The Surprise Economic Benefit of a True Feel Good Story

By now, most people who keep regular contact with any of the internet, television, radios or other humans will have heard all about 'los 33,' the Chilean miners who suffered through a collapse and built their own (pre-war party break) Lord of the Flies-esque underground society. Undoubtedly they will know of the former professional soccer player and the jokester who kept spirits up. They have probably heard the story of the miner who had both his mistress and his angry wife waiting when he finally made it to the surface, a story which manages to put a smile on readers' faces if not those of the parties involved. Maybe readers have even heard of the bank accounts that have been put together for the miners, the offers to travel to soccer stadia around Europe and even an offer to attend the New York Marathon for 'the runner.'

Though things were pretty rough for the 33, they all survived in good physical condition and are none the worse for the wear with celebrity and riches at hand. Maybe some of this was to be expected, particularly after it became apparent that this was the rare international feel-good story for a world weary of terror threats, war, disease and civil unrest. However, in addition to the benefits the miners themselves are enjoying, some perhaps unexpected peripheral benefits of the situation are being realized as well.

In one such story, purchases of Chilean wine in the UK have apparently increased 23% year on year as the safe rescue of the group has stimulated celebratory sales. This is more than just a footnote, as wine makes up nearly 2% of the nation's exports. Though sales had been up generally, it does appear that customers have been demanding productos de Chile in larger quantities than in the past, and suppliers are obliging with targeted marketing, sales and promotions. The miner story rightfully produced smiles when it came to a storybook conclusion. Apparently it continues to do so, though if your author's memory of Chilean wine serves him well, some of these smiles may be a little redder now than they were at the outset...

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