China overtook the United States in 2016 to become Chile's No. 1 wine market, Angelica Valenzuela, commercial director of Vinos de Chile, said. Wine consumption in China grew 13.8% last year, Valenzuela told reporters at a press conference organized by the Imagen de Chile Foundation, an agency charged with promoting the national brand
“The wine market that is growing so dynamically in Asia is today driving consumption”, said the official, whose industry group represents Chilean winemakers.
Last year, Chile, the world's fourth largest wine exporter, saw a 4.8% increase in wine exports by the liter, bringing in some US$ 1.35 billion in revenue, according to the Vinos de Chile.
“Our goals and targets for positioning Chilean wine abroad are now more effective than ever. Still, we have to continue to increase our growth in China, keeping in mind that per capita consumption there is still low, and it is a market with a lot of potential,” said Valenzuela.
In 2016, with the backing of export promotion agency ProChile and the foundation, Chile's wine industry launched its first ever international ad campaign targeted directly at consumers in key markets, such as China and the United States.
Under the banner “Love Wine, Love Chile,” the campaign targeted consumers between the ages of 20 and 35 with a message touting the quality, diversity, innovation and sustainability of Chile's wineries.
This year, Vinos de Chile plans to continue to promote national wines with events planned in priority markets, including China, the U.S., Brazil, Canada and Britain.
The main goal is to consolidate Chile's image as the leading producer of varied, sustainable, premium wines in the “New World,” which includes Europe, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
So far this year, exports have continued to grow, with volume and sales to China up 25.1% and 38%, respectively; while those numbers registered 18.8% and 36.6% for the United States, and 21.8% and 33% for Canada.
What segment of the population is driving growth? Millennials between the ages of 31 and 35 who purchase over the Internet, where costs are invariably lower than at more traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, according to Valenzuela.