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Vinexpo Daily 2019 - Day 3 Edition

TRADE TALK Singapore’s

TRADE TALK Singapore’s premium buyer PRESS CORNER Pakkirisamy Ganesan dreams of a trip to Beaujolais with Vinexpo Explorer Pakkirisamy Ganesan General Manager, Francheteau Patrick Schmitt MW Editor-in-Chief, The Drinks Business Pakkirisamy Ganesan, a Singapore-based wine buyer, tells us about his business priorities and explains why the introduction of Vinexpo Explorer is valuable. THE DRINKS BUSINESS 200 CHEERS Please tell us about your day to day work/role I look for, and taste, wines that would be of interest to buyers in Singapore. My clients are generally well-heeled, so I am focused on sourcing high-end wines. What are the most important sales trends in your territory? Singapore is saturated because of the relaxed licensing laws; so I need to think out of the box to find appealing items for my premium buyers. I put a lot of effort into personalising the service and paying attention to the client’s needs. If possible I try to take them to the vineyards for a firsthand experience. You have had your own first hand experiences thanks to Vinexpo Explorer Yes, I’m very grateful to Vinexpo for taking me to Austria and Sonoma County in California, and am looking forward to going to Beaujolais for the third explorer event. I remember the Beaujolais celebrations in Singapore from years ago and would like to revive them, so it is a dream for me to go there. I like Vinexpo Explorer because you get a three-day crash course which introduces you to the sellers and teaches you about their wine, terroir, food… all aspects of their culture. It’s also a very efficient use of time. For example, at Sonoma County we met around 60 wineries – which is a lot. VINEXPO EXPLORER IS A VERY EFFICIENT USE OF TIME. What are you primarily looking for at Vinexpo Bordeaux? 80% of what I buy comes from France, so that is a major focus. And I also buy from Italy and Spain. France is also setting a good example with organic wines. What are your thoughts on Vinexpo and secrets for getting the best of it? I’ve never missed a Vinexpo in my life. It’s very important for me in getting new contacts and understanding the wines better. I am able to make good use of my time because I have established relationships with sellers over the years Patrick Schmitt MW has been an integral part of the success and development of The Drinks Business brand as it has grown to be an international publication with separate European and Hong Kong editions. Tell us a bit more about the publication We’ve just celebrated our 200 th issue and, although our first magazine left the printers almost 17 years ago, our aim remains the same: we are dedicated to serving the trade with independent, expert news and commentary on all aspects of the alcoholic drinks business, whether that concerns the earliest stages of production or the nascent trends affecting consumption. What are you primarily looking for at Vinexpo? I’m primarily looking for stories, but also to re-establish contacts, meet new people, and catch up with my peers in the industry. We also have a stand at the fair, and I co-host an event, The Lifetime Achievement Award, with the Institute of Masters of Wine, which I’m pleased to report has this week been given to Paul Symington. Which wines or spirits do you feel are gaining most in popularity in the UK? Provencal rosé and gin. Prosecco, while big, seems to be plateauing. What are your thoughts on Vinexpo? I love this fair, and always have from my first one in 2003. You have attended a number of Vinexpos, what have been the stand out highlights? I’ve met and interviewed some highly influential people here over the years, with stand-out figures including the late Robert Mondavi and Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. Then there have been the dinners, from Latour to Mouton. I will always remember the press events in the great Pauillac properties during the fair. What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the global wine industry? Shifting to more sustainable business models in the face of changing climates, is both a challenge and an opportunity. And so is a trend towards moderation by a younger generation, which could accelerate the ‘premiumisation’ trend. Having said that, I am concerned by the spread of negative sentiment towards alcohol, and the wider take-up of mindaltering drugs as an alternative and ‘calorie-free’ high 12 VINEXPO DAILY / DAY 3 / WEDNESDAY 15 TH MAY 2019

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ONCE YOU DEVELOP INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR WINES ONLINE, YOU CAN THEN USE PLATFORMS LIKE VIVINO TO MORE EFFICIENTLY MARKET AND SELL THEM TO A COMMUNITY OF MILLIONS. Chris Tsakalakis CEO, Vivino Vivino: we make wine easy E-commerce platform chief exhorts producers to sell direct to consumers With all eyes on the e-commerce conference at Vinexpo, we chatted to Vivino CEO Chris Tsakalakis about the market-leading e-commerce platform. We asked him firstly how digital technology is revolutionising wine marketing. Digital technology is breaking down barriers by enabling sellers of all kinds to connect directly with consumers. Digital platforms like Vivino make this easier in a world where marketing on the internet is expensive and overly complicated. Looking specifically at the wine world, the wine industry is as complex and confusing as the products it offers. It has been restrained by regulations, laws and legislative complications for decades. Historically, a consumer’s wine journey did not start until he or she walked into a store or a restaurant, and then the purchase decision was usually driven by in-store promotions, price or by the recommendations of the retailer and in more recent years, the sommelier and wine critic. Thankfully, direct to consumer wine shipping laws have been revised and wine drinkers are no longer restricted by the selection of their local stores. This means consumers now have more choices, but this also means the complexity of choosing a wine is even greater. Wine makers now must meet consumers where they are - and that’s online and using digital technology. Please tell us more about Vivino, and why it has become so successful. Vivino’s success can be boiled down to one thing: we make wine easy. There are a lot of people who like wine but are confused and don’t know which wine is worth buying. That problem drove our founder, Heini Zachariassen, to create Vivino as the solution. Scan a label or wine list on Vivino and our community will tell you how good the wine is, what it tastes like and how much it costs. Vivino tells you if the wine is worth buying and we eliminate confusion with data. When I joined the company as CEO in 2018, VIvino already had a thriving community of wine lovers across the world. Right now, it is the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app, with 36 million users. Users can also purchase wines and have them shipped directly to their door. Your background was in different fields. How does it translate into wine? I have been in e-commerce since 1996 and my 23 years of experience includes 11 years at eBay and StubHub, both marketplace businesses that have platforms that connect buyers to sellers. All of this experience is directly applicable to overseeing our wine marketplace because whether it’s tickets or wine - the underlying factor is making it easy for buyers to get what they want. What should winemakers be doing to adapt to the new marketing scenario? Focus on selling directly to the consumer. With the increased reliance on online shopping for wines and more wine drinkers looking for new wines to try, winemakers should aim to create an online presence that tells customers about who they are as winemakers and what their wine is all about. Once you develop information about your wines online, you can then use platforms like Vivino to more efficiently market and sell them to a community of millions. How can retailers adapt? Is it a case of “omni-channel or die”? Retailers across industries have to answer and adjust how they operate based on shifting consumer demands and the rise of e-commerce. The ones that have adapted to an online world where best price and fastest fulfilment win are the most successful. Vivino works with over 600 wine retailers who are looking to sell directly to consumers. It’s mutually beneficial because they help us better serve our users by giving them more options in the marketplace, while we provide retailers with another marketing channel for their sales VIVINO IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST ONLINE WINE MARKETPLACE AND MOST DOWNLOADED WINE APP, WITH 36 MILLION USERS. VINEXPO DAILY / DAY 3 / WEDNESDAY 15 TH MAY 2019 13