McGuigan spins surplus alcohol into seltzer

One of Australia’s biggest global players in the no-alcohol wine market – Australian Vintage – has devised an ingenious strategy to use the alcohol it removes from its McGuigan Zero range.

Chief executive Craig Garvin told the Australian Financial Review the company was preparing to expand into other categories such as gin, pre-mixed spirits and seltzers using the alcohol collected in the production of McGuigan Zero.

McGuigan Zero is the biggest selling no-alcohol wine in Britain and Australia. Australian Vintage announced a record 79% rise in net profit for the 12 months to June 2021 – net profit after tax was $19.6 million, while total revenue was up $6.8 million to $274 million. The result is the highest AVL has achieved over the last 10 years and was attributed to the runaway success of brands including McGuigan Zero non-alcoholic wine range.

The McGuigan Zero range includes a sparkling, sauvignon blanc, rosé, chardonnay and shiraz. Garvin revealed that sales growth for McGuigan Zero had been above 50% in the December half.

The brand now represents 5% of all McGuigan brand sales into the UK, Europe and Americas, with sales growing $5 million over the prior period.

“The Australian zero alcohol wine category is worth more than $5.6million and growing at 500%, and with this we expect the category to be worth $15milion per year before the end of 2021,’’ AVL told The Australian recently.

Australian Vintage “spins” off the alcohol from McGuigan Zero at its Buronga winery near Mildura and Garvin said it made perfect sense to use it in other products.

Garvin added that the group was able to quickly formulate new products and would have its seltzer on the market in the next three months.

“There’s very low barriers to entry,” he said.

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