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South Africa: Trade Talk

WE ASKED: “Does the UK still provide potential for sales increases of South African wine? If yes, where? If not,
in which countries should it concentrate its efforts?”

“Yes, the UK still provides a good opportunity. There is still a mainstream opportunity for good quality, well presented wines. More interestingly the on-trade and premium wines present an opportunity over time but these segments do take time. South Africa needs to continually drive its relevance and appeal to the consumer to drive sales. This opportunity in the UK should be balanced with other opportunities primarily in the US, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany to give South Africa global relevance and to utilise supply effectively as markets change.”
Paul Sullivan, marketing manager, Western Wines

“Clearly South Africa has a franchise with the UK consumer, despite recent bumps in the road re market share, South Africa still has an enviably large slug of the market. The opportunity rests in effectively communicating the excellent Biodiversity campaign developed by WOSA, and producers focusing on quality, and differentiating their wines and brand concepts to stand out from the mass of me-too New World wines, rather than obsessing about case volumes!”
Simon Farr, deputy chairman, Bibendum Wine

“The UK provides significant potential to increase the sales of South African wine. South African wine sales in the on-trade and in the independent retail channels are significantly underdeveloped and there is also a real opportunity to build the premium category for South Africa. The development of the premium category will require significant focus on and investment in building wine brands, efforts that need to be supported by WOSA’s commitment to build brand South Africa with UK consumers.”
Garreth Anderson, managing director UK & Ireland, DGB Europe

“Yes, of course. The on-trade business continues to offer us great opportunities when launching new trends or promoting qualitative, indigenous varietals like Pinotage. The travel retail sector is also important as people’s minds are already travelling elsewhere, therefore, they are keen to experiment with new wines. In addition to the UK, we will also concentrate our efforts in Germany, Holland, Nordic countries, the US, Middle East and even France.”
Christophe Juarez, managing director, Laroche 

“Yes, we still believe there is good potential in the UK for sales of South African wine. Several channels in the on-trade have not yet been explored fully and even the multipl-grocer sector has room for growth, particularly within the over £5 sector. We believe that consumers in the UK have not experienced all South Africa has to offer.”
Pamela Dunn, marketing manager, PLB Group

“The UK market is still growing with a strong consumer base to sell premium wine. The off-trade presents opportunities for growth over £5 and the UK has a healthy on-trade/independent sector. South Africa has positive imagery and needs to clearly communicate those wine cues while building strong brands and tap into new opportunities like Fairtrade.”
Johan Hewett, marketing manager, The Company of Wine People

“Yes, South Africa does have the opportunity to increase sales in the UK but several things need to happen. Firstly, the industry needs to create brands with real meaning for the consumer, not just labels offered on half-price deals. Secondly, South Africa needs to develop far greater exposure in the broad market and the on-trade where many trends, fashions and tastes are created, and, thirdly, if South Africa’s ambition to sell 750,000 cases of wine above £5 per bottle in the UK within two years is to be realised, the communication of the ‘biodiversity’ message has to be delivered with absolute clarity and certainty to both the trade and consumer.”
Nick Dymoke-Marr, managing director, Orbital Wines

“There is still potential for sales increases of South African wine in the UK market but it depends on how you define sales increases. There is certainly still scope to increase value market share, South Africa has the diversity and quality and offers enough point of difference. The UK on-trade will grow, and there will be more wine lists incorporating South Africa, there is already a lot of Pinotage and Chenin on blackboards in pubs. The current lag is based on the strength of the rand although a lot are still investing and prioritising the UK.”
Simon Halliday, managing director, Raisin Social

“The UK retail market seems to get bad press. Seen as the permanent aggressor, breaking the wine industry, but that is 100% wrong. They do trade aggressively but offer a massive audience of consumers through a consolidated network. If you have the logistics, forward plan for volume demands, you should be able to partner up. It is dangerous for South Africa to take an anti UK market view. One thing South Africa has to ensure is its entry point is 100% looked after and invested in. South Africa needs to be careful it doesn’t drive away the consumer at a young age. It must have two or three pillar brands in excess of 1m cases in order to move forward, otherwise introducing South Africa to the mass market is difficult.”
Steve Barton, director, BrandPhoenix

“Without a doubt at the above £5 level is where the potential still lies, as long as the retailers help encourage the consumers to trade up. South Africa has an enormous and exciting offering of wines at this level and above but the consumers know nothing about them because they are constantly being drowned in the cheapest possible liquid. Two other exciting areas for potential sales increases are in rosé wine, in all formats; but again above the average price. Also fairtrade and black economic empowerment wines offer a unique potential for sales increases of South African wines in the UK. There are some exciting developments in this area and I predict a huge growth in the next five years.”
 Lucy Warner, buying manager, Thierry’s South Africa

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