Merchant goes beyond Africa

04 September, 2008

Raisin Social has teamed up with a major Argentinian co-operative and is working with Portuguese producers to expand its offering outside South Africa.

The importer has signed up Feco Vita, which unites some 31 co-ops, mainly in Mendoza, and produces 400 million litres of wine a year, to launch several ranges in the UK.

Tesco has listed a Shiraz/Malbec and a Chenin Blanc/Torrontés under the Buenos Aires brand

(£4.99), Morrisons has listed Silver Valley Shiraz/Malbec and Chenin Blanc (£3.49), and Tipas Bonarda/Malbec and Chenin Blanc (around £3.99) have been launched to the convenience sector.

Raisin Social is also working with Portuguese producers to develop UK-friendly brands

and plans to launch ranges from these - including Alentejo-based Carmim's Terras d'el Rei range - later this year.

The Namaqua agent hopes to grow its business outside the Cape to some 35% of its turnover

from around 20% now.

Managing director Simon Halliday said: "We are not losing focus on South Africa - we very much realise we have the potential as a business to grow South Africa by 2011 and increase our market share by probably a further 25%.

"We would like to see a situation where 65% of our business remained in the South African category

with the rest

distributed among the other categories - and Argentina is a big part of that."

Like Namaqua, which made its name as a bag-in-box producer, Feco Vita produces

much wine in alternative packaging, including Tetra Prisma , which Halliday expects to release to the UK.

"I f you can deliver satisfaction, quality and value with bag-in-box then why not in Tetra? Tetra Prisma

has very attractive pricing and ticks the

environmental boxes."

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