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M&S signs with Kingsland for first carbonated wine

Marks & Spencer has signed a deal with bottling specialist Kingsland Drinks to develop a new carbonated pink fizz, which will go on shelf in June.

The new carbonated line, an 11% ABV Californian Muscat, is an extension of the retailers’ existing Wave Break range, which includes a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel Rosé and Merlot, and has been designed to target newbie wine consumers who are “risk averse”.

The Wave Break Pink Fizz is the first retailer exclusive to use Kingsland’s new carbonation line, which went live in mid-April, and was developed following a range review of M&S’s Californian wines, using Kingsland’s insight tool, WinePRO.

Kingsland’s marketing director Neil Anderson said it was delighted to be working with M&S to develop the sparkling line. “It’s a really exciting time for the wine industry and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this activity,” he said.

Speaking to db last month, he said there was growing demand from retailers to “sparkle-up” wines to tap into the enormous growth of sparkling wines, which had proved the “hero” of the BWS sector in the last few years. At this year’s London Wine Fair, the drinks company launched its own carbonated wines for its own brands, Shorn and Live.

“We have had a lot interest from major retailers in term of our sparkling lines and over the coming months you will see these launch in the market place,” he said. “Retailers are looking for credible alternatives to Prosecco, so it makes sense as a retailer to start looking where there is interest to sparkle key lines and have a sparkling version of its still lines.”

He pointed out that the sub-category included all the key consumer groups retailers wanted to appeal to, making it “of great interest” and had grown 16% year-on-year in value during 2015 (Kantar Worldpanel 52 weeks ending 31 January). The company’s research through WinePRO had also found more than three-quarters of consumers (82%) had said they would consider purchasing a sparkling version of their favourite wine if it cost only £1 more.

“If consumers trust their favourite retailer exclusives, they will be tempted to buy a sparkling version,” he added.

Anderson added that Kingsland is looking at other ways to bring younger consumers and millenials into the category by making sparkling more of an “everyday drink”, pointing out that despite the strong growth of sparkling, its penetration was still lower than cider or beer.

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