The strategic positioning of competing countries in key export markets
The last twenty years have seen a fast internationalisation of wine markets across the globe and the rise of the new wine world, competing with traditional wine producing countries (OIV, 2010). In addition, the majority of wineries regularly export their products to generally more than one country nowadays (Crozet et al., 2009). It is, therefore, important to comparatively understand how consumers perceive wines coming from different Producing Countries (PC) in key Consuming Countries (CC), not only in relation to traditional intrinsic and extrinsic product attributes (Mueller et al., 2010a), their taste (Sirieix and Remaud, 2010), their value-for money (Orth, 2006), or matching with food (Casini et al., 2009), but they are also required to be safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly (Euromonitor International, 2010). This research asked more than 2,500 consumers recruited by an international consumer panel company in UK, Ireland, US, Canada, and Sweden to associate characteristics relative to the product dimensions mentioned above to five key PCs: Australia, Chile, France, South Africa and the US. Deviations from the expected values greater than 5% defined significant differences in perception by consumers in a specific CC to the different PCs. Results revealed that new wine producing countries were not seen as homogeneous but were perceived distinctively differently from each other in most CCs. During their market presence of more than ten to fifteen years in most export markets, new world wine producing countries have build up unique country images. At the same time our research confirmed a still existing strong divide in the profile between new world and the most prominent old world country, France, which had the most distinctive profile in all CCs. However, Australia has a relative competitive advantage in relation to Chile, South Africa or the US in most importing countries.