The recently released annual Hurun report usually contains fascinating insights into the antics of the super wealthy in China and this year is no exception. The Hurun Research Institute’s Hurun Report Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013 reveals the lifestyle and brand preferences of China's wealthy consumers, and is intended to uncover the spending habits and lifestyle changes of this “burgeoning, influential and ever-changing consumer class,” as the report calls them. This year’s survey for the first time included a ‘happiness index’. The survey also ranks the brand preferences of the Chinese luxury consumers.
Preferred Brands for Presents
When it comes to preferred brands for gifting, Moutai is on the slide, slipping to 13th place from fifth last year. This is in no small way due to the austerity drive which has curbed the lavish banqueting habits of China’s seven million government officials. As the largest customer base for Moutai, nor surprisingly sales have slacked off. Retailing at 1800yuan a bottle, it’s a bit steep for the average drinker.
The Chinese have embraced French claret as if it were Ribena, but traditionally the only wine maker who gets their corks popping has been Chateau Lafite, which is the only drinks brand to make the Top 10 brands for gifting. Another category to be dented by the dodgy activities of China’s officials is upmarket watches, after murky stories emerged of financial irregularities of government officials and watch ownership. Swiss watchmaker Longines was the only brand to make the cut, coming in at fifteenth place, knocking the more expensive Rolex brand off the list altogether. That must be the end of an era.
French gifts are still hot, and dominate the list. Accessories of all kinds from handbags to belts made top choices. The UK squeaks into the Top 10 this year, with fashion brand Burberry, Gucci and Montblanc also brushed up well this year, both breaking into the Top10 for the first time.
Apple moved up to second place for Preferred Brands for Gifting by Men, from fourth last year. LV and Chanel were top for Men and Women respectively, which shows money does not bring imagination. But generally belts have tightened, and flashing your cash is increasingly uncool. Hurun Report Founder and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said, “This year, there is a clear trend towards gifting more modestly-priced top luxury goods.”
Top 10 brand choices for wealthy Chinese men when giving presents are: 1. LV, 2. Apple, 3. Hermes, 4. Chanel, 5, Cartier, 6, Gucci, 7. Montblanc, 8. Dior, 9. Burberry, 10. Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 11.Armani, 12 Prada, 13.Moutai, 14. Tiffany, 15. Longines. (Source: Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013) When it comes to rich women choosing gifts, it’s rather different. Women rank Chanel top, with LV second, Cartier third, Tiffany fourth and Apple fifth. Then it’s: 6. Montblanc, 7. Gucci, 8. Prada, 9. Dior and 10. Burberry. Funny how things change: I remember as a kid my grandmother donning her Burberry mac and beige squared scarf and us thinking we wouldn't be seen dead in something so frumpy and unstylish.