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Vinexpo IWSR Study Confusing and Confounding

Posted: Tuesday, 18 March 2014 11:55

Blog: Vinexpo IWSR Study Confusing and Confounding

Mar 18: Xavier de Eizaguirre, Chairman and Guillaume Deglise, the newly appointed CEO of Vinexpo, were in India last week on the traditional visit when they released the Study conducted by International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR), which is confusing and confounding as it claims Australia overtook France in wine imports in a total market of only 1.2 million cases including 280,000 cases of imported wines.

Click For Large ViewAustralia’s share of wine sales in India increased by a whopping 72% to over 73,500 cases in 2012 from 48,800 cases four years ago in 2008, according to the Study which has been done globally for 28 wine producing countries. The French wines are shown to have dwindled in their share to barely 60,000 cases.

Aussies might smirk while the French seethe with anger. Sale of 73,500 cases from Australia and only 60,000 from France!? Something seems to be amiss. Although the Aussie Jacobs Creek, the leading single imported brand in India, considered to be the Johnny Walker Black Label by the novices, sold between 30,000-35,000 cases (the study needs to elaborate) the next popular brands Yellow Tail and Lindeman sell  4-5000 cases between them (estimates are based on interviews with Berkmann India and Mohan Bros, importers of the two labels.

It seems highly unlikely that other Australian labels would make up the sale of balance 35,000 cases-unless the figures include import of bulk wines which have been a regular feature in the past and delWine has often written about it in the past.

The figure of 60,000 cases for France appears to be low (with total estimated import of 280,000 in the study, it implies about 21.5% share which according to most estimates hovered between 35-40% till recently. While, I would like the French to comment about the figures, it is pertinent to keep in mind that Moet Chandon alone sells between 25,000-30,000 (9-liter) cases of Champagne and has been increasing its shares consistently- like Jacobs Creek. Between the two, they are the top two selling single wine labels in India.  

Curiously, at a similar briefing in 2010 which I attended in Delhi, the IWSR Study had then proclaimed the sale of 1.709 million cases while the current study shows the reduced consumption at only 1.2 million cases! It had put the figure of red wine consumption at 72% for 2009 and further predicted that it would rise to 78% in 2013. I had then commented  ‘until I see the full IWSR report and analyse reasons for their optimism and seeing red, I would surmise- based on the figures collected from producers that the reds are consumed between 60-62%, Rose at 3-5% and the balance 33-37 % are white wines.’ (Blog: Red, Red Wine).  I could not lay my hands at the report but interestingly, the current study puts the consumption of red wine at 61%!

One major assumption that the Study has not cared to clarify is whether it has considered the low- ended fortified wined including the so called Goan  ‘Port’ and other unfortified Ports (natural Ports  where Sula is the uncrowned king with an estimated sales of 200,000 cases this year. This 1.2 million+ case sub-Rs.150 category is the biggest and fastest growing market segment and does not seem to find mention in the study.

Study does have some interesting findings.  It shows that the sales of Italian wines increased faster than French wines- by 104% while the consumption of Chilean wines went up by about 76%. It claims an increase of 16.3% in wine consumption between 2012 and 2013. (One can surmise that the study refers to the calendar year whereas, traditionally, the figures released are for the financial year Apr-Mar)

Indian wine consumption is expected to grow by 73.5% increase expected in the next 4 years, according to the Study. It predicts doubling of the sales of sparkling wine which is now a distinct possibility with the introduction of Chandon by Moet Hennessey India and the consequent expansion of this segment and more of the producers adding sparkling wine to their portfolio and the existing ones turning more aggressive because of the Chandon arrival.

Vinexpo turning Spiritual

Talk to any wine importer in India and he would lament that it is becoming increasingly important to add spirits to the wine portfolio for sustained growth. For the current edition in Hong Kong on May 27-29, Vinexpo has gone ‘spiritual’ too. Deglise said that that a pavilion titled as ‘Spiritual’ was being dedicated to liquor products at Hong Kong. This was for the first time that this new concept was being launched outside the biennial event in Bordeaux. The move is apparently to focus on the Asia Pacific market which he said, was now the single largest consumer of wine (3.4 billion bottles) and spirits.

The ‘India Conference’ at Four Seasons Hotel was attended by our Mumbai Correspondent Maloo Natarajan who had a chat with Guillaume Deglise CEO of Vinexpo, He is quite bullish about the Chinese markets but conceded that the Indian market didn’t even fall in his radar as the consumption was so small. On the question of Chinese buying vineyards in France, he clarified that Bordeaux was always owned by other nationalities (even Rothschilds and Corinne Mentzelopoulos, owner of Chateau Margaux are outsiders) and that it was not a concern for the French. The Conference sponsored by Sula whose CEO Rajeev Samant also attended the activities for a while, had a relatively poor attendance of around a dozen people since Vinexpo Hong Kong is not of as much interest to India as the Vinexpo (Bordeaux) which is attended by most importers.

For a related article regarding Vinexpo 2012 click Vinexpo Hong Kong Sold Out

Subhash Arora



Subhash Arora Says:

Thanks Adrian. As you know, your organisation does not release numbers and we don't have resources to cross check from the customs figures in Delhi and Mumbai -so we rely on what other importers reckon. Naturally,this is a mere estimate. I suppose 40,000 would be more like the numbers-but for THIS year 2013-14. IWSR report is for the prev year, I suppose.Of course they could be talking of the Calendar year 2013- which is not the correct way of doing for India anyway. I am slightly amused though when you say IF to Rajeev's numbers on Haardys. My experience with him-and I respect him for that,is that he never gives me wrong figures.If he does not want to give me a particular figure for business strategic reasons,he beats around the bush giving you the hint that he won't like to go beyond what has has told you. Anyway, I must congratulate you- your one Aussie label sells more than most Indian wine labels-including perhaps your Indian baby, Nine Hills and that is no mean achievement. Subhash

Posted @ March 28, 2014 13:30


Adrian Pinto Says:

Subhash the Jacobs Creek numbers you have quoted in the above article are below the actual numbers. If we consider Rajeevs numbers on Hardys and the other quoted numbers on Australian wine... the IWRS reported numbers will come close.

Posted @ March 28, 2014 13:00


Rajeev Says:

Subhash, in your article about Vinexpo and the numbers about Australian wine sales In India Please don't forget the sale of Hardys by Sula.We had sold 5700 cases last year and will cross 6000 cases this year. Regards.Rajeev Samant

Posted @ March 21, 2014 15:18


dkraju Says:

Subhash, Liquor trade is regulated so strictly, why we are not getting authentic figures of imported wines ( liquor and Beer as well) by country and label, if not what is sold by state. Customs have the data. It has to be made available. All the guess work need not be there. dkraju

Posted @ March 21, 2014 14:28


Himadri Bal Says:

Dear Mr. Subhash Arora, you are right, I can ensure you with my limited knowledge on Indian Wine Trade specially Imported segment, IWSR Report is wrong, I personally know how they collect data, they just meet the persons of the company & talk with them regarding sales, no documentary check they have done, only they noted down what the person of the company says & you must know this trade better than me, most person not says the actual fact, the truth, without checking the documentation , how can ensure that everybody telling the truth, so their report are wrong, also they do not ask any expertise opnion also, in this trade, only experience tell the true picture, so I am agree with you, IWSR study is not correct for Imported wine segment.

Posted @ March 21, 2014 11:14


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