Wine group targets younger adults in bid to become top UK supplier

05 April, 2013

FE Barber aims to become the UK’s biggest wine supplier by offering retailers a “one-stop shop” and targeting younger consumers with bright bottles, quirky brands and social media.

The group includes Kingsland Wine Estates and Legacy Wines, which was launched in 2012 to offer a New World portfolio from South Africa, New Zealand, US, Chile, and Australia.

Its brands include Shorn, Juicy Grape and Board Meeting, which are aimed at younger adults.

Australian brand Board Meeting’s labels feature bikini-clad surfers riding waves, while New Zealand brand Shorn uses sheep puns in a bid to attract younger consumers.

Group marketing manager Laura Delooze said: “There is so much branded wine going cheap, so it’s difficult. But Shorn has been listed nationwide by Bargain Booze and Board Meeting and Juicy Grape are picking up big cash and carry listings.

“Brands for the younger consumer represent a big opportunity. We are trying to engage them more in the wine category with QR codes and Facebook and Twitter pages. Not a lot of wine companies are doing that well on social media – we have got more followers than some of the big brands.

“The wine is also really good quality and over-delivers on price.”

Delooze said that, while these brands are doing well in impulse and convenience, the Kingsland portfolio – which includes brands from Australia, California, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain – is thriving at major multiples such as Tesco.

She added that, with the purchase of Stratford’s Wine Agencies, which FE Barber bought from administration in September 2012, the group is targeting independent wine merchants to complete the off-trade set.

She said: “Our idea is to become a one-stop shop to offer customers whatever they want from any country.

“Historically we have always been quite New World-focused, but we are looking at the Old World now to get that one-stop shop.”

Plans for expansion also include potential new ranges from Chile and South Africa.

“We are looking at things at the moment,” said Delooze, who was speaking at Prowein, where the group had taken its biggest-ever stand.

“I think we can become the UK’s biggest supplier.

“We have a good team with a lot of expertise and now this whole branded offering.

“We are in growth. We are not struggling. It’s a difficult market and a tough economy but we are doing well.”

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