Proudly South African wines that were showcased last month at the Prodexpo International Trade Show in Moscow, Russia, captivated the palates of the Russians.
Prodexpo is one of the largest international shows for the food and drinks sector in Russia and Eastern Europe.
“Looking at the level of interest our wines received from the Russian importers and the quality of meetings that took place, it is clear that the Russians have taken notice and are impressed with our proudly South African wines,” says South African Foreign Economic Representative in Russia Moloko Leshaba.
He mentions that enquiries about the South African rum during the show indicate an interest into other South African alcoholic beverages, which is something that should be further explored.
He adds that he is confident in saying the mission was a great success.
The representatives of the South Africa companies have indicated that they had good quality meetings that they will be following up on. He notes that some companies have managed to capture the interest of the biggest importers of wine, with other companies receiving orders during the show.
South Africa had a larger stand at the show compared with previous years, which was an indication that the country is serious about the Russian market and bilateral relations.
“We are pleased that our presence was felt and shows that South Africa is a significant player in the market,” stated Leshaba.
Participating in the show and acquiring good trade leads needed to be supplemented and that companies are required to work hard to sustain the relations established during the show and follow up on the leads acquired.
“We need to be aggressive to ensure that our wines continue penetrating the market. Bringing in new products and being innovative will aid our wines to gain more access to the market.
“We need to intensify the work and contest for the space and presence in the market,” he says.
Russia’s second-biggest importer of South African premium wines Marine Express category manager Yury Kuznecov says he saw South Africa as a supplier of good-quality wines that is yet to be fully integrated into the Russian market.
“We saw an opportunity of importing good quality premium wines from South Africa since 2012 and we are currently working with 31 wineries and 95 different wines from South Africa.
“This is a market that is not fully tapped and it is demonstrating growth potential,” said Kuznecov.
He adds that South Africa was shining and would continue to shine if it invested more in premium wines and innovation.
In conclusion, the market is very competitive. Against this background, the wine makers and sellers should strive to meet the demands of the market, work hard and be willing to sacrifice.