From Vietnam: Getting Australian wine on the table, Cables from Post, Australian Department of foreign affairs and trade, 26 August 2016.

The original article has been reproduced below.

Australian wine exports to Vietnam were valued at $10.6 million last year.  While this figure may appear modest, it belies an underlying trend of strong growth: the value of our wine exports has increased four-fold since 2011, and doubled between 2014 and 2015 alone. Like China, strong sales of mid-range Australian red wines are driving much of this growth. Wine is becoming increasingly popular among Vietnam’s expanding urban middle and upper classes.

However, at a time when local demand is blossoming, Australia’s market share is falling behind market leaders France and Chile, and faces increasingly stiff competition from other producing nations. Understanding which barriers may be impeding Australian market share was the focus of a recent wine roundtable held in Ho Chi Minh City as part of the inaugural Taste of Australia in Vietnam food and beverage promotion.

The discussion drew together Australian wine producers, Vietnamese importers, retailers and distributors and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Austrade officials. A key issue identified was a limited local understanding of Australian wine. Price and perceived prestige influenced local purchasing decisions far more than quality, favouring competitors. This was compounded by a perceived lower level of awareness of Australian wine, with ongoing promotional and educational activities being undertaken in-market by other competing wine nations.

Another challenge was the local regulatory system, with import licenses, labelling and food safety requirements adding to the complexity and cost of doing business. Accompanying the roundtable were commercial activities to promote Australian wine. These included wine tastings and business matching for the 11 Australian wine brands promoted at Taste of Australia, and sommelier training on Australian wine for Vietnamese wine professionals and distributors. Both activities sought to boost awareness of Australian wine and drive new business connections.

Having unpacked the issues around impediments to growing Australian wine’s market share in Vietnam, our posts will work closely with Australian industry and stakeholders on strategies to overcome some of the barriers identified.

 

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