Specialists take brunt of sales dips

11 July, 2008

Half the top 50 brands lose ground over year

The multiple specialists are seemingly always in the process of

painstaking efforts to re-engineer their wine ranges. If the Nielsen stats are anything to go by, there is clearly a lot more tinkering to be done: a 3% decline in a market that's rising by 5% is not good news, whichever way you look at it.

The multiple specialists are calculated to have £482 million-worth of wine sales, down from £495 million a year ago. The figure equates to a little over 10% of the off-trade wine market.

Seven of the top 10 brands saw their sales fall in the specialist sector - a pretty horrendous state of affairs - and, in fact, only half the brands in the top 50 saw growth of any kind.

Market leader Gallo retains its crown, but only because its sales decline was not as severe as that reported by leading challenger Blossom Hill. Even Fiordaliso, which catapulted itself from nowhere to third position in last year's chart, suffered a 12% downturn as Threshers shoppers found other ways of entertaining themselves.

The gloom should not disguise some star performances: First Cape breaks into the top 10 after managing to double its sales , and Echo Falls marches up the

table with a

133% upturn. There are impressive showings from some of the big-name brands, such as Concha y Toro, Villa Maria, Campo Viejo and Banrock Station, but beyond that

the growth is coming from such a small base

it would be misguided to get too enthusiastic .

The New World dominates , taking just over two-thirds of the places available, and Fiordaliso does not seem in immediate danger of being joined in the top 10 by a fellow European brand. Campo Viejo perhaps has the best chance of achieving this - it was in ninth place as recently as 2006 and has sales value not far behind Echo Falls in 10th position.

To achieve success in the multiple specialist sector requires considerably fewer sales than would be necessary to make a big splash in the supermarkets, or in the market as a whole. For example, the sales required by Gallo to take the top position in the specialists would only get it to 16th spot in the multiple grocers' chart (where Oyster Bay currently resides) or 18th position in the overall league table (Montana's 2008 home).

Missing in action this year are Babich, Santa Rita, NXG, Montes and Sileni. Also gone from this year's chart is Piat d'Or - a brand that led the market in 1988.

Twenty years is a long time in drinks retailing - and many in the multiple specialist sector will be all too aware of how much things can change in just 12 months.

Top 50 wine brands in multiple specialists

Position

Brand Change % Position Brand Change %

Year to 14 June 2008 (Position in OLN Wine Report 2007 in brackets)

1 (1)

Gallo

-13

2

(2)

Blossom Hill

-14

3

(3)

Fiordaliso

-12

4

(4)

Hardys

-10

5

(5)

Jacob's Creek

-20

6

(7)

Wolf Blass

1

7

(6)

Stowells

-34

8

(16)

First Cape

102

9

(8)

Montana

-9

10

(23)

Echo Falls

133

11

(10)

Concha y Toro

19

12

(9)

Villa Maria

11

13

(11)

Campo Viejo

17

14

(12)

Lindemans

0

15

(14)

Oyster Bay

3

16

(17)

Torres

14

17

(15)

Georges Duboeuf

1

18

(25)

Banrock Station

40

19

(-)

Arrival*

-42

20

(13)

Louis Jadot

-19

21

(20)

Errazuriz

-5

22

(-)

McGuigan

9

23

(19)

Vineyard X

-9

24

(-)

Barefoot

171

25

(-)

Southbank

156

26

(35)

JP Chenet

24

27

(27)

Louis Latour

-5

28

(26)

Flinders

-16

29

(22)

Faustino

-23

30

(29)

La Châsse du Pape

-3

31

(28)

Cuvée de Richard

-12

32

(21)

Kumala

-25

33

(38)

Porta

33

34

(32)

Penfolds

-7

35

(37)

Coldridge Estate

2

36

(39)

Neblina

7

37

(-)

Fairview Estate

69

38

(-)

Canti

175

39

(44)

Marqués de la Concordia

4

40

(-)

Cantina Breganze

66

41

(48)

Berberana

33

42

(-)

Rocco Bay

97

43

(45)

Oxford Landing

0

44

(41)

Pasqua

-8

45

(42)

Santa Rita

-4

46

(-)

Nobilo*

-19

47

(-)

Cono Sur

26

48

(-)

Stoneleigh

103

49

(-)

Marqués de Griñon

20

50

(40)

Robertson

-19




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