Last Updated: December 22, 2014

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Wine (Viticulture)

Australian wine can succeed in Asia with the right approach, experts say

Vino boom: Chinese consumption of wine has doubled over the past five years. Picture: New

Vino boom: Chinese consumption of wine has doubled over the past five years. Source: News Limited

AUSTRALIAN wine can succeed in Asia with the right approach, experts say.

ANZ Bank head of agribusiness Mark Bennett told delegates at the Victorian Agribusiness Summit in Bendigo last week that the Chinesepreference in wine was for “quality, fruity red Australian varieties”.

“Chinese consumption of wine has doubled over the past five years. China holds 31 per cent of Australia’s total more-than-$10-a-bottle market,” Mr Bennett said.

“Within our region, China accounts for about 55.1 per cent of the total Asia-Pacific market by value, followed by Japan (15.2 per cent) and South Korea (1.6 per cent).”

Digital Insight Group Singapore director David Col­eman said global wine consumption had been on the rise since the late 1990s.

“Indonesia is capable of spending $3 million a month on wine,” he said.

“It spent $3.4 billion US in 2013. This will increase to $16.2 billion in 2020.”

Mr Coleman — a food and beverage marketing guru — said 92 per cent of Asian customers preferred peer references when choosing, rather than traditional advertising.

He said 50 per cent of a customer’s needs were met before they engaged a retailer and they wanted a wine that suited the occasion at a price that represented good value.

The Rabobank third-quarter wine report released last week said that with growth in mainstream demand for wine noticeably shifting towards new markets and consumers, the challenge for wine companies was how to adapt to an evolving consumer landscape.

“It appears that fortune favours the brave as market segmentation is ushering in a new wave of innovation in global wine styles, marketing and distribution,” Rabobank analyst Elena Saputo said.

“A consumer-centric approach will become key to drawing in — and remaining relevant to — new generations of wine drinkers as consumer preferences continue to evolve.

“One of the most important developments in today’s wine market is a shift in the consumer base, in both geographic and in demographic terms.”

In non-traditional wine-drinking countries, Millennials were drinking more wine than any of the previous generations did at their age, while in the traditional wine-drinking countries they were drinking less but better wine, Ms Saputo said.

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