WOC Summit Reports: Ted Kalaboukis, Eastern Canada

Reporting on both Ontario and Quebec, Eastern Canada’s Wines of Chile representative Ted Kalaboukis reported on the situation in the market at the Annual Summit last week.

“It is a market that is continuing to grow - the pie is growing for everybody,” started Ted explaining that wine consumption in Eastern Canada is on the up in general. “Chile is a challenge for this market though, we only have 10% market share - but we are growing!”

He discussed the main competition from new world producers, and suggested that Chile needs to focus on engaging the millenials in Canada through storytelling. “Being close to the consumer and driving them and their friends to try new wines is critical,” said Ted.

“A strength that Chile has in the market is that they offer value for money, and they are known for their diversity, quality and consistency,” said Ted. However a weakness was a lack of established country image in Canada.

Ted analysed the main different markets in Eastern Canada and the different marketing objectives within them, which he each explained had very different characteristics. Ted explained in general though that their main strategy was to focus on foodies and the growing sophisticated wine market and make a push on premium Chilean wines.

During the past year Wines of Chile Canada had researched into what restaurant wine buyers liked about Chilean wine, and he shared the positive impressions: “They love the friendliness of Chilean wines, they don’t feel there is an arrogance. They love the sustainable producer aspect and the value that Chile offers.”

He also shared planned tastings and events in Eastern Canada this year and the next, including bringing the WOC Academy to Toronto next year. “The WOC Academy is a way to make this friendly image of Chile more tangible. We look at a representative show of wines in the market and get wine educators to visit Chile to know the country before coming back and teaching about it.”

To read more about the Eastern Canada market report and find out more details on upcoming tastings and planned promotions in the different regions as well as the roadshow, please read Ted’s report in the Member's Area.

By Amanda Barnes