Before joining Félix Solís Avantis as assistant to the National Trade Director for Food, and as International Trade Director, Félix Solís Ramos worked for renowned international companies in the distribution industry. He has a degree in Economics and Business Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid and has an MBA from IESE in Barcelona.
Operating in more than 115 countries, Féliz Solís Avantis is a leader in the international wine sector. What are the main milestones in the company’s international expansion?
Founded in 1952, Félix Solís is a family company with vineyards in the main denominations of origin: Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Valdepeñas, Mancha and Toro, with leading brands in each one: Viña Albali, Los Molinos, Altos de Tamaron, Blume, Castillo de Albai, Bajoz, etc.
Knowing how to diversify and enhance products in the different DOs, as well as working hard on our commercial network, has allowed us to open many doors onto the different markets and in different price segments. Félix Solís products are currently sold in over 120 countries around the world.
The company also has subsidiaries in three continents: Europe – Germany, the UK and the Czech Republic– America – two in the US –and Asia –two in China – as well as representative offices in Mexico and Japan and a project for a vineyard in Chile. This international expansion has allowed Félix Solís to position itself among the 10 main wine sellers in the world.
What are your biggest markets at the moment, and which are your future markets?
Spain, our domestic market, with a leading position in numerous categories, is still the largest market with around 40% of our turnover, something we consider to be key. Obviously, markets abroad still provide continuous growth and long term development, and we trust that before long it will represent 70% of our turnover. The strongest markets of these are the EU, the USA, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Ivory Coast…
How do you manage your brand architecture?
In an atomised a market as the wine industry, the emphasis on our main brands must be complemented with controlled diversification. For this reason the company has over 1,500 finished products around the world. This is necessary as markets differ greatly and we need to know how to adapt to consumer needs.
Innovation forms part of the company’s DNA, a strategy that allows us to make the most of new trends or niche opportunities.
Do you operate abroad with your entire brand portfolio? How?
The portfolio available in each country is the result of in-depyh work by the commercial network which assesses, offers and builds up an appropriate product portfolio to cover all market needs, always giving priority to our main brands.
There are global brands, such as Viña Albali or Peñasol that can be found on practically every market.
What does the Pagos del Rey Vine Museum mean to the company?
The museum represents the return of over 50 years’ trust in our company and our wines. Through our cultural and wine tourism project in Morales de Toro (Zamora), we disseminate the tradition and culture of wine from an old winery that we have recovered as a space to stimulate the world of wine and tourism in the area. In the almost three years that have passed since we opened the Museum in February 2014, almost 35,000 people have visited our facilities; this allows us to have direct contact with the public and convey to them our company values such as tradition, history, family, environment, effort and teamwork. The museum also acts as the company image through its education, gastronomy and cultural programmes where wine plays a leading role, or just the excuse to enjoy and experience all the sensations that Félix Solís Avantis can transmit through its products.
What challenges will the company face in 2017?
Maintaining constant growth in sales with a strong focus on the main brands in each category.
To continue strengthening our own production structures in different wineries in Spain within the framework of an investment of over 30 million Euros; as well as the implementation of the latest technologies in our information systems.
Furthermore, the company’s long-term vision will allow us to develop our own vineyard in Chile in 2017.