NZWine in San Francisco

Ambrose Mpofu reports back on NZWine in San Francisco

Ambrose sent me this short article on findings as part of an MBA trip to the USA recently – NZWINE in San Francisco so I have published it here for you all to read. Thanks Ambrose, and good luck with your studies at Massey.

“On a recent tour of the USA by Massey Executive MBA students, we had an opportunity to investigate the performance of New Zealand wines in the merchant outlets in San Francisco.

We were pleasantly surprised that in the largest wine consuming state in the USA and San Francisco in particular with its vibrant restaurant scene and bustling tourist market, New Zealand wines were doing very well and are ranked as one of the fastest-growing despite the lack of a coordinated marketing strategy. The wine varieties we found in most outlets were Sauvignon Blanc, pinot grigio and pinot noir.

California produces almost 90% of wines in the USA market. If it were a country it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer. With a rising market share estimate of 4.6%, New Zealand wines are competing against wines from Italy, France, Australia, Argentina, Chile and Spain.

San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area is home to some of the most prestigious tasting rooms as well as popular hotels and restaurants that feature an impressive list of wines. New Zealand wine is in the low to medium price range in most California’s wine merchant stores. This is the range between $10 and $60.

The majority of its customers are young adults between the ages of 24 and 45. They think New Zealand wines have a good story behind them that is not easy for them to find, as compared to wines from such countries as Spain. They see other countries, like South Africa, Italy and Spain heavily promoting their wines.

This demographic is really interested knowing more about the climate, soil type, carbon foot-print and working conditions of where their wine comes from and are keen to taste the wines rather than depend on wine reviews or magazines.

There are growth opportunities for New Zealand wines in California, particularly within the young adults customer segment and those that are interested in the red wines.

With coordinated targeted tasting promotions including the selling of the New Zealand green and purity story, there is a potential for the New Zealand wine market share to rise above the 10% range in San Francisco and 4.6% within the USA.”

Story by: Ambrose Mpofu (Massey University Executive MBA)

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