CIUDAD REAL, -03-2023.- Gerald Lawson-Tancred, Delegate of the National Trade Fair on Wine in the United Kingdom, affirms that all buyers who have visited Fenavin in its previous editions have given him excellent comments about their visit.
“It is more than obvious that they like the Wine Gallery, although they also really like the independence of visiting the trade fair and looking for new products” adding how attractive it is for them to visit the trade fair. In short, “Fenavin makes them happy, and a happy wine buyer is good news for exhibitors”.
He also explains that the wine market in the United Kingdom is very complicated, and entry into it is anything but easy, which is why his advice to wineries that want to market in it is to have “patience and perseverance, because once they have gained entry, it can be a very valuable investment of time and money”.
The Covid pandemic caused a drop in total exports in the year 2020, however wine exports to the United Kingdom have remained strong, and in 2021 were the highest in 20 years, and this despite a small decrease in volume.
There is no doubt that Brexit has had consequences. As a result of this -according to the English Delegate-, importers of wine from the United Kingdom complain more forcefully about the dramatic increase in the cost of transport, and also paperwork; the new customs bureaucracy has added to the travel times.
As explained by Lawson-Tancred, in general, wines that are shipped in smaller quantities are the most affected by Brexit: “smaller wineries shipping mid-priced bottles in groupage, which may be of more interest to keen wine lovers, run the risk of raising prices. There is no doubt that Brexit has caused inconvenience and expense for wine importers of the United Kingdom”. This is also to be added to the difficult moment that the 'Horeca Channel´ (Hotels, Restaurants and Cafeterias) is going through in the United Kingdom, due to the shortage of personnel and the crisis due to the increase in the cost of living.
“The trend is leading towards lighter styles with less alcohol”
Even so, despite all that commented above, the English Delegate is not pessimistic and undoubtedly sees business opportunities for Spanish wine in the United Kingdom, in particular for rosé wines which, according to him, are experiencing good growth among catering establishments.
On the other hand there are good expectations for bulk wine, which is more popular given the rise in taxes, so there is no doubt that it will continue to be a growing sector from which Spanish wine can indeed benefit.
Gerald Lawson also comments that in addition the consumers in the United Kingdom are becoming more adventurous with their wine selection and want to try wines from other grape varieties, such as Godello, which have experienced a surge in popularity. “Spain has been responsible for some of the most adventurous winemaking in recent years, and yet many of the most successful wines are still under the radar, both of the Horeca Channel and of the British public”.
In order to succeed in this wine market, he reveals that the trend is towards lighter styles with less alcohol. Without neglecting sustainability, “and Spain offers very sustainable wines. There are some discoveries of green Spain in Txakoli, Galicia and Bierzo. Regarding packaging, the lighter bottles and young drinkers are open to alternatives such as cans”, he concludes.
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