What's New In The Wine Industry?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

APFI interviews Eddie McDougall, The Flying Winemaker, ahead of ProWine Asia (part of Food&Hotel Asia) to find out what’s new in the industry. 


Could you comment on the wine consumption trend in Asia?


According to Mordor Intelligence’s report on the global wine market, wine consumption is declining in traditional markets such as France, Italy and Spain. However, it is growing rapidly–fourfold since 2000–in the Asian markets, with Asia-Pacific accounting for 16 percent of the value of global wine imports.

For the second edition of ProWineAsia (PWA) this year, I will be speaking about Southeast Asian wine trends and tropical viticulture in a series of seminars that will be held across 24th to 27th April at the Singapore Expo.

The new generation of Asian wine consumers are looking for localised stories which includes supporting the local artisans and exploring local wine producers. Asian consumers are proud of local drinks! We have seen the successes in whisky and craft beer, and soon, it will be wine’s turn. Asian wine drinkers are also very willing and excited to support the regional wine tourism experiences. No longer does one need to get on a 12+ hour flight to Europe for a wine tour.

Varietals and wine styles that are gaining good traction in Asia include rosé style wines and wines produced from Italian varietals like Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, Sangiovese.


One of the biggest trends in the wine industry is organic wine—does the organic production method really make a difference in taste?


According to the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) in 2017, there is a growing awareness of the health implications of excessive drinking, and health trends such as opting for gluten-free, dairy-free, organic or vegan products are leading to innovation and new launches.

The influence of organic practices in winemaking does impact the end product in terms of its potential microbial stability and longevity for cellaring. However, when it comes to taste, it is more difficult to differentiate organic ones from conventional wines. Having said that, natural wines–those wines produced under ancient methods and often farmed organically–are quite distinctive in taste, giving the drinker quite a unique experience.


Millennial consumers are highly discerning and have less spending power—how would you market wines to this group of consumers?


I agree that millennial consumers are highly discerning but I don’t necessarily agree that they have less spending power. I believe that this consumer segment is more powerful in their voice, speed in decision-making and are coming into money quicker than prior generations due the nature of well-paid digitally-focused jobs that attract the millennial workforce. Furthermore, millennials are making more informed purchasing decisions with the vast amounts of information they have on devices, which means they avoid buying on impulse.

Marketing wines to this generation requires short and bite-sized content that is distributed by a genuine thought leader, not just any Key Opinion Leader. Their ability to consume content and new information is incredibly quick and is sourced from noise digital environments like Facebook or Instagram.



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