McWilliam's rebrands to make Australian wine more exciting

08 May, 2014

Australian supplier McWilliam’s has revamped its entire portfolio to offer the UK market improved packaging and extra higher tier wines.

It said wants to break away from the “staid” and uninspiring Australian offering on UK shelves and drive value into the UK’s largest wine category.

Sales director James Roberts told OLN: “McWilliam’s is becoming more serious about its export agenda and putting continued investment into the UK market, and part of that is ensuring our portfolio is fit for purpose.

“We conducted quite a lot of consumer research into where we are appealing and where we want to appeal.

“People recognised the quality of the wine but didn’t feel the packaging reflected it and didn’t give the family-owner, sixth-generation winemaker thing. That wasn’t coming through.

“So we had a big packaging redesign. We thought about consumer segments where we didn’t have a proposition and we introduced new tiers.”

The revamped ranges are now available in the UK via agent Kingsland, and a new Appellation tier which comprises single varietal wines from high altitude vineyards in Tumbarumba, Orange, Canberra and Hilltops will be released soon.

Roberts said: “We want to resonate more with independent specialists.

“We have been quite grocer-centric for quite a long time and if you want to build a brand you want to do it across the channels.

“We have been on a journey in getting the proposition right and we are going out and talking to people about that.

“We are absolutely confident this is going to lead to more sales.

“When you look at the proposition on the shelf before, it sold, but now the packaging is better and the halo effect from the higher tier wines will help so we are confident.

McWilliam’s has all the ingredients to be a really credible player in the market. We just needed to work to smarten up the proposition.”

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