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Pernod Ricard commits to ‘innovation’ on wine

French drinks group Pernod Ricard UK has named Lucy Bearman as the company’s wine director as it gains a “new focus” on its portfolio.

Bearman, who joined Pernod Ricard in 2012, will be orchestrate marketing campaigns for the company’s portfolio of wines, which includes Campo Viejo, Brancott Estate, Jacob’s Creek and Stoneleigh, and will develop new products to help grow the company’s market share in wine.

Her appointment comes after off-trade wine sales soared during lockdown while bars and restaurants were closed.

Speaking to the drinks business last week, Nielsen’s senior commercial business partner Gemma Cooper said that UK consumers had been trading up – and there was no sign of this growth slowing following the reopening of the on-trade last month.

“Wine in general has been one of the standout categories in the off-trade since lockdown began…making up a quarter of all growth,” she said.

Overall growth for wine was 26% up on the previous year, with rosé showing the strongest growth, up 39% to £403m. Red wine also grew, rising 24% to a value of £1.17, billion, just ahead of white wine, at 23% on the previous year, to £1.446bn in value sales. However growth has slowed following the opening of the on-trade, to around 30% for rosé, 22% for red wine, and 16% for white wine.

During a press conference on Wednesday (2 September), UK managing director David Haworth said that Pernod Ricard’s share of the wine market had been “stabilising” over the course of 2020, but added company now has “a new focus on wine and a lot of innovation in the pipeline.”

Since joining Pernod Ricard UK eight years ago, Bearman has held positions in marketing, category and customer development, and has worked as director of strategy, portfolio and insights. She will continue to work with the company’s marketing leadership team alongside her new role, where will report directly to Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ business acceleration director Darryn Hakof and marketing director Raja Banerji.

“Wine presents a huge opportunity and we are committed to maintaining our position as a key player in the category,” Banerji said, adding that Bearman’s appointment will enable Pernod Ricard to retain its “Spanish leadership position, accelerate our New Zealand portfolio and lead growth in the premium Australian category, further bolstering our already strong position in the off-trade.”

“We have a robust wine portfolio that is performing well, and we expect to continue that growth trajectory as we invest further in the category through marketing campaigns and a strong pipeline of innovation.”

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