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US producers are finding the UK market a ‘tough nut to crack’ due to production costs, and a more rigorous UK pricing structure, according to US producers and exporters at Vinexpo.
One of the top 10 Californian wine exporters, Evelyn Pool, vice-president, international sales & marketing, of Hahn Family Wines, Napa Valley said UK is the toughest market in Europe by far compared to two years ago due to the UK pricing structure, increase in VAT plus their own rising production costs have to be factored in too.
“By contrast, Scandinavian sales are looking good for us, with 20% growth over the last two years, with as much as 30%-40% sales growth in Denmark – they love our “big” wines.” Pool added.
Paul Molleman, director for Europe of the Wine Institute of California, agreed that the UK – and German – markets are proving tough going: “UK sales continue to be around 16 million to 17 million cases per annum, but I’m not sure how profitable those sales are because of current, very tough, market conditions.”
Brent Shortridge of Anders-Lane Winery in Napa Valley said that 2010 had been a record year for Californian wine exports worldwide, and for the first time ever are on a par with sales of French wine in Canada, with Californian wines in Quebec outselling French wines for the first time on a like-for-like basis compared to sales in Ontario.
“We have seen a lot of importers from Asia and around the world at this year’s Vinexpo, as in previous years, and have opened new markets in Thailand, Puerto Rica and Vietnam.”
Story by Carol Emmas
Courtesy of Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review