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The Ties that Bind: Building Strong Importer and Retailer Relationships to Drive Premium Wine Export Sales



There are gaps in our understanding of how our wine producers and exporters, particularly those producing and seeking to export premium wines, can achieve higher export sales at better prices.

The ultimate outcome of this research will be the provision of a ‘kit’ of strategic advice for existing and potential Australian wine exporters that will serve to enable and facilitate establishing strong and profitable business relationships in the US and UK and significant growth in sales.


Consumer demand in the US and UK is sophisticated. This is due to diverse tastes, preferences and increasingly intense competition with aggressive product branding, pricing and communication tactics from other international wine suppliers.

Australian exporting success is significantly dependent on the support and endorsement of wine importers and retailers.

However, results from the Advance Australia Fair (AAF) project shows retailers in both markets are unlikely to recommend Australian wines to their customers as the first-choice recommendation.

The AAF data reveals a critical ‘blind spot’ respective to key triggers of import/stocking decisions specific to premium wines; not understanding what these critical gatekeepers of the US and UK premium markets need and expect in a business relationship and product mix means our producers will continue to be undersold.

This research will assist our exporters to learn and apply best practices in building/maintaining cross-border relationships with US/UK-based partners – re-engaging with US/UK consumers and re-establishing their competitive edge over strong international competitors.

Research approach

This project has three linked stages, relative to business objectives, product ranges/pricing, product support/supply, cultural considerations, infrastructure constraints, cash flow and levels of desire and company support for long term relationships as opposed to short term transactional business models.

The methodology allows for an accurate identification of sales barriers and success factors for premium Australian wines in the US and the UK by addressing key questions which producers may have, such as:

  • Who should I deal with – what is the best ‘fit’ for my business and wines?
  • What criteria are critical to selling my wine to those entities?
  • What are the best ways to go about engagement and relationship building?

This project will also highlight what types of support/message channels will leverage producers’ efforts.

Sector benefits

Greater export sales of higher value wines in key markets will see greater profitability across the entire value chain.

As Australia becomes more ‘known’ for premium wines through better exposure in the premium sections of wine retail outlets and realise the benefits of word-of-mouth internationally, growth in wine tourism can be expected. With this comes greater wealth in our wine regions generally, across many sectors complimentary to the wine and grape community.

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.