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Virtual Whisky Festival to help Scottish brands promote themselves in China

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Nihao Whisky Festival 2020

Dundee digital agency Zudu has announced the launch of a Virtual Whisky Festival, designed to help Scottish companies promote their products to the Chinese market.

The five-week virtual event will spotlight whisky brands to the Chinese market, culminating in a live whisky tasting event with VIPs, KOLs, whisky experts and distributors in Shanghai in September. The aim is to push Scottish brands in the country, unlocking new opportunities for businesses amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Data from the Scotch Whisky Association suggests 25 bottles of Scotch whisky are exported to China every minute, and the rise of ecommerce has led to an increased appetite for premium imported alcohol. The Scotch whisky market in China is now thought to be worth £89 million.

Following the promotional festival, the Scottish digital agency behind the event, Zudu, will embark on a six-month-long influencer marketing campaign with select Scotch whisky brands to promote their products in different regions across China, pairing the drink with local food. The project will be led by Zudu’s Chinese division, NihaoScotland, which offers digital marketing services to Scottish businesses.

Following the festival [there will be a] six-month-long influencer campaign with select Scotch whisky brands to promote their products and pair the drinks with local food.

“China is coming through the other side of the coronavirus pandemic much faster than we are here in the UK, so now is a great time to start pushing whisky brands internationally,” explains James Buchan, Managing Director of Zudu. “Consumers are prepared to pay more for imports, and our festival will feed into that through storytelling, influencer marketing, and building brand loyalty.”

ZUDU JAMES BUCHAN Nihao Whisky Festival 2020

The company is well placed to put Scotland’s favourite tipple on the map, due to the fact that it already works with brands including Clydeside Distillery, Lindores Abbey, Keith Brewery, Spey Valley, Orkney Distillery and Esker Spirits. “Our upcoming festival will spread the word about talented Scottish distilleries, unlocking opportunities for the wider industry including in tourism,” Buchan adds.

Zudu Ltd participated in the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) trade mission to China in 2018, which was a springboard for a number of creative digital marketing solutions aimed at promoting Scottish businesses.

David Valentine, MBE, International Trade Ambassador for Scottish Chambers of Commerce, commented “This is a great outcome from Zudu’s participation in our SCC trade mission to China in April 2018. Since then, Zudu has created the “NihaoScotland” digital platform which promotes Scottish products and experiences on several major internet channels in China”

“The Festival comes just at the right time for Scotch whisky producers. It provides an excellent opportunity for experienced exporters wanting to strengthen their brand awareness, and gives new entrants, including smaller craft distilleries, a great opportunity to capitalise on evolving consumer tastes and preferences.

“The continuing rise in China’s high-income population is driving up sales of whisky, especially among more discerning young millennials. As tastes become more selective, there’s a growing thirst for the more distinctive flavours of malt whiskies from a variety of regions, and the festival will provide them with a great platform to promote their brand.”

Those interested in taking part in the festival can email James directly at james@zudu.co.uk.

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