The Netherlands is one of the largest wine importers in Europe (top 8), an industrialized nation with a GDP of $865.9 billion, high purchasing power and a very modest internal wine production.
The Dutch market is dominated by off-trade (grocery, independent retail etc.) and the largest players that share the market are Albert Heinj, Superunie and Jumbo. Smaller specialists handle the rest of about 10% of the sales. This could be a problem for some producers as the promotional fees charged by the supermarkets can be quite high. Exclusivity is also usually a requirement, as well as the possibility to supply large volumes.
Dealing with importers can be a better strategy, especially for smaller producers or for those coming from lesser known markets. They can help in keeping the costs manageable and in intermediating the deals with the supermarkets. An up to date list of wine importers from the Netherlands is available from BestWineImporters.
According to statistics, red wine is still preferred by more than 50% of consumers, followed closely by white. Rose only represents around 10% of purchases. The trend is changing however, with a constant growth being experienced in white wine consumption.
The Dutch show an increased interest in wine, but growth is still quite slow in some categories. The most promising numbers come from the premium segment, where we can see a close to 17% increase per year in the last few years.
Netherlands has a quite distinct import pattern compared to other European countries like Germany or the UK. Its historical ties with various regions around the world mean that wines from South Africa or Spain are very popular, for example. French wine is leading the top, but the large market share for wine for Chile should also be mentioned. Wine imports from Australia are also showing growth.