By Roy Mabasa
Some 13 French wine producers and exporters have expressed keen interest in expanding their products in the Philippines, noting a 7-percent value growth or about P1.1 billion in the country’s imports of spirits in 2017.
The French delegation is part of Tastin’France, a series of international wine tasting events that take place in more than 65 cities all over the world, organized by the French national agency, Business France.
“While the Philippine market is relatively small compared to its other Asian neighbors, with the growing interest for fine wines and the Filipino wine drinker’s evolving and more discerning palate, I am positive that the steadily growing market is ready for even more French players,” French Ambassador Nicolas Galey said during the recent launching of Tastin’France in Manila.
The French delegation was represented by at least 13 wine growers and merchants from major wine regions in France such as Champagne, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Languedoc, South West, Bordeaux, and Spirits.
Last year, France ranked as the fourth largest wine exporter (after the United States, Australia, and Spain) in terms of value at 3 million euros (USD 3.531 million), and sixth in terms of volume at 1.2 million liters to the Philippines.
Earlier, the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) projected a 16 percent rise in Philippine wine import for 2018 mainly due to the country’s economic expansion, and the increasing demand of young Filipinos for the spirit.
While wine is traditionally consumed by the older generation, it is rapidly gaining popularity among the younger generations, which represent a potential growth segment as young consumers are becoming better educated, more frequent travelers, and embracing more diversified tastes.
“It is our hope that these 13 wine, champagne and cognac makers will be able to introduce more French products into the Philippine market through strong partnerships, and with the invaluable guidance of potential Filipino importers,” the French envoy said.