AAWE, Economics Dept, New York University, 19 W 4th St, 6Fl., New York NY 10012aawe@wine-economics.org

AAWE Working Paper No. 166 – Business


Strategies of Argentinean Wineries in Export Markets 2009-2011

Xavier Brevet, Jimena Estrella Orrego &Alejandro Gennari


Argentinean wineries experienced a tremendous 4-­‐time growth in their export value between 2000 and 2012, while for the same period the average rise of world wine exports was around 70%. Today, Argentina is the 9th biggest wine exporter in the world. The country has succeeded in building ”king of Malbec” notoriety and many of its wines rank as best sellers in foreign markets. This impressive growth is the result of the winning strategies wineries implemented years ago. Indeed, in the late 90’s the industry changed its model to focus on the production of quality wines and the development of foreign markets. New marketing and communication tools were created and have strongly contributed to wineries ́ success. Two decades later, new challenges for this quality model appear. On the one hand, wineries ́ margins are threatened by high inflation in Argentina. On the other hand, higher buyers ́ concentration in foreign markets defines wineries ́ reduced bargaining power. A descriptive analysis, based on Argentina Customs Office data, was carried out to understand last years ́ performance and identify possible trends. Grape varieties, vintages, price, marketplaces and bottle sizes are described. Main differences between foreign markets are pointed out. Four different categories of wineries are described based on their export volume. Their specific strategies in terms of price segment are assessed allowing an identification of their different profiles. Results show the price upgrading strategy of the Argentinean industry. Cheap wines have traded up towards premium category as the only way to deal with inflation pressures. Whereas some expensive wine have traded down towards premium category in an attempt to conquer consumers threatened by the ongoing economic crisis.

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