Chilean wines growing fastest in independents
Chilean wines are growing fast in the independent sector - having displaced Italy from fourth place by volume - they now have a 10% share of that market.
That's according to Wines of Chile's European director Michael Cox, who, quoting the latest Nielsen statistics, said: "Consumers are buying into supporting a good indie - I can't say I'm sorry that supermarkets are starting to lose their vice-like grip on the market."
Speaking to Harpers at Prowein in Dusseldorf, Cox said Chile had still not reached its full potential in the £6 to £12 area as "there are too many Old World wine regions with stories and names that get stuck in people's minds", and which didn't represent as good value for money as Chile. "At these higher price points, Chile can more than hold its own," he added.
The independent off-trade specialists is proving to be a "top market" - the market share for Chilean wines in independents is 10.2%, versus 8.9% in major retailers. It is growing at 15% in indies, compared to 3% in supermarkets, added Cox.
Cox said part of the reason for the change was the diversity of the Chilean wine offering, and growth of smaller groups of independent winemakers such as MOVI, which was set up four years ago and incorporates 15 wineries, and VIGNO or the Carignan Club.
"We're in discussions about how to embrace them and work together for our mutual benefit," said Cox. He added that the movement gave Chile an "extra part of the message promoting diversity, innovation and creativity".
Terry Pennington, commercial director for the UK and Ireland at Santa Rita, which owns the Chilean Santa Rita and Terra Andina brands and Argentinian Dona Paula, said the online/direct mail market is its fastest growing in the UK - accounting for around a quarter of sales through retailers such as the Wine Society and Direct Wines. The on-trade accounts for 35-40% of its sales, while the off-trade makes up 40% with independent specialists making up 10% of the off-trade total, said Pennington.
There are 43 wineries exhibiting on Wines of Chile's stand at Prowein, with 19 on their own stands and more working on their importers booths. There was a waiting list for the fair this year, and not all producers managed to secure a place. Its London International Wine Fair stand is also oversubscribed, said Cox.