DGB is enticed by the prospects in the US market

DGB is enticed by the prospects in the US market

A senior executive at South African wine group DGB has said he is “very excited” about the US market, as its ‘The Beach House’ brand is continuing to show strong growth in the country. 

Speaking exclusively to just-drinks at Cape Wine 2012, Jacques Roux, DGB’s wine marketing director, said the Sauvignon Blanc remains the largest South African wine brand in the US, while Boston is currently its “biggest growth area”. 

The 12.5% abv product, which retails at US$9.99 per bottle, is also in the process of being launched on the US west coast and will benefit from a Facebook campaign next year, Roux said. 

New York City is the The Beach House’s biggest market, while New York state has 27,000 accounts, mainly in the off-trade. 

Explaining the appeal of the brand, launched in the US last year, Roux said: “The packaging is very fresh and clean, so it appeals to the younger generation”. He also added that DGB’s distribution partners have “taken to it” as its popularity has grown. 

South African wines have traditionally underperformed in the US market as the country has struggled for recognition as a quality wine-producing region among Americans.

During the opening seminar at Cape Wine, taking place in Cape Town this week, Accolade Wine CEO Troy Christensen said there was a need to develop “brand South Africa” to help promotes the country’s wines internationally.

However, Roux told just-drinks he was not convinced this was the right approach. “We would love to see everyone come together, but I think that’s impossible. You have to be brand orientated, you can’t be generic. The product is the brand.”

Roux also said the South African wine industry is not performing well domestically and admitted it is still a “big challenge” to attract the country’s predominantly black population as consumers and producers. But, he added: “We are getting a whole group of (black) professionals who are drinking wine in restaurants.” 

On the issue of proposed new legislation around the marketing and selling of alcohol in South Africa, Roux admitted DGB was “concerned”. Among the plans are a move to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. “I think that will happen,” said Roux.