Wine distributor launches in Cebu-A A +A
Sunday, February 24, 2013
A DIRECT wine importer and distributor is now in Cebu to offer an extensive selection of international wines to the Visayas and Mindanao.
Bibendum Wines Philippines (BWP) was launched on Thursday at the Café George in Banilad, Cebu City.
According to BWP Corp. (BWPC) director Margaret Richards Taylor, Bibendum was originally carried in Duty Free outlets in 2009 through The Harston Group, a collaboration of companies in the global travel and retail sectors.
Taylor said they started to add stocks in 2010 when wines were becoming more popular in the market.
BWP was conceptualized by BWPC managing director Hans Joerg Eulenhoefer and marketing director Mikel Perdices. The retail store in Banilad was opened in November last year.
“While going to different places, experimenting on what we can do with our wines at Duty Free, we discovered a niche that’s missing in the south, Cebu in particular. We found out that a lot of people here don’t have the depth of contact with wines within the mid and high-ranges because most of these are only available in Duty-Free and other exclusive shops,” Eulenhoefer explained.
Merchants were bringing in wines to Cebu but nobody was able to deliver to the public a breadth of notable and award-winning bottles at reasonable rates, Perdices said.
Eulenhoefer believes there’s a lot of potential to deliver wines inexpensively in the Philippines, especially in the Visayas, provided it’s done at enough volumes.
Taylor said they found out that Cebu has a mix of inexpensive and pricey wines at P700 below and P2,000 above.
“It’s a bit of a gamble but we feel that Cebu is ready for upscale wines and we’re here to fill the gap pricewise and provide those wines that might not be here before, instead of people going to Manila, Hong Kong or anywhere,” Taylor added.
Eulenhoefer described Cebu as an emerging market, with Cebuanos becoming more knowledgeable about wines.
“As homegrown Cebuanos, we want to serve and establish first in Cebu,” he added.
“Young and old drinkers are starting to appreciate wine. At present, more than half of the attendees in a party are already wine drinkers,” Taylor observed, citing the A and B groups in their early 20s and above as BWP’s clientele.
The initial count for wines available at BWP is 344, with 103 bottles from USA, 175 from France, eight from Argentina, 27 from Australia, 17 from Chile, one from Italy, four from New Zealand and Portugal, three from South America and two from Spain.
With wines costing P250 to P43,000 a bottle, BWP covers almost all wine categories with everyday wines at P250 to P700, mid-special at P800 to P2,000, and super special at P2,000 up.
They also offer wine tasting at the shop for as low as P18.
Perdices said BWP is one of the largest wine distributors in the Visayas and Mindanao and houses a collection of quality wines and covers almost all price points.
“We’re a company looking to be known for as a fine wine merchant and a big part of what we do is to build the business based on volume rather than margin,” Eulenhoefer said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2013.