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Agrifrance 2018 rural report: Digital Technology is Revolutionising the World’s Wine

Agrifrance, a specialist division of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, publishes its 2018 conjuncture note: Digital Technology is Revolutionising the World’s Wine. For more than 18 years now, Agrifrance and BNP Paribas Wealth Management have been producing an annual report providing an overview of the French rural land sector.

Start-ups are revolutionising the wine market by rolling out new innovative products and services. This is a fabulous way of revampingthe image of an industry which until recently had capitalised on famous ‘terroirs’, vintage years and references to the history of wine. From production to distribution, via information and communication, digital tools are transforming the wine industry, impacting professionals and consumers alike. 

Key figures of digital trends:

4 billion

people are connected to the Internet

3.3 billion

smartphones in the world

8.3 billion

connected objects aresold worldwide

A new distribution channel

The market continues to grow worldwide, albeit stabilising in France. Based on a report published by Kedge Business School in June 2017, global wine sales on the Internet amounted to $9.8 billion in 2016 and exceeded $10 billion in 2017 or 5% of the total market. 

The market in Asia and in the emerging markets should continue to progress thanks to the boom in e-commerce.

In France, the e-commerce wine industry is nearly mature and is expected to reach €1.4 billion or 9.4% of total wine sales. Characterised by strong growth (above 30% per year), the French market is currently in a stabilisation phase. With more than 400 websites in France and a global market value increasing tenfold in ten years, the e-commerce wine market has become very competitive. For almost a year now, logistics, and the preparation and delivery of orders have become key success factors.

Wine-growing and wine-making: new prospects for players in the sector

Drones, robots, algorithms, connected objects, GPS and embedded mapping are all enabling the development of precision viticulture. These new technologies assist wine-growers throughout the growing cycle and help them choose when to intervene to fertilise, weed, protect the vine cuttings and even when to harvest the grapes at their optimal maturity. 

Distribution: new outlets and new ways of consuming wine

Online selling has become a powerful distribution channel for wine producers: global online wine sales amounted to $9.8 billion in 2016 and should exceed $10 billion in 2017 – i.e. around 5% of total global wine sales.

“ This year, we decided to focus on digital technology in the wine industry for the first part of this report. Although wine is usually associated with land, appellations and tradition, wine professionals and consumers are discovering new digital products and services.Although for some, digital technology offers fascinating possibilities, for others it is disruptive and challenges existing models. ”

Benoit Léchenault

Head of Agrifrance

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