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Fruit-flavoured wines boom in Britain

Echo Falls Fruit Fusion is expected to sell more than 1m cases in the UK before the end of the year as fruit-flavoured wines boom in Britain.

Echo Falls Fruit Fusion has sold almost 700,000 cases since its launch in October last year

According to Accolade Wine’s UK MD Paul Schaafsma, Echo Falls Fruit Fusion – which comprises a range of fruit-flavoured wines between 9.5% and 11% abv – has already shifted 680,000 9-litre cases since its launch in October 2014, and it on course to break the million-case mark by October this year.

“We launched Echo Falls Fruit Fusion in Asda in October, but its now in Tesco and Morrisons too,” he said, drawing attention to the expanding distribution for the brand.

Explaining the appeal of the new product, Schaafsma said that the “newbie consumer” has quickly bought into the fruit-flavoured wine because they are accustomed to drinking flavoured alcoholic drinks.

“Consumers who have been drinking flavoured RTDs have seen Echo Falls Fruit Fusion and thought this is fantastic,” he recorded.

Continuing, he said it made wine more accessible to newcomers to the category. “Wine is a bit scary for some people and they don’t really know how the varieties taste, but Fruit Fusion makes it simple: it says that its tastes of peach and mango or summer berries, and we can get them into wine on the back of that.”

Providing a particular boost to the category has been Asda, which decided earlier this year to install dedicated fixtures in the majority of its supermarkets for fruit-flavoured wines, along with spritzes and low/lower alcohol wines.

Australian Vintage launched Summertime last week

Schaafsma said that the supermarket now has 23 different types of wine-based drinks in the new section.

Meanwhile, Julian Dyer, UK MD at Australian Vintage, said that Asda’s new bay for wine-based drinks was “to be celebrated” and that his company was launching its own range of sparkling fruit-flavoured wines – which were unveiled to the trade at last week’s London Wine Fair.

Called Summertime, the wine-based drinks come in three flavours: passion fruit, watermelon and mixed berry, and have just achieved distribution in Asda, according to Dyer.

“The newer drinker is coming into wine through flavours and sparkling from ciders and FABs [flavoured alcoholic beverages],” he said.

However, before Asda installed a dedicated fixture for the wine-based drinks, Dyer admitted that it was hard to launch wine-based drinks in the supermarket sector.

Félix Solís has just unveiled a sparkling Sangria called Frissé

“We were landing products in the market but with just one or two products the ripple effect was not very big, and the retailers didn’t know where to put them,” he said.

Continuing, he stated, “But now there are enough products to merchandise fruit-flavoured wine together, and supermarkets are recognising this as a segment in its own right; now is the moment.”

He also said that without such fruit-infused products, the wine category risks losing consumers to beer and cider.

“Wine-based drinks is a very viable category to bring the customer in and start them on their journey into wine,” he commented.

Spain’s Félix Solís also used the London Wine Fair to launch a new fruit-infused wine.

Called Frissé, the product is a sparkling Sangria with a 5% abv, which, like Echo Falls Fruit Infusion and Summertime will be sold in Asda.

“Everyone is getting excited about fruit-infused wine, but Spain has been doing it for years with Sangria,” said Richard Cochrane, managing director, Félix Solís UK, explaining his motivation to bring such a product to the UK.

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