2023 was a challenging year for Austrian wine. Inflation and high interest rates slowed down market dynamics both in Austria and abroad. Wine sales came under pressure the world over. The Austrian Wine Marketing Board (Austrian Wine) responded with a sales campaign in the domestic market and boosted export activity – which also eased the domestic situation. Here is a brief on the initiatives that mitigated the impact and also aimed at improving sales and visibility.
Presentation of 9,613 wines from 921 different wineries
It became obvious in 2022 that the end of the coronavirus pandemic would not automatically bring about a rapid market recovery. The war in Ukraine, together with rising inflation and high interest rates, is causing severe economic upheaval – particularly in terms of a steep increase in costs. Austrian Wine responded to this with well-targeted initiatives in both the domestic and international markets. Over the past year, Austrian Wine has organised 160 events at which they presented 9,613 Austrian wines from 921 different wineries.
Sales campaign in the domestic market
Wine sales struggled in 2023, in both the Austrian on-trade and off-trade. There was only slight growth in wine revenue (on-trade: +2.7%, off-trade: +2.0%, Q1–Q3 2023), while sales dropped slightly (on-trade: -1.8% off-trade: -2.5%). Austrian winegrowers are feeling the effects of this sluggish market situation. Responding to this, Austrian Wine increased its activity in the domestic market in autumn and winter 2023, running promotional initiatives in the on-trade, off-trade and wine tourism industries, while also focusing advertising in western Austria, where a lot of domestic wine is sold during the winter season. They also ran a country-wide social media campaign, which drove demand for Austrian wine.
Stabilising the domestic market through exports
In a bid to stabilise the domestic market, Austrian Wine also focused their efforts on the international markets in 2023. Every bottle of wine exported takes a little bit of pressure off winemakers who sell their wines in Austria. This is particularly important, given that the market share of Austrian wine on the domestic market is traditionally very high (market share in value, 2022 (full year): 84% in the on-trade, 76.6% in the off-trade).
Wine trips brought 406 international industry experts to AustriaAs a result, Austrian Wine was particularly active in their export markets in 2023. One of the key focuses was wine trips to Austria, which took off again considerably following the coronavirus pandemic. Austrian Wine supported a total of 66 wine trips, which involved 406 international industry experts and 569 visits to wineries. These trips enabled visitors to experience the quality of Austrian wines first-hand and expand their professional network by connecting with local winegrowers.
8,414 wines presented around the world
Meanwhile, Austrian Wine also organised tastings, stands at trade fairs and promotional activities around the globe, including major initiatives targeted at the German and American off-trade, presence at ProWein Düsseldorf and ProWine China with representatives from hundreds of Austrian wineries, and Austrian Wine’s signature series of Austrian Tastings in London and Stockholm. All in all, Austrian Wine organized 142 export activities in the international markets where they presented 8,414 Austrian wines.
Focus for 2024: the domestic market and VieVinum
Again this year, Austrian Wine has defined an extensive range of initiatives for 2024. Driving sales in the domestic market will be a key focus, as will using VieVinum to boost exports. As Austrian Wine CEO Chris Yorke explains, “All of our activities are aimed at providing the best possible support for our winegrowers, in both the domestic and international markets. It is key that we consolidate all our energy and tackle these turbulent times together. After all, I’ve always believed that one of the greatest strengths of the Austrian wine industry is the way we pull together.”
(excerpt from a release)
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