Accolade Wines has revealed the trends it has seen in buying habits during COVID-19 and how the company is targeting wine shoppers.
Regional Managing Director ANZP Andrew Clarke told Drinks Guide that Accolade had experienced increased demand in cask and sub-$10 wines in glass during COVID-19.
“Overall, the impact of COVID-19, while still being assessed, has impacted wine drinkers’ spending patterns in an unprecedented way,” he added.
“We have seen wine shoppers reverting to strong legacy brands such as Hardys, Houghton and Banrock Station as they provide great value, quality and confidence.”
Accolade has also released one of its most popular budget-friendly wines in the UK, Jam Shed, into the Australian market.
Launched in 2017, the wine went on shelf in Australia earlier this month in the sub-$15 category.
In the UK, the Aussie shiraz blend has annual sales of 1.8 million bottles in sales, is the third largest contributor to wine category growth, and is ranked as the 15th largest Australian wine brand in the country, despite only having one SKU.
Jam Shed enjoyed a 137% growth spurt in 2019, more than doubling sales from £4.2million to £10million in the UK.
Accolade noted: “Our Jam Shed wine was created with one thing in mind: to craft uncomplicated, simple and delicious red wine that wine drinkers would love.
The wine has already hit the shelves of Liquorland and First Choice, and will appear in independent retailers shortly.
The new normal
IRI data also shows that consumer buying habits have changed dramatically since COVID-19 shutdown and may be “the new normal in a post COVID-19 world”.
According to IRI, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of household budgets, with a shift to preferring Australians products, which may also be driven by price.
Consumers are trading down to cheaper options, there has been a spike in private label, a preference for known brands and a migration to larger pack sizes and larger pack multiples.
It’s latest report – ‘FMCG In The ‘COVID-Quarter’ & Preparing For Recession’ – predicts that wine shoppers will be eliminating, postponing, decreasing, or substituting purchases moving forward.
“Some consumers will still seek premium products during a recession, but we have seen a reduced willingness to pay a price premium for better quality in 2020 compared to any of the last five years,” IRI said.
Accolade refocuses during COVID-19
Clarke told Drinks Guide that despite the challenges of COVID-19 it’s been a year of “positive transformation” for Accolade Wines.
“At a strategic level, we have continued on our growth pathways of expansion in selected markets such as Asia (particularly in China), leveraging our eight key ‘global’ brands with renewed ambition for growth and market share in Australia, the UK, and North America,” he said.
Accolade recently launched the “Your Venue, Our Shout” initiative to the on-premise trade in Australia.
The package is accessible to both existing and new customers, and is available until August 31 2020 across its extended portfolio of wines, including brands such as Grant Burge, Croser, Stonier, Hardys, Petaluma and House of Arras.
In addition to the stock replacement offer in the first month of re-opening, the “Your Venue, Our Shout” package offers On-Premise venues increased discounts on Accolade Wines’ most recent wholesale list price for the first six months after re-opening.
“With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, we were able to put the field force back out in the trade from May 18 across the country, enabling them to meet customers face-to-face for the first time since the lockdown began,” Clarke said.
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