Organic wine sales are predicted to rise from a 2.8% share of world wine sales to 4% by 2024 according to IWSR, with Australia among the countries leading the charge.
Daniel Mettyear, IWSR’s head of wine, told a Harpers webinar last year that health concerns around COVID-19 are continuing to boost consumer appetite for organic produce, including wine. He said the trend was “absolutely massive” in key markets such as Germany, France, the US and UK, while countries such as Sweden and Australia were huge adopters (at 22% and 11% growth respectively).
This week, Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) revealed its organic wine sales have increased more than five times (+523%) in the 12 months ending January 2021.
Across its 1400+ stores, which include retail banners Bottlemart, SipnSave, Harry Brown, and Thirsty Camel in Western Australia, the organic wine segment has proven to be a growing area of interest among LMG’s shoppers. Organic wine has increased its share of dollar sales to 2% of total LMG bottled wine sales (up from 0.5% two years ago) and now represents 5% of the category’s overall dollar growth.
LMG’s National Merchandise Manager for Wine, Matthew McEvoy, said: “The results we have seen for our organic wine range have been fantastic. LMG has been feeding the consumer demand for ‘better for you’ beverage options for some time now. It started with our strong focus on low carb beer a few years ago, followed by our expansion of no sugar RTDs. The feedback from our retail members was that we need to keep offering new products in this area as they are clearly resonating with shoppers.”
“We know a lot about who our shoppers are, so we worked closely with our key supplier partners to develop an Organic Wine Program that is tailored to each state’s specific shopper profile. It also provides new growth opportunities for our member stores.”
Own brands lead the way
Included in LMG’s organic wines range is Babich Wines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, exclusive to LMG, and launched in November 2020. The brand launched with an online campaign to increase awareness of the organic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc varietal in Bottlemart stores along the east coast of Australia.
McEvoy said: “Babich Wines has successfully added incremental value to our organic wine portfolio. Upon reviewing the results of the launch, it was quite interesting to see that the online campaign resonated the strongest among males aged 25-34.”
Also included in LMG’s Organic Wines is the Atmata range from 100% family-owned winery and Australia’s largest wine exporter, Casella Wines. Atmata is exclusive to independent retailers and was launched nationally across LMG’s Bottlemart stores in November 2020.
Brad Ipson, Casella Family Brands National Business Manager – Independents, said: “The grapes for Atmata are sourced from premium Australian organic vineyards. These wines have been crafted to deliver a product for consumers that fit their ever-changing needs and to respond to consumer trends of ethical engagement and health and wellbeing. Organic wines continue to become more popular with consumers as they seek out products that allow them to make a conscious choice. As we evolve, and premiumise our portfolio, brands like Atmata provide a great opportunity for us to support our customers.”
‘Significant growth’ for organic wine in the UK
It’s a similar story in the UK, where organic alcohol sales soared in the last year – beer, wine and spirits supermarket sales were up 32.9% for the 12 month period ending January 2, 2021, according to Nielsen.
“Organic wine has seen another year of significant growth at almost double that of non-organic during 2020,” said Finn Cottle, trade consultant, Soil Association Certification. “With a wider range of organic drinks available on supermarket shelves and online, shoppers are making informed choices that will benefit the planet and nature.
“It’s significant that in times of crisis, people are turning to organic products for the assurance of transparency, integrity and quality they provide.”