Australian Vintage is predicting mid-strength wine will take a 25% share of the category and is releasing a series of new products to capitalise on the trend.
CEO Craig Garvin told the Australian Financial Review that mid-strength growth was being fuelled by interest in health and wellness, changing preferences among the younger demographic and new taxes by the British government that target higher alcohol wines.
“All of the data tells us that it’s the growth of the future,” Garvin said.
he company’s releases in the mid-strength category include Tempus Two’s Lighten Up, a 6.8% wine range aimed at Gen Z and Millennials, and McGuigan Black Label Mid, which is 20% lighter in both calories and alcohol.
Australian Vintage also distributes Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sevenly by Invivo range, which offers 7% wines, in Australia.
McGuigan Black Label Mid has been created using Australian Vintage’s unique spinning cone technology. In a recent blind taste testing against the original, 80% of consumers were surprised at their preference for the new Mid over the classic full strength. Additionally, nine out of 10 said they’d consider buying the new McGuigan Black Label Mid for healthier consumption of alcohol.
Each bottle of McGuigan Black Label Mid, the winemakers has 5.8 standard drinks and 9.8% alcohol.
Australian Vintage Chief Marketing Officer Tom Dusseldorp said: “McGuigan Black Label has been a staple in Australian households for nearly 30 years and McGuigan has a rich heritage of winemaking credentials. As cultural and societal attitudes shift towards a more conscious consumption of alcohol, we want our customers to still be able to enjoy the full-bodied
flavours that Black Label offers, just tailored for mindful moderation.”
With consumer moderation driving category growth – mid-strength beer now accounts for 25% of the beer category – Australian Vintage anticipates wine to follow suit, with ‘lighter’ wine growing at 14% comparatively to total ‘wine’ which is growing at just 2%.
Research commissioned by partner DrinkWise Australia also found a third of Australians (37%) who have reduced their alcohol consumption are using low and non-alcoholic options to cut back.
Dusseldorp said: “McGuigan has already seen great success adapting to the new societal norms, with McGuigan Zero fast becoming Australia and the UK’s number one selling no-alcohol wine range.
“McGuigan Black Label Mid is the natural choice for consumers who are looking for a modern drinking experience and for Boomers who are becoming more health conscious.”
New zero alcohol wine on the way
Australian Vintage has also developed a zero-alcohol brand called Not Guilty, which will arrive on shelves in June.
Garvin told the Australian Financial Review that the range was particularly targeted at the under-30s, and comes with an irreverent, light-hearted label featuring a panda, dog, monkey or rabbit depending on the wine style, which will include rose, sauvignon blanc and sparkling varieties.
“It’s a standalone new brand. The whole point is to grab the attention,” he said.