The Aussie wines ruling British shelves

The Grocer‘s annual ranking of ‘Britain’s Biggest Alcohol Brands’ has revealed that three out of the four wines that made the top 20 were Aussie.

At No.8 and the first wine on the list is Hardy’s with £302.9 million in sales, it’s followed by Yellow Tail at No.10 with £241.8 million and at No.18 is McGuigan with £200.1 million.

While Yellow Tail and McGuigan sales were down year-on-year, Hardy’s recorded a 1.1% rise in sales.

“In 2021, Hardys was the only wine brand in this report’s top 30 not to pull in double-digit gains, as Brits continued to favour drinking at home,” The Grocer reported.

Accolade noted: “In a challenging year for the category, we’re thrilled to share that Hardys has grown in sales and volume to become the 8th biggest alcohol brand in the UK, and remain the UK’s biggest wine brand.

“The Grocer’s annual ‘Britain’s Biggest Alcohol Brands’ list showed that Hardys has bucked category trends, finding success with range extensions into zero alcohol and canned wines, and the landmark Hardys ‘Certainty’ campaign.

“Jam Shed continues to go from strength to strength as the second fastest-growing brand in the Top 100, rising 32 places to claim the 49th spot, with Mud House, Echo Falls, and Kumala all featuring in the list.”

Hardys marketing director Tom Smith branded it a “phenomenal performance in a category that’s been declining”.

The cost of living crisis has been one possible driver of sales for the UK’s biggest wine brand, he suggested. During times of economic uncertainty, people engage with brands “that are more trusted and stand for something”.

“What we do see and tend to see – and where we’ve had this before in terms of inflation – is, especially within off-trade, consumers revert to safer choices,” he said.

Hardys has played up the “consistency and quality” of its range in its first “really big above the line” campaign, Smith explained.

The £3million ‘Certainty’ campaign kicked off in March 2022 with “the message of Hardys being there at the important moments in your life”.

Sales were further buoyed by owner Accolade Wines’ rationalisation of the Hardys range, Smith says. Having had “an incredible number of tiers and sub-brands”, it’s been “honed down to those core tiers” of Stamp, VR and Crest. “You have a clearer architecture,” he adds.

As a result of all this “behaving like the number one brand”, Hardys has shifted an extra 700k litres in the past 12 months – the equivalent of 933.3k regular-sized bottles of wine.

Looking ahead, the brand aims to recruit new, younger shoppers with “exciting NPD”, says Smith.

In April, it unveiled Zero – a three-strong non-alcoholic range made with “cutting-edge” technology to dealcoholise regular wine.

A month later, Hardys brought out a trio of canned wines – Rosé, Chardonnay and Shiraz – to tap the “trend for moderation” as well as making wine more convenient for on-the-go occasions and events.

Kylie Minogue Wine sales surge by 314%

A little further down the Top 100 list were another slew of Aussie wines. 19 Crimes came in at £114.1, up £34 million (+42.4%); while at No.49 was Jam Shed at £75.6 million, up £31.5 (+71.2%); closely followed at No.50 by Wolf Blass at £73.8 million, down £16.6 million (−18.3%); and at No.93 was Oxford Landing with £33.8 million in sales, down £6.3 million (−15.7%).

The bolter on the list was Kylie Minogue’s wine brand, which is now worth £18.9 million, up £14.6 million, a staggering 338.1%.

Last year, Minogue’s Prosecco rosé became the UK’s number one brand after just 10 months on store shelves.

“I’m unbelievably humbled and thrilled by the global response to Kylie Minogue Wines,” Minogue said. :To sell over a million bottles in less than a year has been incredible, and testimony to the amazing producers and winemakers the brand has been lucky enough to work alongside.”

Coming in at No. 149 was Jacob’s Creek with £18.7 million in sales, down £8.4 (−31%).

(Source: Neilsen IQ, MAT 52 w/e 30 April 2022)

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