Founded in 1946, Zamora Company has become one of the main groups in the sector, not only in Spain but in more than 80 markets with more than 15 brands. How has the company evolved over the years?
Zamora Company is a family-owned business that is now in its third generation. It is based in Cartagena. At the beginning it was local, and then it went regional and national. In 1970, it finally went international. Currently, more than 85% of its billing is generated outside of Spain. We have slowly enhanced our basic catalogue of premium spirits with those from other countries. In 1999, we joined the world of wine. Today, Zamora Company is the number-one brand from La Rioja and one of the most recognized Spanish brands in the world, being one of the 50 most recognized wineries. Moreover, we entered Rías Baixas with Mar de Frades, which is the second-most recognized albariño brand. Our mission is to offer quality experiences to our customers. We do not sell products, but rather experiences and moments. Moreover, we do it in a responsible and sustainable manner.
How to you add that sense of experience to your product?
We sell products that people do not need but want. Customers want to share moments with people who are important to them. We understand the consumer and adapt to them. The 30-year-old consumer is entirely different from an older one. There are also customers who want exclusivity and sophistication, for example, on their anniversary. Other moments are the everyday happenings, for example, a normal Wednesday dinner at home. We want our brands to induce a moment to relax and enjoy.
The 85% of the sales comes from the brand Licor 43. In general, what is the percentage of sales between local and international, and how does your strategy work?
The percentage is 50/50 approximately. If we compare Spain to the global consumption of premium wines and drinks, it does not reach 4%. We are setting up companies in the most relevant countries to strengthen development. For example, we have our own company of about 40 people in the US. Our main markets are Germany, Mexico, the UK, the Netherlands, and Australia.
In 2019, Zamora Company closed with a turnover growth of 6.3%. How did you close 2020?
There was an impact in 2020 due to COVID-19. We grew by 18% in March, but in April we fell by 76%. We closed the year with a 17% loss. Our target group is people that get together to have fun with their friends and loved ones. If there is no catering industry, these moments do not occur, and, therefore, there is no consumption. The impact was caused by three main variables. The first is geography; places where the catering industry is relevant suffered heavily. In Spain, 80% of our business is dedicated to the catering industry. Second, in uncertain times, consumers seek brands that give them security and are less willing to try new things. That is why in the markets where we had more established brands, our strategy has worked better. Third, consumption was higher in countries where citizens had greater peace of mind in terms of the handling of the pandemic.
You were appointed FEV president in November. What is your vision for the sector in terms of the importance of sustainability and digitalization?
Wine is an essential sector, and it is particularly important for the creation of the Spanish brand. We have a fully capitalized sector with many small wineries. In Spain, we have 4,600 wineries with excellent quality but little ability to create brands. Brands are in the mind of consumers when they see a product. In a sector as fragmented as the wine industry, the most important thing is to offer value. The objective is to add value to the high-quality Spanish wine and promote the brand and the value of the Spanish wine brand. This has a great deal to do with price. Wine is the solution to many problems, such as that of the abandoned areas of Spain, rural Spain, and the economic value chain. Spain has more vineyards that any other country in the world. Spanish wine needs Spanish food, brand, and digital transformation. The two most important words are digital transformation and sustainability.
70% of the company's energy comes from renewable sources, and 99% of its waste can be reused for other uses. By 2025, Zamora Company commits to 90% of the energy used coming from renewable sources. What is your view and strategy in terms of sustainability?
It is clear to consumers that their consumption has an impact on the environment. Each consumer values certain things. Young people are highly conscious of all this. Companies have no choice but to listen to consumers and act. We want to reduce unsustainable uses, for instance, changing plastic labels for biodegradable ones, making lighter bottles, and using recyclable cardboard and less ink on our boxes. We started with all of this a year and a half ago, and it is becoming less difficult than expected because workers, just like consumers, are aware. The lack of water is a reality. If something does not change in Spain, we will be significantly worse off in 50 years' time.
What is Zamora Company's main priority for 2021?
2020 has been the most uncertain year since the Civil War. In 2021, we have two priorities. The first is to achieve a sense of health security and recover in terms of consumption. It is a turning point toward efficient stabilization. Digital transformation is a unique opportunity to interact with the consumer. Consumers want information about the brands, and if you do not give it to them, they will not buy. We want digital transformation, efficiency, a focus on building branded products and on our fundamental markets. Our markets will be the US, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, the UK, and Australia.