Wines from Rioja has announced an extensive UK marketing campaign for 2014 designed to capitalise on the popularity of the region which has seen another 12 months of success at the premium end of the market. 96% of Rioja wines are now sold at over £6 in the UK, compared to just 19% across the market as a whole, and typically have a price point nearly 30% higher than the UK average (Nielsen MAT to 07.12.13). The 2014 UK campaign will aim to maintain high visibility in Rioja’s key international market, with a busy programme combining established events with exciting new initiatives.
Wines from Rioja’s flagship consumer event, Rioja Tapas Fantasticas, will return to Tower Bridge to welcome an estimated 10,000 food and wine enthusiasts. Around 40 Rioja wineries are expected to exhibit at this year’s event, along with some of London’s top Spanish restaurants, which last year included José, Ibérica, Hispania and Camino. Wine workshops and walks led by experts Olly Smith and Susy Atkins drew over 500 Rioja aficionados in 2013, and will once again be a central feature of the event. Following a successful preview in 2013, the reach of Rioja Tapas Fantasticas will extend beyond the event itself with a month long restaurant promotion promoting Spanish tapas culture while driving sales of Rioja in the on-trade category.
The Wines from Rioja trade tasting will return in the autumn following the success of last year’s inaugural event where over 100 wineries, including nearly 20 seeking representation on the British market, presented their wines to over 600 key members of the trade. 2013 marked the first occasion Rioja wineries had come together generically in the UK and the 2014 edition is set to deliver even greater impact, with a new venue, and additional educational elements, designed to engage the trade.
For independent merchants and online retailers, the autumn will see the return of ‘Riojtober’; a month-long promotional initiative launched in 2010 and intended to boost sales and stimulate consumer engagement in this buoyant sector. Retailers will compete for the title of Rioja Retailer of the Year and will be challenged to generate interest in Rioja wines through tastings, promotions and innovative marketing.
Among the new initiatives for 2014 will be a multi-platform campaign targeted at the on-trade, and aimed at educating sommeliers and key HoReCa staff on the quality and diversity of Rioja wines.
Following a series of successful tasting events in late 2013, this year will also see Wines from Rioja launch its first campaign in the Republic of Ireland, with a view to engaging and educating consumers in a market which is currently Rioja’s ninth biggest, and is forecast to grow in the coming years.
Alongside these key activities, the campaign will also feature year-round PR activity, a rejuvenated social media offering and high profile trade sponsorships.
Ricardo Aguiriano, marketing director at the Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja commented, “The UK remains of paramount importance to the Rioja region, and our strong UK marketing campaign led by Phipps has undoubtedly helped us develop and grow our market share over the last seven years. Our challenge is to maintain this momentum and continue to grow value, through continued engagement with all areas of the trade as well as directly with consumers.”
Lottie West, senior account director at Phipps added, “2013 marked another successful year for Rioja in the UK, with standout activity such as Rioja Tapas Fantasticas and our inaugural trade tasting helping Rioja to gain traction at the premium end of the market, and giving us an excellent platform upon which to continue to deliver growth throughout 2014 and beyond with a busy and consolidated programme of activity.”
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Notes to Editors:
The UK remains Rioja’s largest market, accounting for 35% of total exports (Rioja Exporters Group stats to October 2013)
2.71m 9l cases of Rioja were sold in the UK over the period December 2012 – December 2013 (Nielsen MAT to 7.12.13) with a value of £201m; an increase of 4% in volume and 7% in value on the previous year. Rioja is outperforming the rest of the UK wine market, which remains fairly static, with a decline of –2% in volume, and growth of just 2% in value over the same period.
Rioja makes up 29% of all Spanish wine sales by volume in the UK, but 38% of its value, indicating its premium positioning (Nielsen MAT to 7.12.13).
Rioja fetches a higher price (£6.20 per bottle) than the UK average bottle of wine (£5.21) and around 29% higher than the £4.82 average price per bottle of Spanish wine (Nielsen MAT to 7.12.13).
Rioja Tapas Fantasticas is a free weekend festival dedicated to celebrating tapas and the Spanish lifestyle. Established in 2008, the event has become a fixture on Londoners’ schedules as the place for a slice of food, wine and culture of the Rioja region. The award-winning festival takes place at Potters Field Park on 14/ 15 June 2014.
Wines from Rioja is the UK marketing arm of The Rioja Regulatory Council or Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa, the body responsible for the application and monitoring of legislation relating to the quality and standards of wines produced in the region, promotion of the image of Rioja wines and defence of interests of the sector.
Phipps Relations has been working with the Consejo Regulador de Rioja since 2007 and is responsible for all marketing and promotion of the Rioja region in the UK. Over the last seven years, the multi award-winning integrated campaign has contributed a value growth of over 50% across the Rioja category.
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