Lessons from SARS and China drinks trends with industry veteran Ian Ford: S5E8

Summergate Fine Wines & Spirits co-founder Ian Ford is currently navigating the second disease outbreak of his career in the China drinks industry.

SARS had very similar impacts on the Chinese economy to those of COVID-19. As such, Ian has a unique perspective on recent events, and what the next few months could look like for those of us who are in the process of emerging from lockdown.

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But this interview was also an opportunity to find out a bit more about the Chinese drinks market from Ian, who has an intimate understanding of the local consumption trends.

Since selling Summergate to Australian retailer Woolworths in 2014, he founded a new company called Nimbility, which provides expertise to wine, spirits and beer producers seeking to export their products to Asia.

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China drinks expert Ian Ford of Nimbility Asia.jpg

And in fact, I know of at least one company previously featured on Drinks Adventures that has used Nimbility’s services.

First up though, you’ll hear from Ian how he originally came to relocate from New York City to begin a career in the Chinese drinks industry in 1995.

Jancis Robinson on the changing world of wine: S4E4
Unico Zelo Wines’ Laura Carter on sustainable wine and spirits: S4E7
Matthew Jukes on The Great Australian Red: S4E3

Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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