Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

brands, interpreted strictly as individual products marketed on the basis of their name and image rather than on their inherent qualities, have a much less dominant position in the market for wine than for drinks such as beer or cola, for instance, but thanks to globalization they are growing in importance. The leading industry resource IMPACT Databank calculated that the global market share of the top 25 wine brands in the world, while having grown significantly since the mid 1990s, was still less than 8% by 2004. It is perhaps significant that IMPACT is based in the united states, where distribution is tightly controlled (see three-tier system, for example) and brands account for more than half of all wine sales. Most sectors of the wine market are relatively fragmented (although the fortified wine business is not and has been built on brands), so that brand promotion is difficult to make cost-effective, and can leave branded wines looking poor value. By far the most common promotion in the 21st century has been based on price and close relationships with the decreasing number of multiple retailers, many of which have been turning away from third party brands to their own exclusive labels.