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Ban on wine gross sales in SA was ‘stunning’, says head of worldwide organisation

  • The Worldwide Organisation of Vine and Wine hosted a webinar to assessment the state of the worldwide trade.
  • In line with its managing director, the full ban on the sale of alcohol in SA was a “stunning” transfer.
  • It’s estimated that the wine trade is operating at a R7.5 billion loss because of Covid-19, lockdown bans.

The ban of the sale of alcoholic drinks in South Africa throughout the more durable coronavirus lockdowns was “stunning”, in keeping with Pau Roca, director normal of the Worldwide Organisation of Vine and Wine (OVI).

From the OVI headquarters exterior Paris, France, Roca hosted a webinar to provide a review of the present state of the worldwide viticulture sector.

South Africa was not the one nation that cracked down on liquor gross sales in response to the coronavirus pandemic: Spain, Kenya, Vietnam, Greenland and Lebanon all carried out some type of restrictions on liquor gross sales for a interval in response to Covid-19.

Nevertheless, OVI mentioned, gross sales knowledge in SA was illustrative of the broader impression.

“The decline within the quantity of wine gross sales in SA exhibits the impression of the lockdowns and the brand new prohibition. The market ban was stunning, however that’s simply the way in which it’s. It led to a major discount within the home consumption and commerce additionally with neighbouring international locations like Lesotho,” mentioned Roca.

On the export aspect, although it appears SA didn’t endure that a lot because the ban was solely carried out throughout the nation.

Normal Financial institution’s head of agribusiness, Nico Groenewald, says that, in keeping with Wines of South Africa (WOSA), the wine trade is operating at a R7.5 billion loss because of Covid-19, lockdown bans on gross sales and exports, and alcohol gross sales not being allowed over weekends. “Throughout the early restrictions beneath the nationwide lockdown the wine, tobacco and floriculture industries have been among the many hardest hit by the ban on gross sales throughout lockdown, however they’re now steadily selecting up,” he mentioned.

Dawie Maree, head of data and advertising at FNB Agriculture, says SA’s agricultural sector was the one shining star within the financial system in 2020, escaping the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic comparatively unscathed, however aside from some industries just like the wine trade.

International developments

In 2020 international wine consumption fell to its lowest degree since 2002 because of coronavirus lockdowns, together with forcing bars and eating places to shut or restrict their hours.

Roca mentioned the consumption of wine on the earth has decreased by about 3% in quantity to about 234 million hectolitres, primarily as a result of impression of the Covid-19 pandemic and a lower the previous couple of years in China.

“We have been considering China was the motive force in consumption, however we can not suppose that anymore. Simply bear in mind Asia is just not solely China,” he defined. 

One other pattern has been a rise in on-line gross sales, which he regards as providing an enormous potential for the trade.

An element which is able to play an element within the restoration of the wine trade, in his view, is the rebounding of the tourism trade. The tourism trade has additionally been closely impacted by coronavirus journey bans.


Requested concerning the significance of environmental components for the trade, Roca mentioned for the wine trade to be sustainable, the entire trade should develop on an environmental foundation.

“It’s not that troublesome. Our strategic plan, ending in 2024, will in all probability present the viticultural system is totally sustainable and respects conservation features. We might be an instance to different industries,” he mentioned.


For Roca, the impression of the coronavirus pandemic on the wine trade has been about the identical as that of the 2008/09 international monetary disaster.

“For those who have a look at the second semester of 2020, the impression was not as dangerous in comparison with the big impression within the first semester. So, indications are that the wine trade goes to get well fairly quick. In fact, we nonetheless do not know some issues like value restoration in some markets, however it is going to in all probability be the same state of affairs as earlier than. Let’s hope,” he mentioned.

SA survey

Commenting on the lately launched inaugural Nice BIG Wine Survey by Hollard, Christo Conradie, wine producers’ physique Vinpro’s supervisor of wine enterprise, mentioned whereas the Covid-19 pandemic and its ripple results can be felt by the trade for some time, it is important to grasp the most recent shopper insights, conduct additional evaluation, and current suggestions to an array of gamers alongside the wine provide chain, particularly within the native market.

In line with TOPS at SPAR Wine Present producer Andrew Douglas, a survey fascinating discovering signifies that by means of buyer engagement with on-line content material, or by way of the concentrating on of these already engaged, it may be anticipated that these clients can pay a median of twenty-two% extra per bottle for wine.

An fascinating anomaly within the analysis, for Douglas, is that – whereas the vast majority of the respondents declare to favor purple wine – the wine trade produces extra white than purple.

“As much as 53% of the respondents said their desire for purple wine in comparison with about 15% preferring white. As anticipated, the desire for rosé, glowing and white wine was weighted in direction of girls, and purple in direction of males,” he mentioned.

In line with the survey report, the drive to advertise extra premium wine purchases is the most important development alternative for South Africa. “To realize this, the weighting of stock-keeping items ought to be in direction of purple wine. If white wine gross sales delivered higher quantity, velocity and margin, there can be a case for specializing in white, however from international expertise, this isn’t the case so a shift to purple makes extra sense,” it states.


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