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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

A bigger market share, increased sales and a 48p average rise per bottle are the next goals for South Africa, according to Wines of South Africa (WOSA) UK Importers' Committee. In a presentation titled South African Wine: The Way Forward in the UK', held as part of Cape Wine 2004 in Cape Town, committee chairman Mike Paul set out a list of off-trade goals. By 2005, the committee wants to see: a 13.5% market share by value (2003: 9.1%); value share higher than volume share; sales of 500,000 9-litre cases of 5+ wines (2003: 291,000); and an average bottle price of 4.16 (2003: 3.68). Paul said that the key UK objectives were to focus on driving sales of 5+ wine in order to change the perception of South Africa as simply a good place for good-value, mainstream wines, and also build a more profitable market for producers and retailers alike. As producers, we have to take the long-term view. Our job is to build a long-term future for South African wine in the UK.' He added that any new South African brand should retail for at least 4.99 in the UK, because at 3.99 you're never going to make any money'. He also admitted that while the 2005 goals were tough, they were essential. He warned that the slowing down of growth in the UK market was a threat, as was the wine surplus in California and Australia, which will lead to cheaper wines coming into the UK market, but he pointed out that South Africa should play on its positive image in the UK, as well as its cultural and historical links. He added: Two years ago, I sensed that people were trying to copy Australia, and it was more a case of "wines from South Africa" rather than "South African wines". When it comes to the market [now], there [still] seems to be a lack of confidence. The quickest way to get wines from South Africa moving over 5 is to get the retailers working with you. If you can get the retailers to promote the way you want, then that will speed up our objective. We have a responsibility to take South Africa forward and it's in our interests to move South Africa forward in an appropriate way.'