SOUTH AFRICAN WINES EXPANDING RATHER QUICKLY IN JAPAN
By Susan Lewis
Source: Wines of South Africa
Consumption of South African wines in Japan has been growing at around 3 percent annually over the past 10 years, much faster than the 1 percent annual growth of Japan’s wine market at the same time, allowing South African wines to gain market share in Japan rather quickly.
Marcus Ford, Asia Market Manager of Wines of South Africa (WoSA), the industry body promoting the export of South African wines, said market expansion in Japan is not easy to achieved because it is a relatively mature wine market.
The country has an ageing population, and consumers have a myriad of drinks to choose from.
"Wine as a category has shown very slow growth of around 1 percent over the past 10 years, but it is still a billion-dollar category in Japan," Ford told South African media.
South African wine consumption in Japan has been growing faster than the country's wine market as a whole, at around 3 percent over the past 10 years.
"While our market share is small, it is growing. Many of our key competing countries have free trade agreements with Japan, but at this stage, South Africa does not. So, we are succeeding despite (not having a free trade agreement being) a very obvious barrier to growth," Ford said.
Asked what Japanese consumers like about South African wine, he said there are several key factors. First and foremost, the Japanese consumers are incredibly discerning regarding food and beverages choices.
"The quality and value of our wine offers shine through at all price points," he said.
Secondly, South Africa's long history and tradition of wine production, going back over 360 years, accentuates the authenticity of the wines it offers.
"Last but not least, I would point to travel and tourism which impact people who visit South Africa. South Africa's tourism and wine offer is unforgettable. This has a huge influence on perceptions," Ford added.
(the writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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