets, convenience stores and other offline channels, where Chinese consumers buy those products.

Finding the right distributors for your brand in China is hard, but we can help you choose the perfect distributors for your niche brand. We’ve been working with many distributors over the years and we already build a big base of trusted local distributors in the Chinese spirits market. Those distributors have knowledge of Western alcohol culture and can help you become a well-known brand in China.

Here is one of your drinking spirits case study:

Sell your alcoholic drinks on online e-commerce platforms

Chinese consumers are more and more used to buying everything they need online, so entering China’s online platforms will give you the best possible visibility and will bring the biggest online sales. But you need to be aware of the fact, that Chinese consumers don’t buy products from brands they don’t know there. They always go for safe choices of well-known brands.

Therefore, entering China’s e-commerce platforms shouldn’t be your first step. It’s important to build brand awareness and take care of good branding and e-reputation, as all those marketplaces require big investments.

Contact us to discuss your project in China!

If you’re interested in selling ready-made cocktails in China but don’t have experience working on local markets before, we are here to help. We are a China digital agency with more than 10 years of experience and more than 70 Chinese and foreign professionals in the field. We’ve worked with many foreign companies selling alcoholic beverages and we know exactly what to do to be successful on the spirits market in China.

We can help you build e-reputation and branding, we can design your Chinese website and manage all your social media accounts in China. Here are some of your services:

Don’t hesitate to contact us or leave us a comment to discuss your project in China!

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  1. Hello
    We want to import foreign brand of Spirit and wine, with our new franchise store in 2023.
    Contact me with your brand, your products and pricelist

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