Port producers are stepping up plans to give the wine a more trendy image among young people and increase drinking occasions outside of Christmas.
Suppliers, distributors and trade groups are developing marketing strategies and packaging innovations to add stylish appeal to Port in the UK.
At the 2003 Vintage Port tasting event for the trade last week, Paulo Russell-Pinto, marketing manager for the Instituto dos Vinhos e do Douro (the Douro and Port Wine Institute of Portugal), explained that while vintage Port attracted a loyal and more mature consumer, the group wanted to draw younger people into the category.
“We have been working on
key events, such as roadshows, to target this audience,” he said.
The roadshows, including one which coincides with the York festival this September, comprise of tasting events, retail and
restaurant promotions and seminars with catering colleges.
The group is also working on strategies to encourage consumers to drink Port chilled, to increase consumption outside of Christmas. Ben Campbell-Johnson, senior brand manager at Fells, the distributor for Port brands such as Dow’s and Graham’s, said: “We have been trying to get the message across to chill port so that it can be enjoyed on a hot day.”
Campbell-Johnson said Fells launched its Warre’s Otima 10-year Tawny Port in 1999 to get more people to drink Tawny Port. “The bottle was more modern and we were convinced that the lighter Tawny Port was a route to attract more people to the category.” Within three years, he said, the radical bottle shape boosted sales from 60-70 cases a year to 8,000 cases.
The company also launched Graham’s The Tawny in a squat-shaped bottle with a heavy base.
Sonya Hook