Blog: Olly WehringWine Evolution - quote, unquote

Olly Wehring | 30 January 2006

Greetings from this year’s Wine Evolution conference, here in Gay Paree.

This is my first time at this event, and I have left the running of the site in the capable hands of news editor, Dean Best.

It’s been a thoroughly absorbing, albeit slightly depressing, first day of Wine Evolution, in this our sixth year as media sponsor. The majority of speakers today have reflected on the harsh economical outlook facing the global wine industry. And yet, we were left on a high note after listening to a couple of opinions for the future that pointed to happier times.

To give you a good feel for what’s been going on, here are some of the more notable quotes of the day.

“I think in the future, wine marketing will be more linked to the moment of consumption, as well as the type of consumer, be they traditional or modern.” - Peter Klosse, Academy for Gastronomy, founder.

“Monopolies create both positive and negative opinions. Our task is to protect public health. We don’t make a profit, so there’s no incentive to encourage consumers to drink more.” – Louise Key-Hedberg, market analyst, Systembolaget.

“If you get your calculators out, at current rates, 12 November will be the day when the US overtakes France as the second biggest exporter of wines to the UK.” - Robert Joseph, journalist and founder of International Wine Challenge.

“There seems to be a paradox in the UK market, between a sophisticated consumer who is driven by low prices. My question is, why should smaller European wine makers bother trying to get into the UK wine market?” – Constantine Stergides, Greek wine journalist.

“In Germany, two out of every three bottles of wine are sold for less than EUR2.” - Werner Engelherd, chief editor Wein + Markt.

“There are 100,000 wines available in Germany, each claim is occupied. There is no need for 100,001.” - Werner Engelherd.

“The industry dilemma is the lack of real consumer insight – we need to make this a common target.” – Marian Kopp, president of Racke International.

“The playing field is being levelled, and time is running out for the dinosaurs of the wine industry. The New World is growing, while the Old World is struggling.” Vic Motto, chairman and CEO of Global Wine Partners.

“Premium wines are taking over the industry. This is a new paradigm for the sector… Higher price wines will become the new competitive battleground, this may change the very nature of competition.” - Vic Motto.

“Europe can recover because of the good example set by the New World, but they have to move fast.” - Thierry Jacquillat, president of Paris-Ile de France Capitale Economique and former general manager of Pernod Ricard.

“Even Coca-Cola is forced to adapt its product – the world consumer does not exist. I am French, and proud to be French, but not to do business with wine growers and co-ops in France.” - Thierry Jacquillat.

More tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled.


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