15th July, 2014 by Gabriel Stone
The success of this year’s Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire has helped boost UK sales of the event’s official wine sponsor Cono Sur by 73.6%.
The like-for-like value sales figures are drawn from Nielsen Scantrack off-trade data for the 52 weeks to 26 June 2014 and catapult Cono Sur into the position of fourth largest Chilean brand in the UK multiple grocer sector at a time when Chile as a whole is seeing UK sales decline by -0.5%.
The Concha y Toro-owned brand used the world’s most high profile cycling race as a marketing opportunity for its Bicicleta label, which featured Tour de France branding on bottles and was widely poured at the finish lines in Harrogate, Sheffield and London.
In addition Cono Sur took part in the publicity caravan which precedes the race and hosted a number of in-store events to coincide with the event.
Confirming that this connection with the Tour had played a “significant part” in the brand’s performance over the last year, Cono Sur’s UK marketing director Clare Griffiths explained the value of this particular tie in.
“We needed something with a big brand feel that could really excite consumers but also our customers,” she told the drinks business.
As for the scale of impact, Griffiths remarked: “It wasn’t just the weekend, but the event leading up to it and afterwards – and not just in Yorkshire but the reaction in the rest of the UK was amazing.”
Highlighting Cono Sur as a “key strategic brand” for the company, she confirmed its important role in fulfilling an ambition set out by Concha y Toro’s UK general manager Simon Doyle to double sales in this market in the next five years.
“We know how tough the UK market is but we’ve gone out there and been very open that we want to build the brand in the UK,” said Griffiths. “This has been a great way to demonstrate that and to drive category growth.”
Looking ahead to how Cono Sur can capitalise on this momentum, she confirmed that the brand was in the process of planning its next step, but noted: “We knew if we could just get distribution for the brand then it would build a good foundation for the future. We’re continuing to invest heavily in communicating with the consumer but also in talking to our key customers. Consumers have trialled the brand now so hopefully they’ll come back and buy it again.”