New threat to France: the New New World

  • Wednesday 17 February 2010

Traditional wine-producers like France must bolster their domestic markets as well as pursuing exports, according to a wide-ranging new report.

At the same time the ‘New New World’ – led by Brazil, India and China – will become competitors as well as future markets.

The warning comes from France’s team of foreign trade advisors the Comité National des Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France (CNCCEF), which says countries currently viewed as future growth markets will become threats as well as opportunities as they develop their own wine industries.

The report – Wine in the world as we approach 2050 – pinpoints a number of key issues facing the wine industry over the next 40 years, including market demand, consumer trends, climate change and wine production.

While French wine’s future is mostly centred on exports, the report warns that a ‘new approach’ is needed for its domestic market, aimed at halting long-term consumption declines.

Meanwhile, it sees the centre of global demand shifting to three main areas: China and India, plus south-east Asia, North and Latin America, Mediterranean and Northern Europe and Russia.

But the new breed of wine drinker, the report adds, is ‘essentially occasional and not very faithful’, at odds with the traditional consumption patterns that have persisted for centuries.

In production terms, the report divides the world in three: Europe, the ‘New World’ of the Americas, Australia and South Africa, and the ‘New New World’ – Brazil, China, India, plus North Africa and eastern Europe.

The latter, it says, is ‘a new El Dorado for the world of wine’, with Brazil, China and India set to occupy leading global trading positions.

Finally, the report foresees a consolidation of the wine industry similar to that experienced by beer and spirits.

This, it claims, will spawn a new breed of companies selling ‘market wine’ suited to local consumers, and made from grapes or bulk wine produced elsewhere.

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