Blog: Gallic shrug-off
Chris Brook-Carter | 22 October 2003
Being right at the coalface of the industry, Hillebrand gave a very interesting perspective of the wine market.
Inevitably conversation got round to the health of the US market, where, Hillebrand says, volumes continue to be buoyant, even if consumers are still trading down. However, what struck me most was Debois' comments over the state of French exports to the country. The immediate impact of France's objections to the Iraq war and the subsequent boycott on French products, he said, had blown over. However, the French wine industry would continue to suffer from the long term damage done, he believed, which includes not just the physical drop in sales but also the immeasurable impact of consumers trying and seeking alternatives to French wine.
It is of course a situation that mirrors the boycott of French wines in Scandinavia following the nuclear testing by the French government in the South Pacific, a course of action that introduced consumers to wines from other countries and is still costing French wine dear.
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In May, Heineken's CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, called Vietnam the "poster child" for international beer thanks to strong demographics and growing demand....
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