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Sherry to benefit from boost to marketing spend

Published:  06 March, 2015

Sherry is set to benefit from a boost, after the regulatory body successfully doubled its global marketing spend.

Sherry is set to benefit from a boost, after its regulating body successfully doubled its global marketing spend.

Beltrán Domecq, president of Consejo Regulador Jerez-Xérès-Sherry told Harpers the spend would be increase from nearly €170k to around €300k, partly on the back of increased investment from bodegas for generic promotions on sherry.

The money will principally dedicated to Spain, the UK, its second largest market which Domecq said was increasingly closing the gap with Spain, and the USA. Other countries likely to benefit include Holland, German and Japan, where the potential was "incredible", he added.

This week the Regulatory Council of Sherry Wines Jerez-Xérès-Sherry and Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda announced the dates of Sherry Wine Week 2015, which will take place from 2-8 November. It is part of a programme of activity throughout the year designed to promote sherry through food and drinks pairing in restaurants and tutored tastings, Domecq said. Other activity include the final of the Copas Jerez competition in June and the Great Sherry Festival, as well as taking part in 13 The Foodie Festivals this year.

Sherry exports to the UK were growing, according to export manager Graham Hines, and there are more sherries available in the UK than ever before. "You are seeing all sorts of wines you would not have seen in the UK markets before - and often not outside the Jerez region," he said. "We are representing up to 40 bodegas now with 30 different importers - a few years ago this was 12 importers. We're in a position now where I've got people wanting agencies and there are not enough to go around."

Domecq said this was quality rather than quantity growth, which he described as very "positive".

"There is a terrible phrase - good value for money - but I believe sherry should be valued at the right prices as it is a unique product," he said. "The situation in Jerez is stable and the offer/ demand is balanced, so that is a good situation."

Diversity was broadening the drinks appeal, Domecq said. "While we know statistically 65% of [sherry] wine consumers in the UK are drinking pale cream, we're seeing the opening of sherry bars in which young people are drinking manzanillas, finos and manzanilla pasado, which represents a great increase in the offering," he said.

The body is also looking at promoting the more "unorthodox" use of sherry in cocktails which has seen growth in the USA and which Domecq says has great potential in the UK.

"We are working with mixologists and I think it is quite an interesting area," he said. "It needs to be a significant part of the taste, but it works well as a weaker base for stronger drinks such as Midori, Cointreau or Grand Marnier."

Currently the majority of sales come though the off-trade, but Domecq says that it changing.