Blog: Olly WehringWine Evolution, Paris - Day Two

Olly Wehring | 30 January 2007

We’re well into the second, and final, day of this year’s Wine Evolution trade conference here in Paris. The day started with a look at three Asian markets, before winding up in the US by way of the UK.

As yesterday, here are the highlights in quote form:

“Wine is still understood to be a ‘difficult’ beverage by Japanese consumers.” Galatée Faivre, I.D. Vin, Japan

“Gifts are very important in China - the packaging is often felt to be more important than what’s inside the packaging.” Shirley Tan, East Meets West Fine Wines, China

“One wine will never go with all Indian food. My advice is to remember the rules - like foie gras with Sauternes - and be prepared to break them in India.” Magandeep Singh, on-trade specialist, India

“We (The UK) are rapidly losing our centre of the wine world status because of the poor margins and profits that producer now make here together with the change in the way that our grocers are sourcing and listing wines.” Chris Brook-Carter, citing David Cox, Brown Forman, Europe

“The New World now accounts for 50% of the wine sold in the UK. I think the New World is much more market-oriented and is less obsessed with the wine production process.”

“One question we have to ask is this - is the supermarket the right place to be selling premium wine?” Christopher Carson, Constellation Europe and WSTA, UK

“I’m not sure that the supermarkets do know the consumer. The focus more and more is being put on the brand owners to find out more about the consumer.” Christopher Carson, Constellation Europe and WSTA, UK

“The buyer is responsible for meeting the needs of the customers. It’s not about what I want to buy and it’s not about what you want to sell.” Angela Mount, Somerfield, UK

“Give me the argument to sell your wine - do your homework before you go to see a UK buyer.” Angela Mount, Somerfield, UK

“I’m not forcing the customer (to buy wine) at GBP3.79 - the customer doesn’t feel the need to move up, while we’re not giving them enough reason or information to move up.” Angela Mount, Somerfield, UK

“The real challenge for us (in the US) is distribution, market access…if distribution is the problem then distribution is the solution.” Vic Motto, Global Wine Partners, US

“Let me ask you this. Is it too far-fetched to see a new type of distributor in the future with just a phone and a computer, with no physical assets?” Vic Motto, Global Wine Partners, US

“I think the next 20 years is going to be the biggest era of positive change in the history of the wine industry.” Vic Motto, Global Wine Partners, US

“The total number of import-loyal wine drinkers in the US is pretty comparable to the total number of wine drinkers in the UK - so that’s a huge opportunity.” Patrick Merrill, Merrill Research, US

“The power of word-of-mouth to establish a brand has intensified. Each one of us has a huge ability to change the world, to get involved and to communicate with each other. We’re at a tipping point, which is ushering in a new level of engagement. It’s word-of-mouth on speed and steroids.” Marc Engel, B/R/S, US

“The role of the consumer has changed - the consumer is now the producer, while the producer has become the consumer. Whereas marketers used to push, today consumers pull.” Marc Engel, B/R/S, US


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