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jueves, 2 de junio de 2016

Who's Who in the Netherlands

Who's Who in the Netherlands

Wine consumption in Holland was very small at the beginning of the 1960s, but now most Dutch consume as much or more wine per capita as the UK.

What the Dutch drink

Historical links from the Old World to the New World have favoured the acceptance of South African wines in the Netherlands. The similarity of Afrikaans and Dutch also aid pronunciation of names and identification with areas. South Africa has gone from nothing to 24.2% of market share, taking white wine market share from Germany and France, and red wine market share from Italy and France. Spain and the Netherlands have also always been historical allies and strong trading partners for centuries, and that shows. The importance of Spanish wines in the Netherlands as the third-largest market share (9.7%) after France and South Africa is much greater than elsewhere in Europe.

It is interesting to note that Chile has grown spectacularly to fourth place (8.8%) in volume and third place (10.1%) in value, while Australia is seventh place (7.0%) in volume and fifth place (8.5%) in value. Conversely, Germany is in fifth place in volume but in only sixth place in value, while California has just 2% of the market, rather than the double- digit market share it enjoys in Britain. Having noted this, all the growth in the Netherlands comes from the New World, particularly Chile, South Africa and Australia.

In the Netherlands, 50% of the wines are red, 40% white and 10% rosé. The largest decline in the Netherlands over the past 20 years has been in the fortified wine market – sherry, port and vermouth – and this is still continuing.

As to where people buy wine, the Netherlands is a classic off-trade market. The vast majority – some 85% of the wines sold – are sold in the off-trade, with 15% through the on-trade. Yes, Holland is a typical ‘take home market’. Almost 90% of wines in the off-trade are sold through the multiple grocers, and less than 5% through multiple specialists. The average price paid for wine in the supermarket has stabilised over the last three years, at just under €3.00 ($3.35) in 2015; however, import duty is only €0.72 and the VAT is 21%.

Most significant multiple grocer

As in other European countries, consolidation of the market has meant that multiple grocers have grown and increased their market share, leaving fewer players with large market shares. In the Netherlands, Albert Heijn (850 stores) is the biggest, with an estimated market share in wine of 35%. Superunie, a buying group for 13 retailers, is second with 30% market share (1,800 stores), followed by Jumbo (now 580 stores) – who recently acquired C1000 and Super de Boer – followed by the first discounter, Aldi. So, Albert Heijn dominates the wine market. They also own the largest multiple specialist, Gall & Gall (550 stores), to boot. As was expected, Albert Heijn was voted ‘best supermarket’ for wine in Holland by an overwhelming 98% of interviewees. Interviewees not only praised the sheer range but also the fact that Albert Heijn has almost all leading brands on their shelves. The fact that Jumbo was not mentioned even once must be a sign that the buying team in Veghel has some work to do.

Albert Heijn was also most mentioned as the main importer, although Delta Wines, Groupe LFE and Baarsma also got votes.

Most significant independent

Until the emergence of supermarkets as sellers of wine in the 1980s, the Dutch market used to be dominated by so-called slijters. These are multiple specialists who have a liquor licence and can thus sell beer, wine, fortifieds and spirits, while the supermarkets are only allowed to sell low/moderate alcoholic beverages, but no hard liquor. Holland used to have more than 4,000 independent slijters, but the competition with the supermarkets in wine, beer and fortifieds forced many out of business. For many others it meant giving up independence to join buying groups or franchises. Although there was a big spread of votes among the trade representatives canvassed, and many independents named – including Residence, Ad Bibendum, and Grapedistrict, among others – Xavier Kat of Okhuysen in Haarlem got the most votes, closely followed by Ton Overmars in Amsterdam, Bloem’s Vinotheek and Les Généreux, which are franchises of specialty wine stores.

Most significant sommelier

There were few mentions of any of the up-and-coming sommeliers, which was surprising, as Holland is currently one of Europe’s hottest culinary destinations, with more one-, two- and three-Michelin star restaurants than ever before. Ruben Kwakman (le VIN’x, Den Bosch) received one mention, as did Alessandro Matrone, (Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam) and Jasper van den Hoogen (Bord’Eau, Amsterdam). But most feedback o mentioned the established names. Petro Kools (Da Vinci, Maasbracht) was mentioned, as was Noël Vanwittenbergh (Ciel Bleu,  Amsterdam), Ronald Opten (La Rive, Amstel Hotel, Amsterdam) and Roy Pelgrim (Cordial, Oss). Edwin Raben also got many votes although many acknowledged that he rather is a trainer and communicator about wine and food than an active sommelier. But by far most votes were given to Peter Bruins, the sympathic head sommelier of Restaurant De Bokkedoorns (Overveen). According to respondents he “combined knowledge with charm” like no one else.

Cees van Casteren MW

This is an extract from Who’s Who in the Netherlands, which ran in Issue 1, 2016. The full article includes details of the most significant buyers, media, online retailers and other important Dutch sectors, and is only available to subscribers. 

Origin information: Meiniger's

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