Exclusive: AFRICA/UK: E&J Gallo Winery sees South African Barefoot as gateway to Africa
Until last year, E&J Gallo's Barefoot wine brand was produced only in California
E&J Gallo Winery is targeting growth across Africa through a South Africa-sourced variant of its US wine brand, Barefoot.
The US-based company, which is the world's largest privately-owned wine producer, sells California-produced Barefoot globally. However, since last year, it has partnered with Van Loveren, a family-run winery in Robertson, South Africa.
The SA Barefoot was released exclusively in the country in May, and Gallo now plans to roll it out across the rest of Africa.
Speaking to just-drinks in London earlier today (28 February), Gallo's VP & general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Bill Roberts, said the locally-produced Barefoot will only be available in Africa.
“In South Africa, we're selling the Barefoot brand with locally-produced wine, which is made under licence,” he said. “We intend to use this as a launchpad for the rest of Africa.
“We have distribution partners in Kenya, and we're looking at the rest of the East African Community (EAC) - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda,” Roberts added. “We're doing the same in Ghana and its surrounding countries. We also have a very healthy business in Nigeria."
Roberts would not rule out a wider roll-out of the SA Barefoot in the future. “We have no plans to bring South African Barefoot to Europe,” he said.
“It's solely for Africa. For now.”
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