Accolade targets on-trade growth with new Hardys ‘Foodie’ range

Accolade Wines is ramping up its on-trade ambitions as it launches an exclusive range of ‘Foodie’ wines for restaurants and bars that highlights what meat the wines should be paired with.

The new ‘Foodies Range’, which is available exclusively to the on-trade from the end of April and is being distributed by Matthew Clark and Heineken, comprises three of the brand’s most popular skus, a Shiraz, a Chardonnay and a rosé.

The woodcut-style labels indicate the best meal to pair the wine with, with the Shiraz featuring a cow on the label, the Chardonnay, a chicken and the rose, a fish.

The brands says the move is based on “extensive” category insight and consumer research that shows UK consumers have little knowledge about choosing wine when dining out.

It said two thirds of drinkers surveyed do not feel confident about their choice of wine when they dine out, rising to 86% of 18 – 24 year olds (according to CGA Strategy MAT 14th July 2018).

Marketing director David White said the range would ensure on-trade customers feel confident and knowledgeable about the wine they choose with food.

“The Foodies Range aims to encourage diners to spend more on wine in outlets, through providing consumers and bar staff with simple and delicious wine pairing recommendations for popular menu options,” he said.

According to Nielsen, Hardy’s is the UK’s biggest off-trade brand, growing 3.6% year-on-year (Nielsen 52 week ending 23.03.19) and bought by 4.7 million UK households, according to Kantar (52 weeks ending 24.03.19). However, it follows a dip in retail sales in 2017, which saw the brand fall 11.6% to £ 36.5m, on volumes down 13.2% according to trade publication The Grocer, which was attributed to Sainsbury’s slashing Hardy’s skus from 13 to 4, (a total of around 600,000 cases).

Last January the company launched a fine wine arm in the UK and Ireland, Fine Wine Partners to “champion” the top-end range of its portfolio, which includes Petaluma and Stonier. The move followed the company’s acquisition of  Fine Wine Partners from Lion Nathan in 2017, and aimed at specialist, prestige and independent accounts in the on- and off-trade, as well as overseeing its e-commerce site,1853 Wine Club and its Weybridge wine shop.

In March, the UK arm of the Australian wine giant reported profits up 175% to £11,5 million in the 12 months to, up from £4,1 million the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Turnover also rose 0.72% to £477 million.

The Australian company was acquired by US private equity firm the Carlyle Group, for AU$1 billion (£548 million) last April.

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