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Morrisons focuses on affordable treats with new lower priced premium range

Morrisons has upped its focus on premium wines for Christmas – but has lowered the price range of the top tiers considerably and boosted distribution to make affordable treats more available to a greater number of people.

Speaking to the drinks business at its recent press tasting that highlighted around 40 wines new to the range, Mark Jarman, head of wine operations, said that although people may be facing difficulties due to the cost of living squeeze, it wanted its customers to “enjoy great wine without compromising on quality” at all price points.

“Customers are cost conscious and will be more going into the Christmas trading season so the value offer will sell well,” he said. “But we are also catering for people who don’t want to spend £49 on a Gevrey-Chambertin so we’re offering an affordable trade up on treats, and indulgence at a more affordable price,” he said. “These is still the propensity for customers to trade up at Christmas, so the new premium offer will fulfil those needs by allowing people to indulge in a treat without having to pay as much as they did in the past.”

Jarman confirmed that whereas premium wines were previously distributed in 40 stores priced £22-£45, this has moved down in terms of price point, and the new 12-strong range of premium wines (nine of which are totally new) was selling for £13- £25 and had also gone into broader distribution.

“Hopefully we’re offering more customers the opportunity to trade up to less expensive premium wines, but they are still wines that offer great value for money and are still treat items,” he said.

The new wines comprise five French wines,  including Domaine la Bruyère Touraine Chenonceaux (RRP: £13) from the Loire, a white Burgundy Domaine Morel Pouilly Fuisse (RRP: £25),and Chapoutier Vacquyras from the Rhone (RRP: £20), a new Spanish Marques de los Rios Rioja Blanco in Morrisons’ own label The Best range (RP: £13), an American Chardonnay from Monterey, Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay (RRP: £24),  Jim Barry Single Vineyard Shiraz from Australia’s Clare Valley (RRP: 21) and Trivento Golden Reserve from Lujan de Cuyo (RRP: £16).

At the other end of the value proposition, the team has added four new wines at around, including an Italian Pinot Grigio (RRP: £5) and two wines from Bulgaria, Silver Mine Sauvignon Blanc and Silver Mine Chardonnay (RRP: both 4.79 each). While the proportion of wines in terms of their value has remained “broadly similar” Jarman noted, “we’ve worked hard to source what we consider to be great value items.”

Focus on Spain

The retail has revamped its range of wines from Spanish regions outside Rioja, as well as Portugal to offer greater diversity of styles, with new wines from Toro and a Ribera del Duero under it’s The Best own label range, Dão and Vinho Verde.

“The interesting Portugal is probably the most exciting – as we can see a genuine customer demand that is translating into a genuine need to increase our range count in Portugal,” Jarman noted.

It has added a Cidade Branca Lisboa White (RRP: £8), a Portuguese Alvarinho in The Best range (RRP: £7.50), as well as a Maremal Albarino from Spain (RRP: £12), Pata Negro Toro (RRP: £8), and a Reino de la Vina Rioja (RRP: £6.75).

Other new additions include a sparkling wine from Moldova from producer Radacini (RRP: £7), an Italian fizz from Trento DOC, Ferrari Sparkling (RRP: £23) and Pale Fox Prosecco (RRP: £28) as well as Bollinger Special Cuvee Champagne Brut (RRP: £52) and two French wines from Wise Wolf,  a Chardonnay from Languedoc and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Languedoc-Rousillon (RRP: both £10). Made by producer Badet Clement, the wines are certified carbon neutral and come in striking round stumpy bottles that are made from 100 % post-consumer recycled (PCR) glass with 100% recycled plastic stoppers, and come with an outer cases made from 100%  recycled paper pulp.


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