After Xi’s pint with Cameron, demand for Greene King in China explodes

World Today

BRITAIN-CHINA-DIPLOMACY British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping talk as they drink a pint of beer at a pub in Princess Risborough near Chequers, northwest of London, on October 22, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / ANDY RAIN)

Demand for the British beer brand Greene King has soared across China after President Xi Jinping was seen drinking a pint of it with British Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to the U.K. last month.

Xi’s trip, which was intended to be an informal diplomatic chat, unexpectedly provided a huge burst of free publicity for the British brand in China.

“It has just gone berserk. It’s unbelievable,” Peter Bloxham, a Beijing-based importer, told The Guardian.

“Within two days of the great bar scene, people from all over China were ringing. Agents, restaurants, bars, hotels. They wanted this beer.”

Orders for the beer have gone through the roof, and Greene King’s small distribution in China is struggling to keep up.

Around 6,000 bottles of Greene King IPA are imported into China each month, but due to the popular demand, at least 80,000 bottles will be shipped to the country in December.

“We are now completely out of stock in our warehouse in Beijing of everything to do with Greene King.”

This is not the first time Xi’s taste for food has been picked up by Chinese consumers. After his surprise visit to a Qingfeng steamed stuffed bun eatery in Beijing two years ago, sales of the set meal he ordered, dubbed as “The President Meal,” skyrocketed.