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Andre Morgenthal

Siobhan Thompson
Opportunities in Oslo
8 October 2010


It was a sunny day when WOSA Scandinavia opened the doors for the third South African Generic Tasting in Oslo. In the beautiful venue "Gamle Logen" in the centre of town a number of importers waited for the consumers to enter the room.

It´s always a bit nerve racking when it comes to tastings in this traditional country. Most of the Norwegians prefer to drink wines from the ‘classical' regions, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Languedoc, Chianti and northern Italy. Spain almost counts as a new world country!

Or at least, that's what everyone tells you...

But I don´t think this is necessarily the true pictureof a Norwegian consumer. For the moment, the above production areas of wine are definitely the most popular in terms of sales at the monopoly. But if you look closer, you can also see that Australia is a big country in terms of market share. And to me, that is the most new world of all new world countries. I don´t believe the Norwegian palate differs that much from the Swedish one in the end. Looking at the reactions of the 200 consumers that visited our generic last week, I would say that South African wine has great potential in this market. I heard so many positive comments about the wines and also that they were price competitive -that´s fantastic in this amazingly expensive wine country!

We just need to make Norwegian consumers understand what South Africa has to offer. Talking to the buyers at Vinmonopolet, they also believe that South Africa could have a bright future in Norway, especially in the premium wine market. A focus on premium brands at the start will eventually open the doors for more volume based products such as the Bag-in-Box format (BiBs). If we are patient and approach this market strategically, we can surely double our market share over the next five years!

I look upon this year's generic with confidence, even if the numbers were slightly down from last year in terms of visitors. We just need to keep on pushing, but we need to push gently.

Maja Berthas

Country Manager: Scandinavia

October 2010



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