Investigating the marketing of South African wine amongst the emerging black market of South Africa

Opperman, Charlaine (2010-12)

Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.


South Africa is currently not considered a wine-drinking nation. The consumption per capita rate is very low, especially for a wine-producing country. To date, the wine industry has grown due to exports allowed since sanctions were lifted in 1994. With the export market set to decelerate over the next few years, the wine industry will have to develop the domestic market, especially the black consumer market for future growth. The emerging black market of South Africa has materialised as the strongest buying influence in the economy. They have an overwhelming desire to have access to a lifestyle, which in the past was not possible. While they are status and lifestyle orientated, they want products and brands that are aspirational and close to them. Understanding this market and the potential they pose is vital for the wine industry’s future. Wine marketers need to understand this target market’s thoughts and perceptions around wine, as this market is still largely untapped. The emerging black market has had little exposure to wine compared with other alcoholic drinks such as beer, brandy and the ready-to-drink category and the wine industry will have to look at a comprehensive strategy to target them. It is the purpose of this study to provide detailed insights into the emerging black market of South Africa in connection with wine consumption. Initially, a literature review was conducted to investigate this target market and the wine industry’s current situation. Various marketing tools were discussed designed to specifically target the emerging black market. Based on this information, a consumer survey was conducted amongst black MBA students of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). The data was analysed and conclusions were drawn that answered the questions and objectives of this study. The analyses showed that the wine industry should focus on the women segment of the emerging black market, as they are the current group interested in wine. Other main findings included that wine needed to be positioned as an aspirational product; that brand ambassadors in large social networks should be identified; and finally that the wine industry and all its stakeholders should work together to educate the emerging black market and collectively apply the various marketing techniques found to be popular.

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