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Agrifrance’s annual report describes how digital technology is revolutionising the world’s wine industry

Agrifrance, a specialist division of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, has just published its 2018 annual report, which this year focuses on the impact of digital technology on the global wine market. While the world of wine still remains in tune with the ‘terroir’, vintage, ‘appellations’ and its other long-standing traditions, the players in the winegrowing sector are now experimenting with new tools and practices, and consumers are discovering new products and services.

The main findings of the report:

  1. Worldwide online wine sales totalled$9.8 billion in 2016 and are forecast to exceed $10 billion in 2017, i.e. around 5% of global wine sales.

  2. In France, the online market is reaching maturity and should reach €1.4 billion in 2017, i.e. 9.4% of total wine sales. To the question “Have you ever bought wine or champagne online?”, 34% of French respondents said ‘yes’ in 2016, compared with only 10% in 2011[1].

  3. Asia and the emerging markets should continue to see growth in online wine sales, given the boom in e-commerce in those regions. In China, e-commerce today has over 500 million potential consumers.

Selling wine online is not solely the job of e-commerce specialists; it affects a whole range of players from cellar masters to large retail food chains. All the players in the wine world need to transform and step up their ingenuity in order to attract the consumer, explained Benoit Léchenault, Head of Agrifrance, pointing out: Digital technology is also a terrific playground for entrepreneurs and startups, who are now revolutionising the wine market and inventing new business models which are exciting to understand.

From the production stage through to information, publicity and sales, digital tools are transforming the wine market for both professionals and consumers.

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[2].

While the Asian and emerging country markets should continue to see growth, given the boom in e-commerce there, online selling is now reaching maturity in France. With over 400 wine-selling websites, it is time for the sector to step up and become thoroughly professional. For almost a year now, logistics, and the preparation and delivery of orders have become key success factors.

To Download the 2018 Agrifrance annual report

About Agrifrance

Agrifrance is the specialist rural property division of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, offering clients seeking the right investment and wealth management solutions the benefit of over 40 years of experience in the viticulture, farming, forestry and prestigious homes markets. With its network of recognised professionals, Agrifrance is also able to provide complementary services such as expertise in and management of rural properties.

Agrifrance is one of the asset diversification services proposed by BNP Paribas Wealth Management along-side Private Equity, Real Estate, Art Advisory

About BNP Paribas Wealth Management

BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a leading global private bank and the largest private bank in the Eurozone. Present in three hubs in Europe, Asia and the US, over 6,800 professionals provide a private investor clientele with solutions for optimising and managing their assets. The bank has €364 billion worth of assets under management (as at 31 December 2017) and was awarded “Best Private Bank in Europe, in Asia and in the Western United States” in 2017.


[1] Source: SOWINE barometer, a report based on a representative sample of 1,112 French people aged between 18 and 65 (2016)

[2] Source: e-Performance Barometer Study published by the Kedge Business School in June 2017