Tesco is to launch a bespoke wine brand that has been created by consumers via a social media campaign, bypassing more traditional routes to market.
The social wine project, which was masterminded by wine importer Enotria in collaboration with Tesco and social media agency We Are Social, will see the public choose the wine from grape through to bottling. The final wines – a Shiraz and a Chardonnay, which will be aimed at the mid-tier shopper – will be available from October in store and via Tesco’s online wine store.
The wine is being sourced from the Enaleni community, a South African black empowerment programme in the Western Cape, which had previously been unable to make and market its own brand and had supplied grapes to Stellenbosch Vineyards. The social wine project has been designed to provide a sustainable revenue stream to the farming community that produces it.
Around 60 consumers, bloggers and members of Tesco’s wine community chose one red and one white wine from a choice of varietals produced by the Enaleni. The second stage of the process, which launched on Monday and runs for a week, sees members of the public submitting names and designs for the new brand, which can be uploaded via an app on Tesco’s Facebook page. The 10 best will be shortlisted and submitted to a public vote, with the person who garners the most public votes winning a trip to South Africa.
Tesco product development manager James Griswood said he expected the wine to become a bestseller: “This campaign is not just about producing a bottle of wine, it’s about supporting a community,” he said. “It provides the Enaleni community with the opportunity to get their amazing wine onto the shelves in the UK without using a third-party producer, which wouldn’t have been possible without an initiative like this.”
We Are Social account director Deola Laniyan said consumers have an expectation their voices will be heard. “They want to be more involved in the process and this campaign answers that beautifully. It’s great that the Tesco social community will be able to make such a difference to another community.”
The Enaleni community currently has 20 hectares under vine, and although no forecasts have been set on the volumes for the new brand, there is room to expand planting should the wines prove popular, Enotria’s off-trade sales director Simon Bradbury told The Grocer.