The company has revealed how it plans to fight the dominance of the New World through a campaign based on a £400,000 ‘French without the Fuss’ catchline.
It has launched a range of 12 branded wines which are grouped according to grape variety and year, with no reference to vineyards, in a bid to simplify the category for UK consumers.
It comes after research among 900 people found many wanted to buy French wines but were puzzled with the fixture.
Virginie de Marles, Castel international marketing manager, said: “French wines are losing market share to new world wines. We found the French category was not answering the needs of consumers in terms of packaging and taste.”
In a radical move for a French wine producer, Castel carried out extensive consumer taste tests of 240 wines to come up with the most popular formulas for its new range.
Castel will support the new wines with press ads in the national papers and lifestyle magazines in November and December to target the younger end of the market. De Marles said the aim was to give French wine a more trendy image while not devaluing the heritage.
Prices range from £4.99 for a varietal wine to £5.99 for an AOC (appellation d’origine controlée).