The Cape's whites represent 6.5% of the retailer's entire white wine sales, according to wine development manager Paul Bastard, who attributed their popularity to "good value for money". "It's not necessarily the big brands
driving sales . Our own-label and entry -level wines are phenomenal sellers," he said.
The Co-op has 23 South African white wines in its portfolio, 12 of which are
own-label, including the UK's first Fairtrade sparkling wine.
Available from this month and retailing for £7.99,
Cape Sparkling Brut is a traditional method 100% Chardonnay wine
from the Du Toitskloof co-operative in the Western Cape.
South African wine range represents 15.6% of its total wine sales, with strong growth of 16.3%, according to Nielsen figures for the year to Sept 6.
Ten Cape wines were on taste at the Co-op's autumn press tasting last week, including new
boxed Chardonnay and Shiraz from the Western Cape. The environmentally friendly and easily stackable boxes contain 1.5 litres of wine and retail for £8.99.
Manchester-based supplier Kingsland sa id the Balance
box is one -third lighter than the equivalent two glass bottles.
The Co-op's share of the off-trade wine market has increased in the
past year to what Bastard describes as a "record high" of 7.3%
- up from 7% a year ago. The Nielsen figures also show total wine value growth of 7%.
Bastard added that plans for
2009 include expanding the Co-op's branded Fairtrade offering and adding
an own-label Sauternes to its