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Rabobank Wine Quarterly Q4

Rabobank Wine Quarterly Q4: Building deeper consumer relationships priority in increasingly crowded market

Building deeper relationships with consumers is becoming a priority for the wine industry in an increasingly crowded market, according to insights from a recent US industry symposium in California.

Rabobank’s latest Global Wine Quarterly says the Wine Industry Financial Symposium, in Napa, heard rising competition at retail level and declining traffic at tasting rooms was seeing US wineries focus on developing deeper, stickier relationships with consumers. The report says a growing number of software packages and services were becoming available to help wineries identify and target their ideal consumers, with a strong future seen for these.

Other strategies being employed by the industry included improving basic customer communications to forge stronger relationships with consumers.

Rabobank senior wine and horticulture analyst Hayden Higgins said lessons could be learned from the US wine industry’s approach by some New Zealand wineries, particularly those with a strong direct-to-consumer focus.

New Zealand update:

In the first six months of 2018, New Zealand wine exports to the US rose by six per cent in volume and 13 per cent in value in comparison to the same period in 2017. The rise was primarily driven by higher sales of bottled wines, up by 11 per cent volume, while imports of bulk wine were stagnant in volume terms.

Rabobank senior wine and horticulture analyst Hayden Higgins said growth in NZ wine exports to the US solidified the US market’s status as the most significant market for New Zealand wine producers.

“In recent years the US market has established itself as the largest market for New Zealand wine exports, in regard to both value and volume, and the continued export growth in the first part of 2018 further strengthens this position,” Mr Higgins said.

Looking forward, the report said the European harvest is virtually finished, and in general terms, volumes are back in line with historic levels in France, Spain and Italy. “However after a smaller European harvest in 2017, export volumes from the major European producers are likely to remain constrained, at least until the first wines of the 2018 harvest reach the market,” Mr Higgins said.

Full report and image of Hayden Higgins attached.

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