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Portuguese wine is booming, says new report

Published:  08 February, 2019

The latest Wine Intelligence report on Portugal says the wine category in the country is growing “significantly” year on year, driven in part by a rise in tourism and “economic recovery after years of financial crisis”.

The report also identified a number of key findings, including that competition is increasing in a growing wine market, that brands are becoming more premium in terms of positioning and design yet are often heavily discounted, and that wine drinkers are retreating from mainstream brands.

It also found that classic retail channels, like supermarkets and hypermarkets, continue to “dominate and retain power” in the market, consumers are becoming more open to exploring a broader range of wine types and styles and that there has been a rise in the “enjoyment of wine at home”.

“Wine markets, and in particular more traditional markets such as Portugal, do not change quickly or dramatically,” said Wine Intelligence senior manager Luis Osório. “Within this context, there is a particularly notable trend in the Portuguese wine market: a significant reduction in the proportion of wine drinkers who are purchasing the large scale, mainstream wine brands. This shift is, in part, driven by the emergence of many new brands into the market over the past few years, contributing to the increasingly competitive environment.”

He added that “many of these newer brands are using quality cues and words such as ‘premium’, ‘signature’ or ‘master selection’, leading to the consumer perception of these brands being premium and often being priced at a premium level (e.g. €12), but discounted up to 70% in supermarkets. Our evidence indicates that consumers have been opting for these ‘bargains’, letting go of the bigger, more traditional brands.”

The survey questioned 1,000 Portuguese wine drinkers in November 2017 and November 2018. It also spoke to representatives from the trade in January 2019, including three producers, one distributor, one regional association and one retailer.