The best-selling Spanish wine brands in UK retailersBy Arabella Mileham
Spanish wine has taken a bit of a beating in UK retailers, with overall volume sales falling in the last year. But, with the bulk of the market led by the unidentified generics and bulk, Spanish brands have been rather more bullish.
Across the overall Spanish category, volume sales fell -8.3% in the year to 10 September 2016 (Nielsen ScanTrack to WE 10.09.16), but this figure is dominated by the unidentified generics and bulk that make up a large proportion of the market. Nielsen data records a -11.4% fall in the volumes in generic and private labels, 11.4%, but there was better news for branded wines.
Read on for our round-up of the biggest-selling Spanish wine brands in UK retail. Sales figures are based on Nielsen ScanTrack week ending 10 September 2016.
Brand owner: Felix Solis Avanti
Value: -9.5% to £7.017 million
Volume: -3.1% to 156.6k 9L cases
Felix Solis Avanti’s Contenda brand, which is sold across the multiples at the entry-level end of the market has been hit by the evolution in retailers’ pricing strategies in particular the move towards EDLP (every day low pricing), according to managing director of Felix Solis UK Ltd, Richard Cochrane.
“Previously the range performed well at £5 and it was seen in store promoted to £4. The new EDLP position in 2016 of £3.75 and recently £4.25, has seen sales slow a little and illustrates the point of how important promotions have been for shoppers, even if promoted at higher absolute pricing,” he told db.
“This should not dissuade retailers from trying to reduce promotional dependency and in time shoppers will see the true value within ranges and shop them accordingly.”
Cochrane also noted good growth of the brand in sales at Sainsbury’s.
7. Baron de Ley
Brand owner: Baron de Ley
Value: +23% to £7.1233 million
Volume: +29.3% to 71.7k 9L cases
Baron de Ley saw positive gains during 2016, with a boost of nearly 30% in volume terms. The brand, which is distributed in the UK by Kingsland and available at Waitrose Cellar and The Co-op among others, was founded in 1985 in search of a new more “modern” Rioja wines. The brand points out that wines with a deeper colour, structure and concentration are in line with what consumers are currently looking for, and it has been scooping awards too, with the Reserva Rioja 2011 taking a gold award in the Drinks Business Rioja Masters in April.
6. Marques de Montino
Brand owner: Marques del Atrio, part of the Changyu Pioneer Wine Group
Value: -7.8% to £7.999 million
Volume: -7.1% to 123k 9L cases
Marques de Montino is owned by parent company Marques del Atrio, whose principal shareholder is Changyu Pioneer Wine, the biggest wine group in China. It has four wineries in Spain; two in Rioja (where it is among the five biggest producers), one in Navarra, and one in Utiel Requena. However volume and value sales fell this year, down nearly 8% from £7.9 million, down from £11.7 million two years ago, on volumes down from 188k 9L cases two years ago.
5. Castillo de Albai
Brand owner: Felix Solis Avantis
Value: +17.5% to £9.234 million
Volume: +23.4% to 143k 9L cases
The second Felix Solis Avanti-owned brand in the top eight, Castillo de Albai from Rioja has seen the benefits of customers trading up. Sales have been particularly strong of Castillo de Albai Rioja Reserva, which grew 24% in 2016 and Vina Albali Valdepenas Reserva which grew 14%. Nielsen data to September shows the value sales have almost trebled in the last two years to September while volume grew by around 87k 9L cases.
“The move to aged and premium wines has been a clear trend throughout the last 12 months,” UK md Richard Cochrane told db. “We have also seen tremendous growth in new product segments. Our Sangria brand Penasol is now market leader with 33% growth in 2016 and our Sparkling performance has been very exciting with growth of just over 87% in 2016. The latter shows the first sign of sparkling wine growth starting to migrate away from Northern Italy and the former the role established brands play in the fruit fusion category.”
The producer also has wineries in other Spanish regions including Valdepenas, Mancha, Ribera del Duero, Toro and Rueda.
Brand owner: Grupo Faustino
Value: +42% to 10.726 million
Volume: + 50% to 143k 9L cases
Bodegas Faustino’s flagship wine brand, which is represented by Cellar Trends in the UK, has seen a second strong volume and value growth, almost doubling its UK volume sales in the last two years, and adding £4.5 million of sales over that time, a trend that has accelerated in the last year. The flagship averages around £7.50 in the multiple grocers, with its Gran Reserva retailing at around £14 – £16.
The family-run bodegas, which is situated in the Alava are in the Basque Country in Rioja, was founded in 1861, making it one of the oldest Rioja producer. The wider group owns 758 ha of vineyards in Rioja (its Reserva and Gran Reserva lines are made from estate-grown grapes), with a total of 2,000 ha across five different DO regions, and seven wineries overall.
3. Carta Roja
Brand owner: Viniberia/ Ehrmanns
Value: – 11.7% to £11.151 million
Volume: -9.5% to 170k 9L cases
Traditionally made from Monastrell grapes, Carta Roja is produced by Jumilla-based Bodegas San Isidro in Murcia in the South of the country, although it is owned by Viniberia/ Ehrmanns. It was developed by Ehrmanns more than ten years ago specifically for the UK market, and has become a multi-award wine and the company’s best-selling brand for the last two years.
The brand’s range includes a Gran Reserva (widely sold in Sainsbury’s and probably its most well-known line), a Crianza and Caja Roja Joven BIB and is distributed through a variety of retailers, predominantly impulse, as well as online, through independent customers and J Sainsbury. (One can’t help wondering how many consumers think it is a Rioja and read a non-existent ‘i’ in the brand name).
This year saw volumes and values fall for the second year in a row, down from £15.4m two years ago – albeit falling less steeply.
Brand owner: Bodegas Torres
Value: +21.5% to £28.61 million
Volume: +24.8% to 429k 9L cases
Spanish wine producer Bodegas Torres had a strong year, with volumes and value up in the year to September 2016. Manuela Falcione, the Torres sernior brand manager at John E Fells & Sons Ltd noted the improvement in distribution of Sangre de Toro’s, which she said contributed to its volume growth, boosting value by nearly 25%.
“We are seeing consumers looking beyond Rioja but looking for something with recognition which Sangre de Toro offers in conjunction with great value,” she told db. “This coupled with the continued growth of Vina Sol which is well known and highly respected by consumers has also contributed towards an outstanding performance in 2016.”
1. Campo Viejo
Brand owner: Pernod Ricard
Value: +16.3% to £87.727 million
Volume: +13.7% to 1,071k 9L cases
Market leading brand Campo Viejo has benefited from the growing consumer interest in more premium Riojas and also enjoys strong market recognition.
Parent company Pernod Ricard attributes its continued growth, which it says has outperformed its competitors, to sustained long-term investment in brand communications and “experiential activity” – it has long been an advocate of consumer marketing events such as its ‘Summer of Colour’ Tour.
“By ensuring broad consumer visibility and demanding a higher price point, Campo Viejo positions itself at the entry level of the consumer ‘trade up’ decision,” Toni Ingram, Head of Marketing Wines and Champagnes, Pernod Ricard UK told db. “This strategy ensures that even though the market is in decline, we are seeing over 14% volume growth in the category.”
April saw a white Rioja – a Viura-Tempranillo Blanco – added to the range to tap into a growing trend.