CHINA – Campari Group is set to have an even greater presence in China following the signing of a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Italian drink company and a Chinese state-owned liquor enterprise.  

Campari’s sales in the Asia Pacific market currently counts for around 7% of the group’s total revenues. 

According to Campari, the deal with Sichuan Yibin Wuliangye Group will see the two businesses jointly develop their operations in China and the wider international spirits’ market. 

Sichuan Yibin Wulianye Group is best known for its flagship baijiu brand, Wuliangye, which is one of the most popular and expensive baijiu brands in the world. 

The group also produces a variety of other alcoholic beverages, including liquor, beer, and wine. 

The agreement was signed at the company’s Wuliangye Distillery in Yibin City, Sichuan province, earlier this week. 

The deal, specific details of which were not immediately available, has been described by Wuliangye chair Zeng Congqin as “a passionate collision of cultural exchanges between the East and West”. 

Campari and Wuliangye will introduce Chinese and International consumers to spirits representing different cultures and jointly develop and co-create products for different drinking occasions. 

Campari Group Managing Director, Asia Pacific Matteo Fantacchiotti said: “The strategic cooperation between Campari and Wuliangye marks a milestone in the global spirits industry.  

This partnership will focus on uncovering growth opportunities while promoting cultural exchange through spirits – represented by Campari Group’s western spirits portfolio across different categories and Wuliangye’s leadership in Chinese Nongxiang Baijiu.” 

Through the partnership, it is said the two businesses will work together on NPD, channel expansion, strengthening marketing cooperation, and promoting brand culture. 

Earlier in September, Wuliangye and Campari jointly released Wugroni, a cocktail crafted with a special blend of Wuliangye Baijiu that is co-created by both companies. 

Following the theme ‘Toast to a Timeless Bond’, the Wugroni is a new interpretation of the classic Campari Negroni. Its launch marked the beginning of the partnership between Campari and Wuliangye.   

With the formal signing of the strategic MoU, the two parties will deepen cooperation and achieve new milestones in the intersection of Chinese and western spirits’ culture. 

Earlier this year, business valuation consultancy Brand Finance estimated that Wuliangye’s namesake baijiu is the second most valuable spirits brand globally with an estimated value of US$30.29bn.  

The brand dwarfed third-placed Xinghuacun Fenjiu, also a baijiu, which has an estimated value of US$9.37bn.