Buyers thinking more about consumers' palates

20 September, 2013

UK buyers are starting to think less about their own refined palates and more about their sweet-toothed customers, according to the supplier of one of the UK’s bestselling Argentinian wines.

Juan Pablo Penagos, UK export manager at Finca las Moras, is trying to sell a new range called Dada – which has 14g of sugar per litre – to the UK trade.

It is one of the leading wines in the domestic market, but he believes the biggest obstacle in Britain is overcoming the “prejudices” of buyers.

Penagos said: “I think the biggest challenge is to break the buyers’ mindsets, to take them out of the comfort zone and show them that there are consumers for these type of wines.

“Buyers are scared to take on these wines because they are used to traditional fine wine, but there are consumers for them.

“Buyers think about themselves and their palates – not about consumers’ palates.”

But he added: “This is starting to change. They are starting to think less about themselves and more about consumers.

“We have been talking to retailers about these wines and we think it is going to be successful.”

Finca las Moras is part of Grupo Peñaflor and a sister winery to Traphice. Its Pinot Grigio and Syrah, which retail at £5.99 exclusively at the Co-operative Group, and Penagos said they are the bestselling Argentinian wines in the UK.

He is seeking nationwide distribution for the Dada range, which is based on Dadaism – an art form of protest that flouts any known rules and conventions.

The wines would retail at £9-10 and do not focus on a grape. Instead there are three wines – one has a vanilla flavour, one has a mocha flavour and one has a spicy flavour.

“Consumers are attached to Coca-Cola and chocolate and so on so we think these will do well,” he said.

The Winery Exchange is also range called Patisserie, retailing at £8.99, that targets sweet-toothed consumers with wines that have aromas reminiscent of a French patisserie product.

Customer service manager Sandrine Perry said: “It’s important to listen to what the consumer wants and we are convinced this is what they are after.”

Mintel analyst Johnny Forsyth added: “Sweeter wines appeal to younger palates more. There’s a narrow view of what’s good in the wine industry and this is putting off younger consumers and innovation.

“Sweeter tasting wine doesn’t have to be inferior. But experts with highly attuned palates find sweet wine too extreme and they write negative things about it and retailers don’t stock it enough.”

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