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Henry announces new direction for Australia

Published:  23 July, 2008

The biggest piece of research on Australian wine and its markets in more than a decade is ready to be unveiled, the head of Wine Australia told Harpers last week.

Directions for the Australian Wine Sector, a joint initiative between the Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation (AWBC) and the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA), will reveal the market opportunities on a country-by-country basis. The results will be launched in Sydney on 2 May, with the international launch planned for 24 May, in a series of seminar briefings at the London Wine Fair.

Paul Henry, Wine Australia's general manager, market development, told Harpers that the launch would be as ambitious as its Strategy 2025 document, which was released in 1996, and contained numerous goals for the Australian wine industry, in terms of area under vine, wine production, and market share.

Directions is the culmination of the largest market intelligence exercise across 15 key markets, looking at the opportunity for Australia by channel and by price point,' he said. The information will form the basis of our strategy, whether that's marketing, sales, or communication.'

The initiative, which began in October 2005, is less about consumer patterns, said Henry, and more about what the growth opportunity is in the US between $15-$20 or what the opportunity in Holland is below 7'.

Eric Wisgard, AWBC corporate affairs manager, added that Directions will include:

market opportunity guides for key markets, including Australia, UK, USA, Canada, and Japan;

benchmarking studies for small, medium and large wineries;

an interactive financial calculator to enable wine producers to analyse cost of production figures at various price points; and

insights into global consumer trends.

Henry added: We're also working with a major finance house to produce an online matrix, which will determine whether your financial modelling is correct or not, depending on your target.'

Henry also told Harpers that he stood by his claim last summer, in which he said that he wanted Australia's on-trade market share in the UK, currently 17%, to mirror that of the off-trade - 26% - within three years.

I wouldn't ever apologise for being ambitious,' he said. It's realistic to set high targets.'