According to Wilhelm Lerner, Representative in Central Europe of Strategy and Organization for the international consulting company Arthur D. Litte
Wilhelm Lerner, Representative in Central Europe of Strategy and Organization for the international consulting company Arthur D. Litte has assured us that "there is a good predisposition on the part of the German consumer to buy Spanish wines in specialized stores and on the Internet", this during the conference titled "The German Consumer's Purchasing Attitude", held within the frame of FENAVIN-2009.
According to Lerner, there are two important consumer groups in Germany: those that buy in large supermarkets and discount stores (Aldi, Lidl and Plus), who are in search of more economic wines; and those that go to specialized stores, wine houses and that buy on the Internet, representing connoisseurs and lovers of wine who are indifferent to the price.
The criteria that has an influence in the German consumer's purchasing decision is based on taste and price, with the latter being less significant for purchasers of high level wines. 70% of Germans tend to buy wine in supermarkets and discount stores, at an average price of 2.99 Euros the 0.75 liter bottle.
However, the tendency of discount stores resides in the introduction of wines with a higher value. Stores such as Aldi and Lidl, direct competitors, are introducing label wines (Lidl) and higher priced wines during the pre-Christmas periods to improve their own image.
28% of German consumers tend to try Spanish wines, while only 5% tend to buy it once a month. This is fundamentally due to the fact that Germans are loyal to their country's wine. With regards to consumption of wine, French wines hold the second position, followed by Italy and Spain in the third and fourth position.
The lecturer has explained that Germany is a leader in image in that pertaining to the selling of their wine. Spain's great challenge is to position itself along the line of Italy, and for this he recommends "opinion leaders that talk about Spanish wines". In this sense he has highlighted that there is a huge lack of information for lovers of Spanish wine.
Lerner has stated that "Spain has the potential of representing the wine of the new world of Europe". To achieve this he recommends that two parallel strategies be followed: on the one hand, to convince consumers of high quality wine so that they will consume Spanish wine, while on the other hand not forgetting the standard consumer who is in search of volume and price, and to always take into account emotional strategies".
Wilhelm Lerner studied Enology and Viniculture at the Geisenheim College (Germany) and Wine Marketing at the University of San Francisco (United States). He is also an Engineer specialized in beverage industries and he holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He heads the company Wine Networks, which he founded and that is specialized in market research, consulting and development of innovative concepts in the wine sector.
Lerner is also Germany's strategic partner in the prestigious consulting firm "Wine Intelligence" and he actively collaborates in the design, execution and analysis of the 'Vinitrac' surveys and 'Landscape Reports' that the company periodically publishes.