WOC Summit Reports: Anita Jackson, UK

At last week’s Annual Summit, Director of Wines of Chile UK Anita Jackson presented an update on the UK wine market and Chile’s place within it.

“The UK is still the leading wine hub in the world, we set the trends and other countries follow,” said Anita. “We are a key opinion former for the rest of the world.”

However while the UK is still a very influential market, and the biggest per capital consumer of all of Chile’s markets, the overall consumption is gradually dropping. “The UK market is on a 2% decline, but in sparkling wine there is a massive opportunity, which is growing by 18%” Anita said identifying an opportunity in the market for Chile.

Anita identified the main consumers in the UK and highlighted millenials who already represent over a third of the consumer market, and made reference to the importance of female consumers as women buy 54% of wine. She encouraged wineries to target these segments and also try and push their premium wines to the restaurant trade as well as targeting final consumers.

Highlighting some uncertainty in the market, Anita said that the effect of Brexit is still uncertain. However Chile must continue investing in the UK in order to grow its wine sales. Wines of Chile UK’s main strategy for 2017 will be creating more engaging activities for consumers and focusing on creating more loyalty among young sommeliers and influencers.

Anita shared plans for 2017 which includes a 'Meet the Retailer' event, concentrating on the bigger wine retailers and strengthening their relationship with Chile. “We have a big focus on consumers for this next year,” Anita said as she announced that Wines of Chile will be present in various wine consumer activities including Three Wine Men, Winchester Wine Festival and the Wine Gang.

Anita also updated the audience on the advances of the WOC Academy which has been running for two years in the UK and has been important in changing the perception of Chilean wines in the UK market. She also announced that the Academy are inviting Chilean winemakers to participate in the classes.

Wines of Chile UK will continue with the Wine Bar War next year, which received a very large footfall this year. Anita also recommended that wineries participate in the Independent Retailers promotion: “these are the people that are selling your wines, it is important to be there.”

To find out more about the upcoming activities in the UK and to read Anita’s full market report, member wineries can view it in the Members area.

By Amanda Barnes