This expert of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo considers that the image of Spanish wines is a very positive one
Chieko Konagaya, specialist of the Spanish Economic and Commercial Office in Tokyo, has made it quite clear that knowledge of Spanish wines on the Japanese market has indeed increased, with the image of Spanish wines improving considerably in the last few years. This she said at FENAVIN, the National Trade Fair on Wine, which is taking place in Ciudad Real and where the market analyst has covered the trend that Spanish wine imports are taking in Japan.
Konagaya has pointed out that in the last few years the image of Spanish wines has changed, as now they are positively considered and they are gradually penetrating the Japanese market with more strength, as is proven by the increase seen in Spanish wine imports since the year 2000, with figures that in 2009 reached close to a million and a half cases of wine. "This represents a 46.2% increase with regards to the 2008 data. Also, during the year 2010 Spain became the fourth country in that pertaining to wine imports to Japan per volume, with a market share of 10%, while if we talk in terms of value, the position Spain occupies is the fifth, with 5% of the share," she indicated.
Taking into account the market analyst's studies, Konagaya has suggested that it is very important that Spanish wineries and producers participate in trade fairs such as Foodex and Spain Gourmet Fair, with the first held during the first week of March and the second in October, and though it is normally held in the month of September, this year it has been set-back to October due to the consequences of the tsunami, likewise mentioning that these trade fairs are orientated at specialized wine importers and/or wine importers specialized in on-line Internet sales.
In short, although there are still deficiencies, it can be said that according to current tendencies Spanish wines have a great potential, therefore, Chieko Konagaya hails a good future for them in the Japanese market. "The Japanese love changing wines, hence the reason why we purchase the way we do, which save a few exceptions, tends to be in small amounts," she said, indicating that the Japanese market is in search of affordable wines and that the pressure is on to lower the price.