E&J Gallo is throwing down the gauntlet to Hardys and Jacob’s Creek by launching its first mainstream Australian wine brand in the UK.
The Californian wine giant believes it has spotted a gap in the sub-£5 Aussie sector, whose growth has been slowing despite maintaining the top sales spot.
Through its partnership with Australian winery McWilliam’s, whose Hanwood Estate brand Gallo distributes in the UK, the company is launching a range of six dual varietals at £4.99 called JJ William. They have been developed exclusively for export and are expected to be on shelf from February.
The launch will be supported by a £1.5m marketing campaign in 2005 focusing on the family heritage of the range. Edward Ward, marketing manager for McWilliam’s, said research had shown consumers felt the Australian offering in the UK had become predictable, with few new brand launches.
“Chile and Argentina have produced more credible brand propositions and although Australia is still in a fantastic position, there is some evidence that the growth rate is slowing and we need to re-energise the category,” he said.
Ward admitted it was a very competitive marketplace, but said Gallo had the marketing muscle to make the new brand a success.
Each of the six wines are dual varietals ranging from classic blends like Chardonnay Colombard and Cabernet Merlot to a Shiraz Merlot and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.