New Zealand faces vintage challenge

New Zealand wine must maintain its premium position in the UK market while coping with an 18% drop in the 2012 vintage, according to New Zealand Winegrowers’ new UK marketing manager.

Chris Stroud told OLN the trade body will aim to capitalise on its loyal customer base and avoid discounting.

New Zealand wine has the highest price-point in the UK market – £6.38 per 75cl – and is showing growth in both volume, up 11%, and value, up 13% (Nielsen MAT to 8/12/12).

Stroud took over the role just before Christmas after an “extensive search” to replace David Cox, who quit last July.

Stroud, who was promoted from the role of market programme manager, said: “In the UK, demand for New Zealand wine has continued to build in the face of difficult market conditions.

“For New Zealand in particular supply is tight following a smaller, yet high-quality 2012 vintage which was down 18%.

"There are fewer stocks of past vintages meaning we may not be able to satisfy the increasing demand for our premium wines. The challenge is maintaining our market position in the face of reduced availability but it is important we preserve our premium status.

“New Zealand wine has a loyal con- sumer following and this is shown by the fact that we are one of the few countries showing positive growth in both volume and value in 2012.

“Our main focus is on delivering high-quality wines to our consumers. But given the tight supply situation from the 2012 vintage, New Zealand may actually lose volume market share in 2013.”

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