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Australia – Trade Talk

We asked: “Is Australia still fighting the onslaught from other wine-producing nations effectively?”

“From our experience, Australia is still fighting its corner quite well. Winemakers there are currently producing excellent wines at prices that have that ‘competitive edge’ and are always of interest to the mass UK wine market. The quality of these wines currently represents tremendous value for money and provides a great bargain for the consumer.  At the higher price points, Australians are exploring distinguishing marketing factors in their wines by introducing consumers to ‘boutique’ growing areas and educating them on the differences between the various wine-growing regions.”
Pamela Dunn, marketing manager, PLB

“Australia is still facing robust competition from the US, Chile and South Africa, as well as clear signs that parts of the Old World (Spain and Italy) are starting to fight back. However, Australia’s competitive position remains strong due to its proactive relationship and attitude to the marketplace. If it is to maintain its competitive edge and position, Australia must remain at the forefront of the consumer in terms of product depth and diversity, consistent quality at all given price points and hands-on promotional work. These advantages will come under increasing competition, but Australia is well placed to seize further market share as the leader of New World producers.”
Andrew Blythe, general manager, Palandri Wines Europe

“Australia is the firm leader in the UK off-trade, currently selling more than 20% of total wine in this sector. Australia has been skillful in capturing the consumer through price promotion and thanks to its strong brand representation (six of the top-50 brands are Australian). The consumer continues to be lured by the Australian contribution, evident from annual sales increases, but Australia must keep its offering fresh and appealing. Rosé, for example, is underdeveloped territory for Australia and shows great promise. This is why we introduced NXG Stockmans Post rosé – its success demonstrates the consumer’s ongoing eagerness to have something new from Australia.”
Greg Wilkins, director, BrandPhoenix

“The UK will always be a competitive wine market, and Australia still has much to offer. We anticipate continued brand-led growth in the off-trade, with excellent opportunities in the on-trade (where we currently underperform) with our regional styles. Significant opportunities also exist in the premium segment, and Australia will continue to develop new and exciting wine styles reflecting our consistent climate and regional diversity, plus our ability to work without many of the Old World appellation restrictions.”
Martin Strachan, managing director, Negociants UK

“With growth figures double that of the total market (ACNielsen MAT March 2006) it is hard to say that Australia is not effectively fighting the onslaught of the competition. In fact it is only the 2p drop in average bottle price to £4.28 which blemishes the off-trade picture. Even previously sluggish rosé sales are beginning to pick up and match total market growth. While concentrating on the obviously important potential growth areas of the ‘premium sector’ and the on-trade, Australia must not neglect the bread and butter channels and price categories which have put it in its enviable position.”
Rupert Lovie, marketing director, D&D Wines

“Competition is inevitable, but Australia remains the New World leader on quality, style and value. The biggest danger remains complacency, but Australian winemakers continue to look for improvements and innovations to keep ahead of the game.”
Graham Cranswick-Smith, managing director, Kingston Estate Wines

db May 2006

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