What lies ahead for the UK drinks industry?

Anita Jackson, director, Wines of Chile

“On consolidation, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this, I think it will squeeze the trade into large and small importers/distributors and those in the middle will be the ones that struggle, similar to what is happening to the supermarkets.

“Regarding currency fluctuations, the weak pound is drastically affecting margins for  wineries, and marketing budgets have been reduced. But the UK is still a very important market for Chile, and Wines of Chile will always look to ways of gaining new opportunities on limited budgets. It is interesting to see that the euro has rallied against the dollar following the recent announcement about a UK general election. I suspect if we get a strong government elected this will help the pound, and any negotiations going forward.

“I believe Chile has and will maintain a strong position within the UK wine trade and unlikely to be subject to any trade tariffs once Brexit has concluded, in fact this offers Chile more export opportunities on other products such as honey, olive oil, that are currently restricted by the EU, which will raise awareness of Chilean products in the UK.

“Prices of wine will increase, but across the board not by any particular country, and maybe we will have more realistic pricing but any marketing and promotional budgets will remain tight.

“Yes, we have had to change to the market, but we feel we still need to be part of LWF and I know we will have a busy stand, be asked loads of questions about Chile as well as gain leads to new projects and business. The current environment  – the weak pound is drastically impacting on margins for the wineries as most invoice in Sterling, marketing budgets have been reduced, however the UK is still a very important market for Chile, and Wines of Chile will always look to ways of gaining new opportunities on limited budgets.”

 

For a run-down of what is in store at this year’s London Wine Fair, check out our guide in the May issue of the magazine, or click here.

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