News Release

  • No.13639(2020/1/21)

Suntory Wine International Limited Business Strategy for 2020

While the overall domestic wine market is estimated to have decreased in 2019, Suntory Wine International Limited sales exceeded those of the previous year, driven by strong performance in domestic casual wines, such as Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii Wine, and in European wines, in which interest was stimulated by the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) coming into effect.
In 2020, we aim to continue expanding the business through a range of activities to communicate the varied attractions of wine, and by working to understand consumers’ increasingly diversified palates. In order to bring consumers the best wine experience possible, we will actively develop value proposals related to various methods of drinking wine, while continuing to focus on quality.

● Review of 2019
▼ Domestic Casual Wine
Sales volume for Domestic Casual Wine was 104% of the previous year. The top sales brand among Japanese wines*, Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii Wine, and its sibling brand Delica Maison, were at the forefront of our new product introductions and renewals.
* According to Intage SRI. Sales volumes for Japanese wine from January to December 2019 (the total of all Japanese SM/ CVS/ liquor DS/ home centers/drugstores/liquor stores/commercial liquor stores)

▼ Imported wines
Sales volume for imported wine was 99% of the previous year but sales volume of European wine came in at 110% of the previous year. the EU-Japan EPA coming into effect in February of last year, leading to the removal of tariffs on wine made in Europe, we cut prices on some European wines such as Freixenet and Madonna.

▼ Japan Wine
Sales volume for Japan Wine, including that of Iwanohara Vineyard, was 72% of the previous year. In addition to the rising popularity of Japanese wine in recent years, the awards we have won in wine competitions in Japan and abroad helped drive significant growth in our own Japanese wines in 2018, to 119% of the previous year’s level. As a result, this limited the volume we were able to sell in 2019, and implementing adjustments to shipments for certain products caused a considerable year-on-year decline to be recorded. On the other hand, with Tomi No Oka Koshu 2017 winning a Platinum medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) 2019, we feel that our efforts in viticulture have been recognized.

● Strategy for 2020
▼ Domestic Casual Wine
We will continue with our initiatives to strengthen the Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii Wine brand, such as by renewing the Sankaboshizai Mutenka no Oishii Wine Strong series, which has been well received since it was launched in 2018. This refresh will begin with product shipped at the end of January. For total brand sales we are aiming at 1.96 million cases, or 102% of the previous year. For the Delica Maison brand, we are taking steps to actively create new demand through initiatives such as launching Fruity Delica Maison, with added fruit juice, in March. Our volume target for the brand is 1.01 million cases, 102% of the previous year's level.
In addition, we will take proactive measures to generate incremental demand with the aim of acquiring new wine fans, including the launch in February of the Five Select Reserve Series, consisting of products from carefully chosen grape varieties originating in five different countries around the world.

▼ Imported wines
We project that in 2020 the focus of attention will be organic wines, a category that is seeing growth on a global basis. According to our Internet-based surveys, such wines tend to be particularly attractive to women aged from their 20s to 50s, and we expect the organic wine market to grow in Japan as well. By launching organic wines for the major European wine brands that we handle, including Les Ormes de Cambras and Tavernello, we will provide an easy choice to consumers in the form of an organic wine from the brand they always drink, and seek to grow the market accordingly.

▼ Japan Wine
In addition to focusing on the Tomi no Oka Winery Series made 100% from our own grapes, we plan to continue improving the quality and value of our three Japan Wine lineup in cooperation with contract vineyards for the Shiojiri Winery Series and Japan Premium Series. In addition, we will further reinforce our activities to secure stable supply of high-quality grapes. In order to continue our position as a world-class winery, we will approach viticulture from the perspective of expressing the unique quality of the terroir.

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