Annual meetings are always a chance to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Last week Wines of Chile’s Annual Conference was the opportunity for those in the industry to gather together; take in the past year; and look forward to the next. “It was a key week for us because we work with different regional and thematic committees,” said WOC Director Claudio Cilveti, “and our foreign offices and agencies visited us the whole week presenting the different markets and activities from 2013 to the industry.”
Each of the international offices of Wines of Chile (WOC) – including the USA, Canada, Asia, Brazil, and the UK – presented a report on their place in the market and future objectives.
US Marketing Coordinator Jake Pippins’ report from the US market highlighted that since the recession in 2009, Chile has been associated with only value wines, emphasising that now is the time to shake up that image and bolster Chile’s reputation as a quality wine producer with a wealth of diversity and varieties. “Chile cannot rise above the stigma of the “value wine” unless we change the conversation and I believe we laid a solid foundations for that conversation to begin [at the conference],” said Pippins. “This past week was such a welcoming experience and change. We worked together, listened to our regional issues and sought ways to move Chile forward together.”
News from the Canada office was positive in terms of reporting on the commodities boom in Western Canada and steady growth in red wine consumption. The team reported plans to keep on trend with Quebec, which is the most important consumer in Canada, while also pushing more into other markets in the country. They revealed plans for activities throughout the year to keep enticing press, trade and consumers to the charms of Chilean wine.
The newbie of WOC, the Asian office, reported that Chile is at an important vantage point in holding fourth position in market share and stressed that Chilean wineries’ participation in trade shows is of utmost importance as Asian wine fairs have become an international hub and showcase. The office revealed its plans to pioneer and lead in wine education in Asia in order to achieve consumer loyalty in the future.
The Brazilian market shared good news that Chile is still Number One in the market, leading imported wine sales by a long mile at 42.6% and a good growth in 2012. A strategy to continue improving Chilean wine sales in Brazil will focus on opportunities in wine tourism with many Brazilians travelling to Chilean wineries on holidays.
The UK report revealed that the economy within Great Britain is still slow to recover from the recession with a decrease in wine being sold however a silver lining is the 30% increase in sales of wines priced between £5 – £10, an opportunity for Chilean wineries to focus on selling more premium wines. Another important development is the steady growth of independent merchants which are showing the best sector growth and are an important target for Chilean wine sales, boosted through programmes such as the WOC UK Indies competition.
For a full report on the presentations, members can see the report documents on the intranet.
By Amanda Barnes