It’s cru­cial to en­sure that you stay rel­e­vant in your in­dus­try

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

MOST good wines do im­prove with time, but it’s a mis­con­cep­tion that all wine gets bet­ter with age. It’s also a fal­lacy that wine sales are grow­ing in Ire­land. As a na­tion we ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant growth in wine con­sump­tion over the last 30 years. But that growth has now al­most flat­lined as it be­comes more nor­mal to drink beer with food. Mil­len­ni­als, in par­tic­u­lar, en­joy craft beers. Ex­che­quer re­ceipts in 2017 from ex­cise duty were €1.2bn, of which wine made up €382m. The rest of the mar­ket is made up of beer, spir­its and cider.

I find it fas­ci­nat­ing to see that 80pc of all wine sales are in the ‘off-trade’ (stores and off-li­cences). That tells a lot about how our pref­er­ences have changed over the years.

In 2015, Va­leo Foods bought Find­later & Co from DCC. Now the big­gest dis­trib­u­tor of wine in Ire­land, they’ve come a long way from their hum­ble be­gin­nings in 1824 as a bot­tler of Scot­tish whisky. They of­fer a unique and ex­clu­sive port­fo­lio of some of the most sought-af­ter pro­duc­ers from across the wine world.

This in­cludes iconic wine pro­duc­ers such as Bollinger, Jadot, Chapoutier and Pen­folds, with new stars like Fedel­los do Couto, Gut Og­gau and Le Grap­pin. It was one of the first Ir­ish im­porters to in­tro­duce new world wines.

Ser­vic­ing the ‘on-trade’ (restau­rants, pubs and ho­tels) and the ‘off-trade’, they are a leader in the in­dus­try. They pro­vide their customers with a dy­namic port­fo­lio sup­ported with mar­ket in­sights and ex­ten­sive wine knowl­edge. Em­ploy­ing 80, they have a highly ex­pe­ri­enced team of on- and off-trade pro­fes­sion­als and som­me­liers. They have a strong rep­u­ta­tion for sup­port­ing restau­rants in devel­op­ing a wine list en­gi­neered for com­mer­cial suc­cess. And they will soon launch a B2B on­line busi­ness. CRED­I­BIL­ITY THROUGH EX­PER­TISE new grape va­ri­eties. So they also ex­panded the on-trade port­fo­lio and sup­ported that by pro­vid­ing in­ten­sive prod­uct knowl­edge train­ing for restau­rants. As the world con­tin­ues to change, I see com­modi­ti­sa­tion be­com­ing more of an is­sue in busi­ness. For ex­am­ple, a man with a van could quite eas­ily sail to Roscoff ev­ery week­end and fill his van with a great col­lec­tion of French wine to sell to restau­rants.

There is an in­crease in glob­al­i­sa­tion and bar­ri­ers to en­try are low­er­ing across the board for many in­dus­tries. Con­se­quently dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion in the mar­ket­place is a chal­lenge for most of us, re­gard­less of our sec­tor. Why should customers buy from you in par­tic­u­lar?

What makes you more rel­e­vant than your com­peti­tor? This is a real is­sue that I see wher­ever I travel. For ex­am­ple, there is no growth in the Le­banese lo­cal econ­omy due to po­lit­i­cal tur­moil and the huge in­flux of Syr­ian refugees. Their best hope for growth is in im­port sub­sti­tu­tion and ex­port mar­kets. But be­cause the econ­omy is in a down­turn, busi­ness own­ers are stressed and some­times can’t see the wood for the trees.

In the last few weeks I have been to Beirut sup­port­ing a univer­sity which is cham­pi­oning a growth agenda in their busi­ness com­mu­nity. My speak­ing events and work­shops with lo­cal busi­nesses were heav­ily fo­cused on how to dif­fer­en­ti­ate and ‘be more rel­e­vant’ in both a lo­cal and global mar­ket.

The is­sue of rel­e­vance is not just for devel­op­ing coun­tries like Le­banon. It ap­plies to ev­ery or­gan­i­sa­tion too, re­gard­less of in­dus­try or size.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.