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Drinks+ as an IEF2021 media partner joined the session organized by OenoCo International, where Rose Murray Brown talked about “Engaging with the wine consumer on a limited budget”. As a part of her talk, she shared the results of the UK Consumer Survey on Central and Eastern European wine.
Rose Murray Brown, Master of Wine is Scotland’s leading award-winning drinks journalist, working as The Scotsman’s weekly drinks columnist and expert for the past 34 years.
During her session at the International Economic Forum 2021, Ms. Brown focused on how Central and Eastern European countries could engage better with wine consumers. Over the last week, she has been running a survey with her UK consumers data base on the Central and Eastern European wines.
Based on her research, Ms. Brown states that lots of people like Central and Eastern European countries all together, but each county has its own clearly defined identity and long authentic wine history. Some of them had 30-40-year gap and they had to restart their wine industry, some are a little bit more advanced.
Among challenges to mention, Central and Eastern European countries compose fragmented market, they have limited resources and little generic funding. In addition, there is a worldwide competition – the amount of money spent in the UK by the Australians, the New Zealanders, the Chileans on quality wines turned to be a good habit and it is truly difficult to compete against these countries.
However, a lot of the UK consumers are used to these wines, and they want to taste new wines as well. They want stimulation, they want to explore new tastes and flavours.
At the same time, there are lots of advantages of the Central and Eastern European wine region. Those are diversity, novelty value, native grapes, unique tastes, and different cultures – there is so much to learn, and it requires solidarity and ability to work together whether you are a region or a country. “When you pull resources, you can get your message across much better,” Rose Murray Brown convinces.UK Consumer Survey on Central and Eastern European wine demonstrates that UK consumers do not know much about this region’s wines as 80 respondents failed to complete the survey because of lack of knowledge. But 125 people did complete the survey.
The research was focused on 12 countries: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia. The list of countries was composed randomly in the survey forms.
One of the questions was “Which country do you rate highest in terms of ‘wine quality’?” and the following one – “…in terms of ‘value for money’ for wine?” The absolute leaders turned to be Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova. Ukraine is not in top 9 countries in this list.
The fourth question concerned the country which the respondents were most likely to attend a ‘virtual tasting’ on. Again, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria lead the ranking. Ukraine holds the 11th position – one before the last.
Answering the question which country they are most likely to visit post-pandemic to explore its wine regions, the UK consumers chose Hungary as the most preferable destination. However, as a matter of fact, people visiting Hungary are likely to stay only in Budapest. And the challenge is to bring tourists to vineyards and wineries outside the capital. In this list, Ukraine ranks the last.
There is no need to despair as the survey represents the UK market only. However, a few takeaways are necessary to bring on the table. Firstly, there is lack of knowledge about and interest in certain Central and Eastern European countries, including Ukraine. Secondly, there is a great chance to fill the gap by working out branding and digital marketing strategies, by cooperating with other wine regions and countries, as well as to take part in different completions and awards to demonstrate your product.
Drinks+ Media Group fully realizes the challenge and aims to support the Central and Eastern European wine region. We invite all active, optimistic and creative entrepreneurs to become a nominee at the Wine Travel Awards that seek to re-energize the tourism and wine industry affected by the pandemic. WTA is an efficient and cost-effective tool for your global and national advancement!