Morrisons wine sales up 3%

18 October, 2013

Morrisons said it is constantly growing market share of the wine category and sales are up 3% year on year.

Wine is currently worth £570 million a year to the retailer and it said it hopes an overhaul of its own-label offering will spark £100 million growth in its wine sales.

Own-label now accounts for 20% of the wine on-shelf, up from 12%, and it has introduced three new ranges – two entry-level tiers and a premium range.

Category manager Andrew Turner told OLN: “Own-label is really important in our overall strategy. We need own-label to push that gap to the £100 million mark.

“We are very ambitious for the new own-label. I will be extremely disappointed if own-label doesn’t drive the charge towards the £100 million figure.”

The wine sourcing team, led by head of wine operations Mark Jarman, has scoured the globe to find the new wines.

They are divided into the Chalk Board single variety entry-level range, a country-specific entry-level varietal range that will be merchandised within its country of origin, and a premium range called Signature.

Within the Signature tier each of the 65 new SKUs has a completely different label, with the only constant being the retailer’s signature at the bottom of the label.

The own-label range now goes from £4.49 bottles of Frascati or Côtes du Rhône up to Barolo and Châteauneuf-du-Pape at £14.99.

Jarman said: “The majority of our customers want to buy wine at around £5 – that’s the average price in the UK – and a lot of effort has gone into making our £5 wines really good.

“We have made huge steps but there’s still a huge amount left to do, which for me is extremely exciting because there’s still so much more to go at.”

The back label on each bottle features a food match, a snippet of trivia about the wine’s origin and a Taste Test score.

By answering three non-wine related questions, customers are allocated a number from 0 to 12 which sits within one of the four flavour profiles: sweet (0-3), fresh (4-6), smooth (7-9) and intense (10-12).

The Taste Test is licensed exclusively to Morrisons for the grocery sector by supplier Bibendum Wine and matches customers’ flavour profiles against a range of wines.

Turner said Morrisons is currently identifying 12 stores in which it will trial a scheme that merchandises wines by Taste Test score rather than colour, country and region.

Jarman added: “We recognise that we are on to something very successful with Taste Test. There’s a eureka moment among consumers who aren’t really sure what they like and come out of it almost preaching.”

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