Wednesday, 7 February 2018

7.2.18 Consejo Statistics to be Improved

Sherry closed the 2017 campaign with a drop in total sales of 5%, a drop which is mainly in the BOB wines, the low price segment which is sold largely in Dutch and German supermarkets. The bodegas have only ever supplied the Consejo with figures on sales volumes, not on value, but that is about to change as average prices will now be incorporated into Consejo statistics so as to better reflect the changing trends of recent times led by the rise of premium and up market brands.

As from now the Consejo will collect weekly data on the evolution of the value of wine sold and at the same time pay special attention to its final destination, since wine is often re-exported from France and China, distorting official statistics. It is hoped that this will reflect more accurately the new reality in Jerez, the substitution of BOB by premium wines, which according to Consejo director César Saldaña is fundamental as while the average price is rising it is not properly illustrated by statistics based only on volume.

Sherry deserves better than this! (foto:alamystock)

He says the statistics need to be more detailed, adding that the rise in average price is due to a 7% rise in sales of Oloroso, Amontillado and Palo Cortado over the last year, the more expensive and profitable wines. The Consejo also notes the contribution of premium Pedro Ximénez to the average rise in sales with a 2% increase, as well as the 12 and 15 year old wines and VOS and VORS. This is in stark contrast to the BOB situation where sales are in steep decline in markets like Holland and Germany which buy the cheap basic Sherry dragging down total sales volumes. In Holland 80% of Sherry sold is competitive supermarket own label, and the bodegas are losing interest in it as better wine is far more profitable even in lower volumes.

They are now focusing on these better more profitable wines and the page has been turned on the volume sales which did so much damage in the 1970s and 1980s.Until then, Holland and Germany were small markets but they grew rapidly due to low subsidised prices, and it is these markets Sherry is losing. While nobody wants to lose sales of any kind, the bodegas have to promote the quality wines, both for the image of Sherry and for profitability. It is the sweeter styles which are losing volume, mainly Medium and Cream which have been sold at unsustainable prices, but things have changed. 2017 ended with three more almacenistas and three more exporters, all small but with high quality in mind. That is the trend now.

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