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France falling behind on traditional markets, but winning in Asia?

>> Friday, June 04, 2010

What do buyers, retailers and other trade people think about the evolution of the wine market? Wine Trade Monitor (WTM) by Sopexa tries to answer that question. Sopexa is a French marketing consultancy that has for the second year running made this ambitious survey of the wine trade. They focus on the 14 biggest markets (representing more than 85% of French wine exports). They have sent out questionnaires to people all over the world and received some 1500 answers to the 14 questions asked. So, what does the trade think about the wine market in 2010 and forward?:

- Sales will increase! Certainly in the long run. People are very optimistic: 72% of respondents think that sales will increase in 2011. A bit more caution for 2010: 58% believes in an increase. This is still much better than what people thought in last year’s survey about 2009, with 47% positive. So, clearly a growing optimism for the future.

- Asia, Russia, USA most positive: More than 90% of respondents in China and Hong Kong believe in increased sales in 2011. In Russia and the USA the number was just over 80%. But already in 2010 these countries are very positive. Most other markets are more cautious with no or only a slight increase in 2010, but all then expecting better in 2011.

- French wine sales expected to grow too, but less: 44% thought that sales of French wines would increase in 2010, and 56% in 2011. That compares less favourably with the numbers for the overall market that were 58% and 72%.

- Asia come to France’s rescue: the markets that look most positively on growing French sales are China (90% believe in growth both for 2010 and 2011), Hong Kong (70%+ and 80%+), and Russia (60% and 75%)

- New markets want appellation wines, established markets go for grape varietals: The markets that look most positively on appellation wines (AOP/IGP) are China and Hong Kong; those that are most positive for growing sales for varietals are the USA and the UK. Looking at the tendencies the biggest growths in demand for AOP/IGP wines are in China, Taiwan, and Russia. The biggest growth for varietals are in China, Taiwan, USA, Switzerland, and Japan.

- Demand for cheap wines fall, but grow for expensive wines: 57% think there will be big or quite big demand for entry level wines in 2010, which is down substantially from the 71% who thought so for 2009. The markets where cheap wines are most in demand are Belgium, the Netherlands, and the USA. Premium wines seem to be in vogue though: 43% think there will be strong or quite strong demand for premium wine in 2010, up from only 25% for 2009. The strongest demand for premium is in Asia.

- Image: France on top in Asia: French wines have a very good image in Asia and in Russia, where they are well ahead of other countries on an image scale. In Europe and in North America French wines have a less good reputation: e.g. they are in 3rd place in Denmark, 4th place in the USA and Canada, and 5th place in Switzerland…

The report is based on a survey made earlier this year. The full report with all details can be ordered from Sopexa:


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