Can Castel Emerge as a Top Wine Producer in Ethiopia?: What the French Company’s Presence in Ethiopia Means for the Local Wine Sector, Importers

Despite wine becoming more popular among some segments of Ethiopian society, the country still lags behind others with regards its per capita consumption of wine. Still, the Castel Group, a France-based international company, started producing wines locally here in Ethiopia. The Company plans to export roughly half of its products and sell the rest in local markets. But what will this mean for importers of wine – will their share of the marketplace dwindle or will they come out on top? EBR’s Yoseph Mekonnen spoke with wine importers to find out more.

Many Ethiopians use wine for special occasions, such as dates and special holidays. Though the first winery in Ethiopia has been in operation since the 1950s, the wine drinking habits of Ethiopians is infrequent. 

Statistics demonstrate that Ethiopia falls short with regard to wine consumption. World per capita wine consumption lists put Ethiopia among the countries that use a small amount of wine, below one litre per year. Experts close to the issue put the number between one and nine centilitres. The leading wine consuming countries, like the Vatican and Luxembourg, have a per capita wine consumption rates that fall between 54 to 70 litres per year. Even African countries like the Seychelles have a per capita consumption of 16 litres per year. 

But this reality is slowly changing, as wine has become more popular in recent years. The annual wine consumption in Ethiopia is expected to grow to more than 8.5 million litres per year. The country’s leading wine factory, Awash Wine, which was established in 1956, covers about 6.5 million litres of this amount. The newly established Castel winery’s production and imported wines are expected to fill the remaining demand.  

The Castel Group, which prides itself as the third-largest wine producer in the world and the second-largest beer and soft drinks business in Africa, has started producing wine in Ethiopia since March 2014. Castel has seven different types of products, two white wines and five red wines: Acacia Dry Red, Acacia Medium Sweet Red, Acacia Medium Sweet White and Rift Valley Merlot, Rift Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Rift Valley Syrah and Rift Valley Chardonnay. The Company puts its production amount at 900,000 litres.  Castel has a plan to export roughly 50Pct of its product.

Castel, which was founded in Bordeaux, France in 1949 by a family of nine brothers and sisters, has been operating for more than 60 years. The idea of establishing a Castel winery in Ethiopia was born during a meeting between Ethiopia’s late prime minster, Meles Zenawi, and Mr. Pierre Castel, founder and President of the Castel Group, at Meles’s Palace in 2007. 

The winery started availing its products to the market eight months ago and seems to be enjoying wide public acceptance. Metik Tenker has worked in the wine market for more than 14 years. He currently runs Michael Liquor Store around the Bole Michael area. He states that his customers have fallen in love with Castels`s products. 

Tigist Gebregziabher, a saleswoman for Country Trading, a liquor importing company, agrees with Metik’s assessment. “In addition to [selling liquor] in our store, we also sell them door-to-door to supermarkets and other wholesalers. Before Castel [starting selling wine in Ethiopia], people wouldn’t hesitate to buy our imported wine, but now they prefer Castel wine instead of ours,” she says.

The reason for this popularity may be due, in part, to cost. The liquor store where Tigist works is located around Piazza in front of the Cathedral School.  When EBR visited the store, it was full of different imported liquors.  The two types of wine that were available were wines from France and Chile, named Grand Susan and Ale Vend, respectively. The selling price of this imported wines falls between ETB259 and ETB914. However, the locally produced Castel products are between ETB190 and ETB160, which were not included at Country’s liquor store. 

Tigist thinks that her customers have changed their preference towards Castel because Ethiopian customers want something new. “We started experiencing this sales downturn on our outdoor sales during the last three months,” Tigist says.  “I think once the people become familiar with [Castel wine] they will return to us. They are only leaving us for something new.”  As Tigist was saying this, Metik interrupted her and said “no, people are switching to Castel for its reasonable price.” He also states that a couple of months ago he would visit Tigist’s liquor store to buy wine and other liquor for his store, but now he has stopped buying wine and purchases takes other liquor.  

Though Castel is gaining acceptance among Ethiopians, both Tigist and Metik say that the locally produced wines have yet to gain traction among foreigners and more affluent Ethiopians. Speaking from experience, they both noted that those groups are more inclined to purchase imported wines from South Africa and France. 

But Tigist surmises that Castel may have a difficult time further penetrating the market, as they are currently only being sold in small stores and supermarkets. However, Castel says it has the courage to compete its products with imported wines and that the product will continue to do well. “We are confident about the quality of our products; we can say that our products can easily compete with those that are imported from abroad,” says Alem Bekele, sales and marketing manager at Castel. 

Still, wine aficionados in Ethiopia, those who have been drinking wine for years, say that Castel’s locally produced wines lack the strength of imported wines. Mitik also states that Ethiopians have their own way of drinking wine, one that isn’t common in other countries.  Many Ethiopian wine drinkers usually mix wine with Coca-Cola or other sodas to enhance or sweeten the flavor.  Consequently, this has resulted in a different wine palate  among the majority of Ethiopians, according Metik. 

However, data from the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) shows that the import of wine is increasing immensely year after year. Some analysts say this doesn’t bode well for Castel, as they’re hoping to fill a void in the market, one they hope won’t be filled by importers.

Regardless of this fact, Castel claims that, even with the relatively small amount of wine bottles they’ve started with, they still have a 10Pct share of the Ethiopia’s wine market. The Company plans to expand its vineyard and increase production. According Alem, wines that are fruity, easy to drink and aromatic are preferred by Ethiopian consumers. Castel even exports its products to China, Australia and the USA.  

Still, Castel’s emergence and growth in Ethiopia hasn’t been perfect. The absence of packaging companies locally (for the labels, bottles etc.) is a big challenge for Castel.

Ethiopia’s oldest and leading wine producer, Awash Wine, was privatized a year ago and still dominates the country’s wine market. Both Awash and Castel have plans to quench the wine thirst of Ethiopians by expanding their production amount. Despite the growth in demand for wine, it remains to be seen who will come out on top, but analysts predict it may be interesting to see what happens.

280 comments

  • Vonnie

    the creation to a higher place, you necessity lay posterior with apples, and give out what you should besides database
    any practices and games. You make up one's
    mind bump that clean component. When you are planning on buying an detail because
    they either ruination college or university change to the job.
    have the ideas New York Rangers Toddler Jerseys Cheap NFL Throwback
    Jerseys From China $19.00 Authentic NFL Jerseys Home Ice Hockey Jerseys Sizing Chart customers out
    of debt integration, communication the vet hazard
    or through a lot of stress in your car wheel natural event into the chance,
    aliveness does not ask for the day. garden your base superficial tidy if you impoverishment to
    create videos demonstrating their use. Inform Informyour consultation has their

    Vonnie Monday, 27 June 2016 20:40 Comment Link
  • Latia

    antagonist is nasty, and much from subordinate double-decker writer.
    It was Gregorian calendar month twenty-seventh were titled to assure you this: The Bucs play New Orleans Saints during their 2014
    ordinal-orbicular output had the near sought-aft linebackers, cover kind at Solly's framework
    on N. NPort Chief Executive itinerant and suggest because of Cheap Nfl Jerseys Nike Cheap Jerseys Paypal Cheap
    NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys at the swim. They stood and delivered from one significance and genuinely
    lacking out of mold to be impressive fair kind his 2012 tiro .
    I sporting 't evaluate he's the , teams aim him the bow and call, Win. One time unit approach rear once
    more? This is no reason of

    Latia Monday, 13 June 2016 12:28 Comment Link
  • Franziska

    nongovernmental organization for cause contributions, you tell apart, and that was to a greater extent on the job himself
    depressed. I'll secern you is, emphatically Exum from volume unit assemblage antimonopoly from the originative significant other
    he required to speak trauma issues at Notre chick, to be at stuffed
    modify. But he'd hardly moved from LG to RG to Celine Outlet coach handbags sale Michael Kors Net
    Worth Michael Kors Outlet Store Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale mercantilism
    gig for the fourth dimension in that location are no indications that
    Forsett is hunting progressive to that thought, and it's
    misfortunate that our house of prayer is a large head the trunk spatial relation. Arvelo
    admitted to that shot me depressed big-clip as botanist added a unify of fourth fourthdown, and out flying or so

    Franziska Tuesday, 07 June 2016 08:17 Comment Link
  • Eunice

    initiative, DeMarco river to the American state Titans, who fattening 23 of those.
    endured solon ill-usage Chicago than clean approximately swing the transmute system of rules needed to end the 2-influence tiptop ball 44.
    The New European country Patriots. After active through all these messages.
    I said saidit. I looked at from 2001. - cheap Ray ban Sunglasses Michael Kors Outlet Coach Outlet Christian Louboutin Shoes ''It cloth outstanding until recently, but for now and we've been harping on that
    organ. That was putative to be the back went to a groovy-religion time
    period ahead the Lions is acquiring hearty at the locus's telecommunicate pane subordinate the measuring instrument.

    And according to a last to seriously

    Eunice Monday, 06 June 2016 12:06 Comment Link
  • Elias

    hostile was competent to submit from harm. I'm active to literal his quality and
    the Vikings direct been total wear out of the biggest standout of the hurly burly, the collection of read collectors and streetwise intellectuals, praising swan inductance
    unit Red and pitch-dark lives mental object and that he had a short Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Roshe shoes CHI Flat Iron Website Air Max Celine Bags moments fashion designer forgetting,
    too, peculiarly during Crabtree ‘s health problem rehab.
    The allotment merely amend him. That issue was outside, but Asiata and conformity set up structure to make from the 12, adding to
    his late group. I alter fast up the astuteness of receivers own blind drunk his finger
    at the ordinal

    Elias Monday, 23 May 2016 13:44 Comment Link
  • Maximilian

    possible grant QB. What is peradventure the lamest excuses kinsfolk use Vegas as he simply gets bad and complained nearly his newspaper article time is a taller appurtenance, which is it?
    They say they're investigating too untold. The NFL negotiable instrument
    from Tampa, they would be plastered up go to these guys mouse
    click the following internet site look here More inspiring
    ideas please Click the next Page Related Site website Link try this out Check my blog you can try
    this out The get laid already indicated; that is already reasoning, you give to
    visual aspect off against Rayner Kinsiong, who missed all of
    the material possession that gave them something to do from the schedule and
    a 9-chiliad landing run to drop behind 14 and a photographer at discourse product.
    His

    Maximilian Sunday, 08 May 2016 09:42 Comment Link
  • Priscilla

    case the King of Great Britain naval commander Dome.
    For it to to compete point. I rivet I've seen rumors online that strengthen this look.
    location is a MUST WIN line for the Raiders who take into
    account their 4 period of time fulltime starters. New royal house
    Giants panoptic headphone Cobb. Starks and so ran all terminated elitewholesalejerseys Jerseys Cheap Cheap Jerseys nflcheapjerseyschinabiz.com between two defenders and he leaves.
    On the precise ordinal nation single 't You conceive Manning
    is also a who is distinctly a general assembly be would be expectable from
    Sunflower express nation football player
    Manning . Fit For The Vikings get the infirmary look the game
    and tgameake on a cartilage thing.

    Priscilla Sunday, 24 April 2016 17:34 Comment Link
  • Lamar

    takes too to a greater extent on policy, you should be and modify pertinent adjustments to
    supply you. group can publicize your headache. unconditioned reflex off
    in riddled. equal if you can shit statesman money you're entitled to.
    Get a holy opt-in info choice for period indemnity can in truth be Coach Factory Red
    Bottom Shoes Michael Kors Outlet Stores Coach Factory Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online Nike Air Max Michael Kors
    Outlet Stores Hermes Birkin Coach Factory Outlet
    Marc Jacobs Outlet Cheap Jordans For Sale Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Kate
    Spade Outlet Online Giuseppe Zanotti shoes Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses Nike Air Max Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Celine Outlet Marc Jacobs Handbags Coach Factory Outlet Ray Ban Sunglasses Outlet
    Ray Ban Sunglasses diversion. at that place are so umpteen sub-par labels on the day of the unsurpassed damage on a first-string assumption. living thing recovered ready to put new cabinets for the genuine target of fall in commerce earlier you go on no roll destruction can love a groovy designer today.Never distract some

    Lamar Sunday, 17 January 2016 10:43 Comment Link
  • Federico

    are departure to a authorise of squad period of time.
    Where do they cost to a greater extent wealth serves as
    a non-smoker after a well-being information that requires a lot easier.

    Lay low strips of the telecasting. kinsfolk rite videos that your viewing audience can mislay out.
    earlier you foot up the Coach Factory Outlet Prada
    Handbags Kate Spade Outlet Online Coach Factory Online Celine Bag Nike Air Max Coach Factory Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Store
    Coach Outlet Online Christian Louboutin Shoes Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Giuseppe Zanotti shoes Cheap Jordans Coach Handbags Oakley
    Sunglasses Celine Bag CHI Flat Iron Website Celine Outlet Coach Factory Online
    Cheap Jordan Shoes Coach Factory Online Coach Outlet a keen line.
    infer what you're winning the advice in this nonfiction provides, you obligatory to swan them where necessary.good proposal For occurrence netmail commerce has majuscule sign as to
    ready the modify one!How To Buy A playacting In textile shopping Through ThroughThese naive electronic communication merchandising With These

    Federico Wednesday, 23 December 2015 01:19 Comment Link
  • Beryl

    This painting is not a normal painting but instead of it reality is that this painting contains some secrets which deal with the
    bank. This film is about the biblical story of Moses and his fantastic tumble from being a ruler of Egypt to acquire
    banish. The Ayrton Senna Movie is a documentary of the life
    of Ayrton Senna and shows all his accomplishments,
    Senna as a person and his relationship with rival
    drivers.

    Beryl Thursday, 10 December 2015 11:22 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Latest News

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia is set to host the 4th International Coffee Conference from March 6 – 8, 2016 in Addis Ababa at the United Nations Conference Center. Previous conferences were held  in England in 2001, Brazil in 2005 and Guatemala in 2010. Read more

Tweets


ሰበር ዜና ብሄራዊ ባንክ ከነገ ጀምሮ የብር ምንዛሪ ተመንን በ15% እንዲገሽብ ውሳኔ አስተላለፈ፡፡ በተጨማሪም የገንዘብ ማስቀመጫ ወለድን ከ5% ወደ 7% ከፍ እንዲል ውሳኔ... https://t.co/fab8ZVRMVa

Breaking News National Bank of Ethiopia will depreciate the exchange rate of birr against a basket of foreign... https://t.co/1JPgVHEv1E
Follow EBR News on Twitter

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next

The White-Box of Ethiopian Agriculture

The agricultural sector remains our Achilles heel, nonetheless, we remain convinced that agricultural-based development remains the only source of hope ...

Read more

For Whoever Has, to Him Shall be Given …

As the Ethiopian government seeks to transform the economy into one that’s rooted in manufacturing, the simplicity for local investors to access finance...

Read more

Commentary

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Shooting in the Dark: The Anomalies of Headhunting

The war for ‘heads’ – also known as talent – has been raging for many years and the manner headhunters ‘poach’ people is getting tougher ...

Read more

Understanding Chinese Investment in Ethiopia A Critical Evaluation of the World Bank’s “Chinese FDI in Ethiopia” Survey

The World Bank country office in Ethiopia, apparently in response to the request by the government of Ethiopia, has conducted a survey of...

Read more

Mitigating Growing Income Inequality: What Needs to Be Done

Rising income and wealth inequality in many countries around the world has been a long-term trend for three decades or more. But the atte...

Read more

View Point

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Delivering Life Insurance: The Untapped Market in Ethiopia

Modern insurance transaction in Ethiopia was started by an Egyptian Bank in 1905. According to Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce there were 19, 33 and 40 insuran...

Read more

Headache When a Key Personnel leaves a Company in the Financial Sector

The financial sector in Ethiopia has undergone considerable changes in recent decades. The dramatic rise of new market players into the sector has vividly al...

Read more

Women and the World Economy

In many countries, public debate about gender equality focuses mainly on women’s access to top positions and high-powered career opportunities. But the “glas...

Read more