WOSA hugs the wrong tree

Neil Pendock March 26, 2012 4

The recent contention of Richemont chairman Johann Rupert that WOSA, the exporters’ mouthpiece, are hugging the wrong tree in punting diversity as the USP for SA wine exports, has been confirmed by the news that Tesco, largest seller of wine in the UK (largest export market for SA wine) is “making drastic cuts to its wine supply base in a bid to improve profitability and encourage brand owners to increase consumer loyalty.”

Off License News quotes Claire Lorains, Tesco wine category manager.  “The only way we can deliver growth in the market is by working with fewer suppliers to give better sales.”  She notes that “customers say there are too many products on shelf and the main way to differentiate them becomes by price.  A lot of wines don’t have a true consumer franchise, so they are not selling through, and therefore not delivering growth for suppliers who need to invest in their brand to drive customer awareness.”

Perhaps even more worrying for SA exporters is the comment “the market is in decline and tax absorbs almost all the value.”  The declaration of war on binge drinking in the UK and the outlaw of BOGOF and Three for Ten deals, will not help, either.  Is the UK really the market in which WOSA should spend most of its R35 million honey pot?

All eyes will be on the WOSA guest list for Cape Wine 2012 in September.  Will it be the usual crowd of luvvies, barflies and friends or will restaurateurs and retailers from Africa, the continent which can’t get enough of SA wine, be included?  Producers should insist on drawing up the guest list as October’s Cape Wine Europe tasting flew bloggers in from the USA who have yet to write about SA wine.


  1. Miss Tate March 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm -

    Am I bovvered?

  2. sonntagsspaziergangwinery March 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm -

    As always your facts are wrong. Do you ever check anything? WOSA is not spending most of its money in the UK. Even the budget for Germany is bigger than the UK budget this year.

  3. Neil Pendock March 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm -

    Keep you hair on Sunny. I specifically said ” Is the UK really the market IN which WOSA should spend most of its R35 million honey pot?” thinking about Cape Wine Europe in particular.

    This is the last of your aggressive comments we shall post – I suggest you start reading the Grape communal blog as you obviously have problems relating to this site.

    Have a nice day further!

  4. pinto March 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm -

    This move from volume (price) to quality (earned consumer loyalty) at Tesco more or less confirms what Simon Farr predicted some weeks ago as reported by this blog. Good riddance to all the sub-standard shelf fillers that’s doing SA’s reputation enormous amount of damage.

    US bloggers might not write up their freebies, but the Brits certainly do – it’s money well spent. Jamie Goode appears to be in SA and the Cape is getting good exposure on his blog at the minute – great pics. Not sure who flew him out.

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