London Wine Fair panel: 'Diversifying Thought Leadership'

 From left: Regine Lee, Anne Jones, Joe Fattorini, Alex Ririe

From left: Regine Lee, Anne Jones, Joe Fattorini, Alex Ririe

On 22nd May, Women in Wine LDN hosted a panel discussion at the London Wine Fair’s Industry Briefing area.

We were invited by Hannah Tovey, the first female director of the London Wine Fair, who joined us on stage to give an inspiration introduction about her own journey through the industry.

Titled ‘Diversifying Thought Leadership’. The aim was to discuss whether the wine industry is reaching its female wine consumers effectively and creatively – a burgeoning topic in the UK, given that over 55% of consumers are female.

 London Wine Fair 2018

London Wine Fair 2018

We were incredibly pleased to have such a notable line-up of panellists, as follows:

Alex Ririe
Managing Partner, Strategic Development at Coley Porter Bell / Ogilvy, UK member of the WSET Alumni Advisory Board

Joe Fattorini
Wine expert, writer and presenter of “The Wine Show”

Anne Jones
Waitrose Category Manager, Wines, Beers and Spirits

Chaired by Regine Lee, co-founder of Women in Wine LDN

We talked about a range of topics including consumer research into preferences by gender, wine marketing, and flexible working and gender diversity in the workplace.

The success of Prosecco among female wine consumers was considered and debated as a barometer of larger themes around gender and wine marketing and producer development. Alex mentioned that so much of Prosecco’s success is about the framing; it has become the go-to for everything from just a ‘treat’ to a ‘special occasion’ wine. Yet, it was a need that was filled – and any other drink could be a strong competitor with the right frame. Anne commented that, although Prosecco is seen as a ‘wine for women’ it is a more nuanced view of the statistics is required in terms of understanding.  

We had some fantastic questions from the audience ranging from the relative importance of educating the consumer, ‘gendered’ tasting notes, and whether boosting female consumers’ confidence in wine should be focussed on food/wine matching.

General consensus was that and inclusive, diverse industry was not just better for the structure of companies but would also improve the relevance to the consumer.