The Future Is Orange: Campari Tests Selling Aperol In China

Campari is testing selling Aperol in China as the Italian spirits group looks to its photogenic orange-flavoured aperitif to revive sales hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The test started a few weeks ago and will last until the first quarter of next year,” CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz told Reuters on Monday, adding trials were taking place in more than five of China’s biggest cities.

The bright orange aperitif, the main ingredient in the Aperol Spritz cocktail, has driven Campari’s growth in recent years, proving particularly popular among drinkers who post pictures on social media sites.

However, the company’s growth was brought to an abrupt halt in the first quarter of this year by the coronavirus pandemic, with underlying sales falling 5.3%. Aperol’s sales dipped 0.2% after 20.5% growth in 2019.

In many countries, drinkers have switched to Aperol Spritz from beer, the company says. And now it aims to achieve the same in China by pitching Aperol as an Italian life-style product that consumers might have tasted on European holidays.

“Beer substitution has been a big source of demand for Aperol and China is a huge beer market. That’s why we strongly believe in the opportunity to develop Aperol in China,” Kunze-Concewitz said in an interview.