The aftermath of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has brought definite benefits for the wine industry in South Africa. As Su Birch, CEO, Wines of South Africa (WOSA), noted, “For the most part there has been a marked increase in sales volumes amongst those countries with a high level of interest in soccer.”
“Other exciting developments have been a 33% growth to Japan, and a more than doubling of sales to both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China, albeit off a smaller base. Even to competitor countries such as France, New Zealand and Australia, sales were up,” she noted.
Distell’s Nederburg, South Africa’s only wine brand licensed to carry the official FIFA logo and which produced a trio of wines to mark South Africa’s hosting of the games, also reported strong sales growth in many of the countries with fervent football fans.
What’s more, the impact of the games was not only confined to overseas sales. Some producers reported excellent domestic sales too, most notably, Vinimark, the country’s largest independent specialty wine wholesaler, representing many leading names in local wine. And this was at a time when the industry worldwide had seen a significant fall-off in sales through licensed establishments.
Birch believed the tournament had brought many intangible benefits too, such as increased visibility for South Africa and its wines and the likely increase in tourism to the Cape that in turn is expected o translate into future growth in wine exports. This is especially the case in countries where knowledge of South Africa as a wine-producing country is still in its infancy.
“The cacophony of the vuvuzelas may be over but we are still training wine waiters to support the local hospitality industry until the end of this year,” she said. “In addition, the finals of our Sommelier World Cup, involving 12 nations from Europe, North America and Korea, will be held in the Cape in October.
“We want more consumers to purchase the country’s offerings not just from retail shelves but from wine lists. The Sommelier World Cup is targeting that highly influential group of people who serve as the gateway to diners.”
“This initiative will undoubtedly help to build respect and loyalty for South Africa as a wine producer of an exciting and diverse range of quality wines across the pricing spectrum.”
– Sommelier India Wine Magazine team
South African wines are available in India through most major Indian importers. See SI Listings for importer contact details at the back of Sommelier India Wine Magazine.