Austria chases lower UK prices9th February, 2012 by Gabriel Savage
Austria is seeking to reduce its average UK price significantly in a bid to broaden its exposure and boost volume exports to one million litres a year.
In a move that contrasts with other generic bodies, Willi Klinger, head of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, described Austria’s current UK average ex-cellar price of €7.50 as “way too high.”
Insisting that “we have something to offer at lower price points too,” he remarked: “We must make it easier for customers.”
Setting out a target average price of around €4.50, Klinger emphasised that his aim was not to see Austria targeting supermarket entry levels, except in the case of a particularly large harvest, but rather to expand its presence in the UK’s gastropubs and what he described as “ethnic” restaurants.
In an effort to support this goal, AWMB will launch a new brochure entitled Cool Wines by the Glass, at next month’s ProWein.
Designed as a tool for the trade, Klinger outlined its message that “There’s more than entry level Grüner Veltliner to sell by the glass. We have local grape varieties, aromatic varieties, red wines and rosé.”
This strategic shift would bring the UK more closely in line with other key export markets. Austria’s average export price rose last year from €2.50 to €3.00, a level which Klinger is keen to maintain “even in the higher harvest volume vintages.”
By retaining this average price but increasing export volumes to a target of 70m litres, Klinger suggested: “An export value of €200m could be achieved.”
He announced the goal in the wake of a year which saw Austrian wine achieve record total exports of €126 million in 2011, despite a 25% drop in volume to 46.5m litres after the country’s small 2010 harvest.
Breaking down this headline figure, Klinger attributed the country’s success to a 5% value increase in bottled wine sales, a sector that has tripled in value since 2000. In contrast, he noted: “Bulk wine went below 10m litres in 2011 and we want to keep it that way”.