The Role of Intermediaries in the International Wine Trade. The case of Spanish wines being imported to Sweden

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: G. Amkell-­‐ Landrén and W. Fri – Master Thesis Project 2015 2 Abstract Intermediaries are crucial in the international wine industry and previous studies have pointed out the lack of research regarding these types of intermediaries. This study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the matchmaking process between Spanish wine producers and buyers in the Swedish market, namely the hotel, restaurant and café (Ho.Re.Ca) segment and the alcohol retail monopoly Systembolaget. The investigation is based on a pilot study, seven interviews with intermediating wine agents and two interviews with Spanish wine producers. On the buyer side, one interview with a representative of the Ho.Re.Ca segment as well as an interview with the Swedish alcohol retail monopoly Systembolaget has been conducted. Based on existing research we have found that trust and commitment in business relationship are crucial for intermediaries in the wine industry together with reducing the uncertainty in the matchmaking process. The main outcomes of this study are, firstly, that the intermediating wine agents must take a proactive approach towards buyers and suppliers. Secondly, that the business relationships are largely impacted by laws and regulations in the highly complex international wine market. Lastly, the expertise of the intermediating wine agent is an important differentiator for successful intermediation in the wine industry alongside with the track record of the intermediating wine agent.

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