The largest series of activities ever undertaken by the Australian wine sector in the USA are set to kick-off in September, says Andreas Clark, CEO, Wine Australia.

Research suggests there is a large opportunity in the premium wine market in the USA in the next few years – particularly at the $US15 to $US25 per bottle price point.

According to Wine Intelligence, there were 84 million regular wine drinkers in the USA in 2018, of whom around 14 million (17 per cent) consumed Australian wine. In comparison, there were around 29 million regular wine drinkers in the UK, of whom almost 13 million (44 per cent) consumed Australian wine. This suggests there is scope to convert more regular wine drinkers in the USA to Australian wine.

And with the retail value of the USA market estimated by the International Wine and Spirit Record at US$38 billion – more than double that of second-placed China – there is good reason for this market segment to be a key focus of the Australian wine sector’s marketing strategy.

So how do we leverage this opportunity and gain more shelf-space for fine Australian wines in the USA? Particularly when we know the three-tiered distribution system makes the USA market very challenging to navigate, as each state can have different rules and regulations.

Increasing our market share in the USA requires a strong presence and a fundamental perception change. We cannot rely on one or two brands to turn the dial in the premium segment when most American consumers associate Australian wine with commercial/value wines. Nor can we can lift the American consumer’s perception of Australian wine from afar.

During September to October 2019, the largest series of activities ever undertaken by the Australian wine sector – the Far From Ordinary campaign: Aussie Wine Month – will take place in the USA.

The multi-channel campaign is backed by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package and includes: a six-city roadshow with more than 100 Australian wine exhibitors; retail and distributor activations; a multi-sensory consumer experience; a New to Market Showcase; the Australian Women in Wine Awards in New York and Australia Decanted returning to Lake Tahoe.

The campaign is big, bold and, as its name suggests, far from ordinary. It will drive awareness of Australian fine wine across social and digital media channels, and through strategic media partnerships with key USA titles.

All activities will be underpinned by the Australian Wine Made Our Way brand platform, which celebrates the authenticity and diversity of Australian wine and the strong bonds of camaraderie in our wine community.

In the lead-up to September, we are driving awareness of the category through a series called ‘Unmatched’. The social campaign pairs Australian wine with unexpected culture and features Australian winemakers sharing their craft with American personalities. The consumer-facing activity is targeting the American millennial audience with modern, surprising storytelling that reflects the quality of the Australian wine category.

To enhance the perception of Australian wine in the USA, it is critical that we educate and excite key influencers, particularly distributors, about Australia’s fine wines, and encourage more Australian premium wine exporters to enter/re-enter the USA market.

To facilitate this, Wine Australia’s USA Market Entry Program provides in-market support to wineries interested in entering or re-entering the USA market. It also provides in-depth brand strategy support to wineries ready to move commercially in the market. This includes market guidance, sample importation, compliance and logistics, and importer, distributor and trade outreach to assist entry-to-market and brand exposure needs.

By 2020, the USA market will need an extra 21 million cases of premium wine to meet demand. Australia has the production, mix of varieties and appropriate quality to gain a share of this increased USA demand. With its history of consistent vintages and varied regions, Australia is well positioned to take advantage of the USA market opportunities.

For more information about Wine Australia’s Market Entry Program or Far From Ordinary campaign in the USA, visit the links below:  

This article originally appeared in the July issue of National Liquor News. Read it online here.


Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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