Interview: Swiss brewery eyeing thriving China market

Decorative picture. Glass of beers.

GENEVA, April 15 (Xinhua) — Traditional Swiss brewery Appenzeller Bier, known locally for its specialty beers, is preparing to make a splash in China boosted by the impact from COVID-19 and thirsty folks in China. This family-owned business, founded in 1886 and based in Switzerland’s smallest canton by population Appenzell Innerrhoden, has been brewing beer for five generations. It now has big plans and wants to take on the world’s biggest beer market by sales: China. Brauerei Locher AG, the company behind Appenzeller Bier, holds a domestic market share of about six percent and is the country’s leading independent brewery. It is also among the Swiss companies participating in the first China International Consumer Products Expo in Haikou, capital of south China’s Hainan Province, between May 7 and May 10. “We recognize that China is recovering very quickly, much faster than we do here in Europe, so this is a great opportunity for us that the market is getting better much quicker than here in Switzerland,” Aurele Meyer, managing director of Brauerei Locher, told Xinhua in an interview. More than 1,000 global brands from 69 countries and regions will participate in the expo co-hosted by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Hainan provincial government next month. “We are looking to gain further insight into the Chinese market, learn more about the Chinese customers and of course let people taste our products so that we can see where we have the best matches, which products are suited for this target market. This is what we expect from the fair,” Meyer said. The event will cover an area of 80,000 square meters, including 60,000 square meters of international exhibition space featuring fashion, jewelry, food and supplements, hospitality and professional services.

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