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Chile hits the spot with Japanese wine drinkers as they switch from Old to New World

Published:  05 September, 2018

The notion that wine consumption in Japan is primarily limited to Old World countries has shifted with research revealing a clear focus on the New World.

Japanese drinkers were in particular looking to Chile when choosing a wine today in contrast to their previous believed preference for tipples from the Old World, namely France and Italy, according to Wine Intelligence’s Japan Landscapes 2018 report released today.

Boosted by regular wine drinkers from the country displaying “high awareness and purchase levels” of the New World, Chilean wine sales have so far this year increased from 39% to 48% in volume, the research stated.

As a result, Chilean brands now account for six of the most powerful wine brands in the country - Alpaca, Sunrise, Santa, Cono Sur, Pudú, and Casillero del Diablo, according to the Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index 2018.

“The popularity of distinctive ‘critter brands’ in Japan results in Alpaca being by far the most powerful brand in the country, achieving high levels of brand awareness in a market where recognition is notoriously difficult to build,” said report author Emily Carrol.

The report also showed a movement towards more moderate wine drinking, with more than one in three consumers saying they were actively cutting down on their consumption.

This has resulted in the reported twice weekly, or more, frequency of consumption at an informal meal declining from 29% of wine drinkers to 23% in the space of 12 months, according to Wine Intelligence.

The trend towards more moderate drinking was even more noticeable among young drinkers, the report revealed, with 35% of the total Japanese regular wine drinkers saying they were actively reducing the amount of alcohol they drink – a figure that rises to 57% among the 20-24 age cohort.