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LIWF conference: UK market is worth it

New Zealand Winegrowers UK director David Cox told a packed room of visiting wine producers at yesterday’s London Wine Fair Anniversary Conference that the British market was still a profitable place to sell wine.

He highlighted advantages such as a large base of regular drinking consumers and wine oriented retailers in his analysis of the country, and singled out mail order and online sales as a growth area.

Looking in detail at the make-up of the market he pointed out that of approximately 136.5 million total case sales the “very vibrant” mail-order/online sector accounted for 12.7m cases – a figure, he said, that is not captured by data analysts Nielsen. 

He mentioned newcomers to this category Gondola and Naked Wines and the supermarkets’ stated aim to build their internet-based business.

Acknowledging that the multiple retailers would most likely continue to reduce their wine ranges in-store, he added that they would create an “Amazon of wines online.”

He also reminded importers to consider the on-trade’s 17.5m case market, in particular the managed pub chains such as JD Wetherspoon, which he said “are looking seriously at their wine offering, which they didn’t before.”

"There are interesting things happening in the on-trade, it is still a vibrant area to sell wine,” he commented.

Furthermore, referring to arising average off-trade wine price to £4.35, he said, “People are spending more and trading up.”

Patrick Schmitt, 18.05.2010

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