In Spain it is identified with Andalusian folklore and in Britain as a drink for grandmothers. Broadly speaking these are the two great barriers to consumption which Sherry faces according to a report by the DYM Institute commissioned by the Consejo, the main conclusions of which were presented at a meeting of the Consejo yesterday.
The study interviewed wine drinkers between the ages of 30 and 50 but who were not Sherry drinkers in Britain (London and Manchester) and Spain (Madrid and Barcelona). The object was to discover why they avoid Sherry and to try to break down those barriers. There will not be time until after the summer to sit down with the marketing people from the bodegas to analyse the study’s conclusions, but in yesterday’s summary the author of the report pointed out that it would be worthwhile to promote the name Jerez rather than Sherry.
|Classic image of Sherry (foto:dailyrecord)|
The consumers of other wines than Sherry who were interviewed have two basic problems with it which explain their inclination towards other wines. Firstly they know nothing about it and find it difficult to obtain in their usual wine shops, and secondly they see its image as outmoded being associated in Spain with Andalucía and in Britain with grandmothers. César Saldaña, director of the Consejo says that the study’s conclusion is that the image of Sherry is a psychological barrier to non- Sherry-drinkers who have a negative image of it and don’t even realise it is a wine.
After the harvest the Consejo and the bodegas will sit down to study the advisability of incorporating the fairly drastic changes into publicity to overcome these barriers, though the use of the name Sherry may not need to be abandoned but rather toned down. This way the Consejo would look for a way of approaching new consumers, especially in the British market, by disconnecting from the negative image of Sherry and instead promoting Jerez for wines like Finos, Manzanillas, Olorosos more efficiently.
César Saldaña said that the Consejo’s communication strategy is still to be worked out, pointing out that the negative image highlighted by the study only took into account non Sherry drinkers. He explained that the chosen premise of the study was to find out why consumers of other wines don’t drink Sherry and so the DYM Institute had organised discussion groups with in-depth interviews.