Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Singapore Wine Market

These are exciting times to be in Singapore. The country weathered the financial crisis better than most, and rebounded strongly in 2010 with double digit GDP growth. Sales of still wine took a hit, falling 7.5% in 2009 to SGD285.5 million, but rose to SGD304.6 million in 2010. The opening of the two integrated resorts has attracted scores of well-heeled tourists eager to spend on wining and dining.

I read a recent report from Euromonitor that had a few interesting insights into the current state of the Singapore wine market.
  • Australian wines have seen the fastest growth in the past five years, and New Zealand wines are gaining in popularity.
  • The average unit price of wine continues to decline in 2010 due to consumers being more price conscious, and intense competition in the wine market leading to discounting.
  • Off-trade sales (wine sold in places other than restaurants and bars, e.g. retail shops) accounted for 71% of wine sales in terms of volume.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is the top red wine seller in 2010 (30%), followed by Syrah (24%) and Merlot (15%). Chardonnay dominates for the white wines (35.5%), followed by Sauvignon Blanc (22.5%) and Riesling (12%).
  • Sale of rosé wines remain minimal, accounting for just SGD3.5 million.
  • Sales of Champange increased even through the recession, from SGD52.4 million in 2008, to SGD54.8 million in 2009 and SGD56.8 million in 2010. Nicolas Feuillatte champagne is expected to perform well this year due to extensive marketing. (I recently attended a tasting by Appetite magazine where this champagne was selling for less than SGD 60. What an opportunity!)
A lot has been said about how Singapore missed an opportunity to position itself as a wine hub by reducing taxes on alcoholic beverages. Hong Kong abolished the wine tax in 2008, and has now become the world's most important centre for wine auctions. However, considering that Singapore accounts for only 1.1% of Asia Pacific wine market value, I doubt that abolishing the tax would make much of a difference in sales (although as a consumer I would definitely welcome it). Singapore's importance in the wine world is as a place to hold events and launch products. It is well positioned to do this, having excellent facilities and a large number of distributors. There have been several high profile events held in Singapore over the past few years, such as Parker in Asia in 2010, and the Union des Grand Crus tasting in 2011. I am also seeing an increasing number of winemakers coming to Singapore to host wine dinners and promote their wines. In fact, actor and winemaker Sam Neill will be appearing on Channel News Asia tomorrow morning to talk about his wines.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting read mate! Who knew that people would be popping that Champagne during these times :)