Question mark over massive Brazilian market

The Brazilian market offers massive potential for domestic and overseas wine producers  – but economic and political pressures could blow growth off course, according to research by Wine Intelligence.

WI’s the Brazil Wine Market Landscape report paints a picture of healthy growth – up by an average of 3% for each year since 2009 and with the number of wine drinkers at 22.4% and on the increase.

But that still leaves a big untapped market to aim at in the country with the world’s fifth biggest population, especially for imported wines, says the report. Sixty-three per cent of the country doesn’t yet drink wine at all and, for those that do, domestic wine dominates, accounting for three out of every four bottles consumed.

Of the countries exporting wine to Brazil, Chile has been the most successful at winning over consumers, along with Portugal, Argentina and Italy. Argentina and Italy are both in decline but Chile and Portugal are growing in sales, along with Spain.

WI says the report sheds new light on the attitudes of consumers who already drink imported wine, with 62% saying that they have a high level of involvement with wine and seven out of 10 enjoying the opportunity to taste new and different styles of wine on a regular basis. Purchases are most frequently made in hypermarkets and supermarkets – which are increasingly buying direct from overseas – and brand is the most important choice cue for shoppers.

This all points to the potential for further growth ahead, but political uncertainty has cast doubts over future economic confidence and volatile exchange rates are making life tough for imported brands, bringing fears that value could be driven out of the market even if volume sales are sustained, says the report.

WI COO Richard Halstead said: “Brazil is already a substantial and growing wine-drinking country, but like many major markets around the world faces uncertain economic times. It will be a challenge for producers, both at home and overseas, to skillfully manage pricing, value, quality and consumer engagement to sustain market growth."

Brazil Landscapes 2015 report uses data Wine Intelligence’s Vinitrac online consumer survey platform, based on research carried out among 707 consumers in 2014 and 1,001 in 2010, selected to represent the make-up of regular wine drinkers across Brazil. Regular wine drinkers are defined as adults who drink wine at least once a month.

Brazil Landscapes 2015 is priced at £2,500.