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Wines of Chile plans major new consumer event

Published:  09 September, 2014

Wines of Chile is planning a major new consumer event for 2015 to raise awareness about the South American country as a whole, says new UK director Anita Jackson.

Anita JacksonWines of Chile reveals 2015 plansAnita Jackson, just confirmed as new UK director of Wines of Chile, is planning greater engagement with consumers for 2015.

Jackson has been acting director of the generic body since former director Michael Cox became seriously ill and passed away in February 2014. She was yesterday confirmed as the new UK head of the organisation.

The body is currently locked into a three-year marketing plan until the end of 2014, but Jackson has been asking producers, suppliers and importers what they would like the UK focus to be for 2015 and beyond.

While the majority of activities were commended as being "on the proven and correct path", Jackson said there is a desire to raise awareness about Chile - and not just its wines - to encourage consumers to "embrace" the country as a whole. She told Wines of Chile is currently "in discussions" about arranging the event, which is in the pipeline for early 2015.

Education will form another key part of the group's 2015 strategy, "at all levels, not just trade, but consumer too," Jackson said. "We felt that something got stuck," Jackson said, especially after reading a recent article in the regional press consigning Chile's wines to either Merlot or Chardonnay. She said that while Chile now has a vast array of wines to talk about, some people have not "moved on". The body's job now, is to go out and tell them how the country has changed, she added.

"These are long-term and slow-burning types of activity," she said, "which will definitely help to change perceptions."

Wines of Chile

In the off-trade, Chilean wine is now sitting at number seven in the top 10 value charts ahead of New Zealand (£321 million), but behind Spain (£515 million) at £445.3 million.

According to Nielsen analyst Natasha Kendall the impulse sector is driving the country's overall performance - " if you look at the relative price increase year on year this isn't especially surprising. It's the fifth largest wine country in this channel and growing way ahead of the market," she added.

In the on-trade, Chile has seen volumes drop by 8.3% in the latest year to July 2014, according to CGA figures. But it has seen on-trade distribution grow by 7.9%, with price per bottle increase by 9.5%. This would indicate that while volumes have fallen, there is a move towards wines at the more premium end of the spectrum.

For more detail on how Chilean wine is performing in the UK market, see our Chile report here.