Among the beneficiaries of the trend are wine and craft beers.
"Chinese consumers preferred to drink less and chose premium products at business dinners or during formal social occasions for their high-grade quality and better taste," market research firm Euromonitor said in May 2017.
According to Euromonitor, wine consumption grew 5.3 percent by volume in 2016 from 2015, even as that for alcoholic drinks fell 3 percent in the same period as consumers traded up.
As a result of such upgrading, total beer sales also declined by 4 percent in 2016 from a year ago. Craft beer however, is witnessing growing interest in big cities.