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Wine Australia sets its sights on South Korea

Wine Australia, as part of the Australian Food and Wine Collaboration Group, has launched a campaign in South Korea as part of a long-term goal to tap into high-potential Asian export markets.

Wine Australia sets its sights on South Korea

Wine Australia teamed up with Meat & Livestock Australia, Hort Innovation, Seafood Industry Australia and Dairy Australia to formulate the Australian Food and Wine Collaboration Group in 2022 to promote quality Australian food and beverages in key international markets. The group received support from an Agriculture Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) in the form of a grant of AU$500,000.

The Australian Food and Wine Collaboration Group is targeting four key Asian markets — Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia — using the campaign theme ‘Taste the Wonders of Australia’.

South Korea is an important market for the Australian wine sector, ranking as the tenth most valuable export market for Australian wine in 2022.

According to ABARES, South Korea is also Australia’s fifth largest export market, after China, Japan, the US and Vietnam, and offers huge potential for Australia’s food and wine producers, Wine Australia told the drinks business.

“This initiative provides a great opportunity to continue to educate the local market and reinforce existing perceptions about the high quality and diversity of Australian wine,” the organisation said.

The group is taking a different approach to each market and working closely with Austrade to obtain current market insights and trends, enabling activities undertaken to provide the best outcome for Australian agricultural producers. Local agencies were chosen to pitch ideas to the group using the ‘Taste the Wonders of Australia’ theme.

The South Korea campaign kicked off with an online cooking competition targeting young people, to show the many ways in which quality Australian produce can enhance home cooked meals.

South Korean wine tastes are changing, and Wine Australia is keen to engage with shifting consumer tastes. Wine Australia told db: “Korea used to be a red-dominant market, but recent trends are shifting towards whites, sparkling and lighter styles. Korean cuisine is particularly suited to these types of wines; for example Korean people eat a lot of types of seafood in various dishes all year long, so these lighter wines complement well and therefore have a positive future in the market.”

Alternative white varieties such as Albarino, Chenin Blanc and Viognier are picking up among sommeliers and people in the trade, with a growing interest in skin contact whites.

“From recent educational activity and feedback from events, Australian Chardonnay in particular, seems to have a bright future in this market given its less oaky and more sophisticated and mineral driven flavour,” Wine Australia said.

Vietnam is the next destination for the group, which is partnering with Austrade on a Roadshow and will host events in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city.

“The group will draw on all its learnings when it comes time to focus on the enormous market opportunity in Indonesia in early 2024,” Wine Australia said.

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