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The International Wine Industry
Some Advice For Wine Marketing Managers
Sunday, 27th November, 2011  - Richard Farmer

The current head of the still growing and still family owned Gallo wine company of the United States had some advice recently to its industry peers about developing a market for wine. Making a rare public appearance at the annual San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association's Wine and Grape Industry forum in Fresno, Joseph Gallo recalled how his late father, Ernest Gallo, spent many years trying to come up with ideas for how to generate new consumers, but he ultimately gave up on all of them. "He finally came to the conclusion that to make wine consumption grow, the industry had to make a better product that the masses want to drink," Gallo said. "It is that simple."

Wine President Gallo sees the wine industry on an upswing, with sales up about 6 percent in volume and thousands of potential wine drinkers coming of age every day. The Modesto Bee reported:

"Many are forsaking mass-produced beers and going straight to wine, spirits and craft beers," Gallo said.

"Young people today also are more likely to grow up in households where parents drink wine regularly rather than only on special occasions. And wine's being talked about more, especially on lifestyle television shows and in social media. Most sit-down restaurants have wine on their menus, and even casual places such as Sonic and Starbucks are offering wine on a trial basis." Gallo said.

But the industry has much work ahead if it wants to continue growing. And catchy slogans or well-funded industry advertising isn't the answer.

Clearly Gallo, unlike Australia's biggest producer Treasury Wine Estates, is not abandoning wine as a mass market product. Among its most recently popular products are the sweet-tasting moscato and red wine blends and the growth in those nontraditional wines tells Gallo that consumers — especially occasional wine drinkers — are buying what they like to drink, not what wine critics are giving high scores.

"When the industry makes a good-tasting wine for the nonwine drinker, it unleashes a tremendous pent-up demand," Gallo said. "And sales explode."

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