How to crack the US market

Entrants aiming to crack the US market need to take a bold approach, according to a wine importer.

A importer of Chilean wines into the US has said new entrants to the market have to take a bold approach if they are to make it big in the States.

Alex Guarachi, chief executive officer of TGIC, made the call at a seminar on the US Wine Revolution, hosted by Wine Intelligence at the London International Wine Fair.

Guarachi said: “With the three-tier distribution system in the US, brands coming into the market need to make sure they have enough margin built-in to do incentives and promotions – and make sure that when they choose an importer or a distributor they become actively involved in market.

“You need to think outside of the box. Don’t be afraid to try out a new varietal or a new concept. Believe in yourself and believe you can do it.

“When we started out nearly 30 years ago, Italian, Chilean and Argentinean wines were hardly known and people thought Merlot was just a blending grape – but that’s not the case today.”

Guarachi’s rallying cry came as Wine Intelligence published a White Paper on Style Trends in the American Market: A Future of Diversity?

It forecasts that by 2020, the monthly wine-drinking population of the US will rise from its current level of 36% of American adults to between 40% and 45%.

The number of these who drink wine more than once a week will increase from the current 46% (around 37 million adults) to 50% (or 50 million drinkers) in 2020.

Erica Donoho, Wine Intelligence’s country manager for the US, said American tastes are changing. “In the past, young people have been introduced to wine at home, but now they’re trying out wines for the first time in a different way and are much more influenced by their friends and colleagues than what their parents drink.”