S. African Wine Company To Supply 500 Walmarts

S. African Wine Company To Supply 500 Walmarts

African Roots Wines, a South African black empowerment company that struggled to break into a market traditionally dominated by white males, has agreed to supply wine to 500  U.S. Walmart stores, according to a report in Business Day Live.

Based in the Western Cape, African Roots signed a deal in July to supply Walmart with its locally produced wine, Seven Sisters.

African Roots is owned by seven sisters with a turnover of more than $200,000 a year, the report says. The company is shipping its first order this month of more than 5,000 nine-liter cases of wine to U.S. Walmarts.

South Africa’s wine exports grew by 40 percent in the first half of 2013 – the biggest jump since 2008 – according to the wine industry association, Wines of South Africa. A good harvest and weaker rand are credited with helping make the price of locally produced goods more attractive, the report said.

South African wine sales to Nigeria have increased 50 percent and to China, 36 percent. The U.K., Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands are the four biggest markets for packaged wine.

African Roots struggled to penetrate the local market since 2005, said founder and CEO Vivian Kleynhans, in the report.

“The local wine market is already saturated and it is very difficult — especially for a black-owned company to break through,” Kleynhans said.

PB Liquors-Bidvest Group is the distributor for African Roots.

“Survival is all about competing in the global market,” Kleynhans said. “Being accepted by Walmart signals a turning point in how the local industry should view black-owned wine businesses.”

Walmart bought five out of the seven ranges of wines produced by African Roots, Kleynhans told Business Day Live. Walmart came to South Africa looking for supplier diversity, and “Seven Sisters Wine ticked all the boxes — female owned and a development project,” she said.

Michael Byron, senior director at Walmart, told Business Day Live the deal with African Roots Wines was strategic.

“Supplier diversity is important to our commitment to inclusion, community, and commerce,” Byron said in the report.