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Move over Ouzo - Tsipouro eyes foreign markets

Featured Move over Ouzo - Tsipouro eyes foreign markets

Tsipouro claims its rightful place in the international markets, with companies producing spirits of grape wine origin considering extroversion as a one-way street.

For this reason, 21 tsipouros, fresh and aged, from 13 distilleries, members of the Greek Association of Distillers & Spirits (SEAOP) and the Union of Distillers of Grape Wine Products of Greece (ENAPAPE), were put under the microscope by experts in the international marketing of spirits "Burgundy School of Wine & Spirits Business" based in Dijon, with the aim of helping tsipouro to successfully penetrate foreign markets.

Based on the collaboration model established by the Hellenic Wine Association with the specific academic institution in recent years, the spirits program has two pillars: on the one hand, the research of international consumer attitudes towards tsipouro (fresh and aged) in relation to corresponding competing products other countries, with the aim of increasing its added value in general. On the other hand, especially for distilleries, the provision of specialized marketing and strategy advice, tailored to their individual needs.

Under the guidance of Mr. Chris McIndoe, a member of the Faculty's academic staff, 9 students of the MBA program from 8 different countries (Canada, Mexico, Russia, India, China, France, Taiwan) presented the multi-month study (which involved 13 Agricultural Wine Cooperatives and distillate companies) of the students who examined in two groups the particularities and dynamics of fresh and aged tsipouro.

They handed over to the representatives of each distillery a confidential study with an analysis of the company's data, data from international markets and specific proposals. This was followed by visits to businesses in the area of Tyrnavos and Volos as well as a tasting of the spirits.

The discovery of tsipouro

Program Manager Chris McIndoe said: “This training mission, created in partnership with the Burgundy School of Wine & Spirits Business, SEAOP and ENAPAPE, comes at the end of the Wine and Spirits MBA programme, as the culmination of a long-term advisory study'.

The director of the MBA Program – whose students participated in the program, Jacques Thebault pointed out that “in this, the third year of our collaboration with the Greek wine and spirits bodies, we have had the immense pleasure and privilege to work with several producers of wine and tsipouro in Thessaly. The discovery of tsipouro in particular was inspiring and our students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to study this wonderful spirit and assess its potential for further development in export markets. We want to thank the producers for their enthusiasm, generosity and support."

Mr. Theodoros Georgopoulos, a professor at the University of Reims and also at the Burgundy School of Wine & Spirits Business, expressed his satisfaction for the flawless execution of the program as well as his certainty that this initiative will find ground to bear fruit by satisfying the vital needs of distillers of the country but also to inspire the students of the famous School of Burgundy.

Extroversion is one way

The president of ENAPAPE, Mr. Dimitris Apostolakis, said: "Extroversion is, in our opinion, the only way forward for companies producing spirits of grape origin. Tsipouro and Tsikoudia must take their rightful place in the international markets and this specific study, which was carried out by the internationally renowned school of Bourgoundy Wine & Spirits Business, proved that with targeted actions it is possible to achieve this goal. It was therefore a beginning in a long-term effort which the two organizations SEAOP & ENAPAPE will intensify with further actions of such scope".

Finally the secretary gen. of SEAOP Mr. Nikos Katsaros, welcomed the proposal as an excellent opportunity for members of the Association and especially for new dynamic businesses in the sector to receive fresh ideas, know-how and advice from such an authoritative body. Based on this first experience, we hope that this cooperation will continue and that the program will be extended to other member companies.