African Roots Wines to savour fruits of labour with Walmart deal

Friday, 12 July, 2013
Bekezela Phakathi, BDLive
African Roots Wines, a black economic empowerment company based in the Western Cape, signed a "lifelong" deal in July to supply US retail giant Walmart with its locally produced wine, Seven Sisters.
The deal, which could be worth millions of rand once all the details are finalised, is likely to change the fortunes of African Roots, which has struggled to penetrate the local wine market traditionally dominated by white males.

African Roots Wines, owned by seven sisters, each of whom have a stake in the business, has a turnover of more than R2m a year. The company will this month be shipping the first order of more than 5,000 nine-litre cases of their wine to the US retail giant.

South African wine exports have steadily increased in recent times. According to Wines of South Africa, the wine industry association, South Africa’s wine exports increased the most since 2008 in the first half of this year, bolstered by a better harvest and a weaker rand that made the price of locally produced goods more attractive. Total shipments climbed 40% in the six months through June.

The UK, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands remain the four biggest markets for packaged wine, while sales to China increased 36% and to Nigeria by 50%.

African Roots Wines founder member and CEO Vivian Kleynhans said on Thursday that the deal with Walmart was significant for the company which has struggled to penetrate the local market since 2005.

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