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Delhi Wine Club
Italians Seek to Expand Domestic Wine Market

Posted: Tuesday, 22 March 2011 14:36

Italians Seek to Expand Domestic Wine Market

While we in India are trying to create wine culture through education and increased awareness that wine is a healthy, low alcohol, lifestyle product, despite the irrational and often hostile state governments, Italians would also like to see their denizens drink more of their ‘food product’, if one were to go be the outcome of a debate involving experts at a recent interview as a run-up to Vinitaly in Verona on April 7-11

One of the debates that involved Sandro Boscaini, President of Masi, Chiara Lungarotti, President of the Wine Tourism Movement and the Umbrian wine company Lungarotti, well-known Italian journalist Luca Maroni, Adriano Orsi, President of Fedagri-Confcooperative Wine Sector (controlling 30% of Italy’s wine production) and Giuliano Dell’Orto, creative director and partner  at Robilant Associati, a brand design and strategy and design company, agreed that although exports are remunerative despite the competition, no wineries including major producers can afford to overlook the domestic market.

“How can the Italians be encouraged to drink wine again?” asks Boscaini. "We need a communication policy that explains the naturalness and benefits of wine as a noble product of our most ancient traditions," he says.

The well-known Italian journalist Luca Maroni says, ‘We also need a cultural, agricultural and naturalistic renaissance in our country through a strategic project promoting the wines and foods of Italy as a superb and natural example of the best in human endeavour.’

Giuliano Dell’Orto suggests a few, highly effective rules that are especially valid for the small companies representing the backbone of Italian production that cannot implement major investments despite playing an important role in promoting the excellence and wealth of the extraordinary, broad and high-quality offering that is the fullest expression of the exclusive heritage of Italy:

* focus on the distinctive features of the company;
* define a set of appropriate and effective tools for correct communication
* create a unifying and easily recognised brand language;
* rationalise the offering portfolio in harmony with the culture of the company and well-organised     in relation to the needs of consumers;
* make sure that products are communicated in an effective manner through packaging that highlights their specific character.

Chiara Lungarotti explains that communication is particularly a problem for the many small producers entering the market over the last ten-fifteen years that today need recognisability, visibility and positioning on the market, adding that ‘for all of them, wine tourism may well be of great help in terms of promotion and communication because it improves awareness of product quality for Italian and foreign tourists alike.

A communication policy is needed to encourage a cultural, agricultural and naturalistic renaissance in Italy alongside correct use of marketing strategies that especially help small companies entering the market over the last decade or so to come forward, was the general conclusion.

Adriano Orsi, President of the Fedagri-Confcooperative Wine Sector feels that the Italian companies should be encouraged to look at the overseas markets. But Sandro Boscaini, President of Masi, one of the more representative and well-known Italian brands from the Verona-based winery feels that effectively one cannot live by export alone because "it is no coincidence," as feels  Dell’Orto explains that brands having an identity that indicate strong bonds with Italy benefit the most from the promotional effect on international markets.

The fifth in a series of interviews involving wine producers, communicators, distributors, advertising experts was organised by Vinitaly to discuss and debate ways to prop up and re-launch the domestic market in the light of falling consumption.

While for India, the export markets have been insignificant so far, the recent steps taken by some producers with vision and pocket to back it, will be equally important to help them improve the quality as they are obliged to compete in the international market. The ideas expressed by the Italian wine experts- especially those related to communications and improving the market through wine tourism are applicable even for the domestic market, especially for the small producers.

Subhash Arora


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