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Brief Published: 20 Jan 2015

Social Wine App Targets Chinese Drinkers

Hesha taps into China's booming wine market

A Shenzhen-based start-up has created an app that taps into the rising popularity of wine in China (last year, China overtook France to become the largest consumer of red wine globally). The app, called Hesha, connects users based on mutual interests in alcohol, particularly wine, using geo-location.

Hesha allows users to scan the barcodes of bottles to access information about prices and the quality of the alcohol, and includes links to online retailers where specific bottles can be purchased. Users can also recommend beverages to friends by posting bottles to their profile pages.

Although the Chinese wine market has experienced major growth since 2013, the overall consumption rate remains slow, and only three in 10 consumers drink once a week or more. According to London-based market research firm Mintel, many cite a lack of occasion as their main reason for not drinking more wine, and brands are keen to find ways to make drinking it more casual and accessible.

Similarly, simplification of the wine-buying process is becoming increasingly important to retailers in order to capture the lucrative Gen Y market and improve falling consumption rates, as discussed in Wine Vision: Reframing Wine and Gen Y: The New Wine Consumer.

As a result, the industry has seen an influx of new apps, such as Next Glass, which allows users to photograph the packaging of a bottle of beer or wine and upload their images to the app before suggesting similar bottles the user may enjoy. For more on this, see App Simplifies Alcohol Purchases.

Similarly, brands are developing efficient wine-ageing processes that create good-quality alcohol in half the time, as explored in Ultrasound-Aged Wine.