Industry Trends: What We Can Expect in 2013

February 2013

The wine industry is constantly fluctuating and I’m predicting some exciting changes and new developments within this year. Here’s my insight into some of the key trends for 2013:

Regional wines are on the up
Wine shortages are increasing in many key producing countries, including Spain, Italy, Australia and New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, Chile and Argentina. However, this is creating opportunities for smaller producers, who are able to fill the gap between supply and demand, and sell their regional wines more widely.

A wider range of locally packaged wines
The global wine shortage, along with a weak exchange rate in the UK and Europe, rising taxes and inflation means that brand owners will have to squeeze more efficiency and capability from their supply chain. This is likely to result in a wider range of wines being shipped in bulk and packaged locally. No longer just the domain of entry-priced and generic origin wine, I think we’ll start to see wines of higher price points and more specific regional origins being packaged using this method.

Shape and size
As consumers look for added value and increased choice from brands, producers will be looking at alternative ways of packaging their products. Along with an increase in bag-in-box packaging, consumers should expect to see more medium sized bottles, as well as smaller and larger formats, on their supermarket shelves very soon.

Specialist expertise
Local packaging specialists can provide superior expertise to many wineries at the critical point of bottling. They often have a much better understanding of dissolved and total packaged oxygen, microbial and physical stability as well as maintaining production consistency during and between packaging runs. Perhaps most importantly, these specialist companies also have systems in place to manage these issues cost-effectively. Such contract packers, which typically provide flexible warehousing and logistics, will prove a bigger draw for producers this year.

New market opportunities
Historically, transport costs have prevented smaller regional producers from expanding into overseas markets. As the trade becomes more switched on to the cost-efficient and environmentally-sound benefits of bulk-shipping and bottling at destination, we are set to see many more brands establish themselves internationally by using this method to market as part of their supply chain.

It’s difficult to predict exactly how an industry will change over the course of a year, but as producers look to meet customer demand while controlling costs, we can be sure that 2013 is set to see a lot of new developments.

Justin Knock, winemaking consultant at Encirc Wines

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