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A successful strategy to sell Italian wine abroad

Colangelo PR expert Gino Colangelo explains how the US market works for Italian wineries

A successful strategy to sell Italian wine abroad

Claudia Astarita

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The United States have recently become the first wine consumption country in the world. Although it is a very diverse market, especially in the East Coast, as in the West Coast California wines are keeping their lead, because of American passion for Italian things the national wine market is offering a lot of opportunities for our bottles. The New York based Colangelo & Partners Public Relations (CPR) agency in particularly active in promoting Made in Italy on the US market, and this is the reason why it is worth asking them how this market works for Italian wineries.

According to CPR expert Gino Colangelo, in order to approach the US market, any Italian winery should figure out first if their total production is big enough to make their investment well advised and productive. Second, they should go to the US and see the market before finalizing their marketing plan. They really need to make a long-term marketing commitment and implement it to be successful, as well as finding the right importer and decide which wines to sell and the associated pricing policy.

Although Americans drink 70 per cent domestic wine and 90 per cent of that consumption is California wine, the US remains an interesting and promising country for Italy, which is already its main imported wine supplier with a 30 per cent market share. However, emerging wine producing countries like Argentina and Chile and more traditional competitors such as France and Spain are also rivals to fear.

The CPR team stressed that "in the past, most Italian wine producers who had been successful in the US either worked closely with an agency or worked with an importer with a very strong internal communications department. However, these days importers are more focused on wines in which they own a share, or their expanding portfolios so even the best ones don't focus on building the brand of an individual producer". Accordingly, it's getting increasingly more important to work with agencies or consultants knowledgeable in the business.

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