Entering a brave new world ECS New World Wines 1 Park Court Premier Way Abbey Park, Romsey Hampshire SO51 9AQ Tel: 01794 835800 Fax: 01794 512213 E-mail: sales@ecavendish.co.uk key CONTACTS Managing director Gary Proctor Board director Clifford Knowles Director of sales Daryll Purchese Marketing manager Kate Billington key brands South Africa · Robert's Rock · Neil Joubert · KWV · Laborie Estate · Cathedral Cellar · Groot Constantia · Perold Chile · Campero · Millaman Argentina · Pascual Toso New Zealand · Red Birch Australia · Ceravolo 1999 was a good year for the UK wine market ­ and in particular for New World importers. Sales of South African wines alone were up 13%, well ahead of the total market growth of +6% MAT (ACNielsen), pointing to a sustained year on year growth of 5% to 7% for at least the next five years. Among the leading New World wine shippers Edward Cavendish & Sons (ECS) saw sales of the parent company's flagship range KWV up 30%, while the first half of 2000 recorded sales of 40,000-plus cases of Robert's Rock, the new lifestyle brand launched by KWV last year, putting it well on its way to meeting its Y2K target. Strike up the brand In a market still dominated by unbranded' wine sales, which take an 81% share, KWV has rapidly positioned itself as one of the leading South African labels. As well as focusing on the KWV brands ­ KWV, Robert's Rock and Cathedral Cellar ­ ECS has further enhanced its New World portfolio this year with the addition of two ranges of premium wines from Australia and New Zealand. From the Adelaide Plains in South East Australia, the Ceravolo range comprises a Shiraz, Merlot and Unwooded Chardonnay (rsp £9.99 and £8.99), soon to be joined by the New Zealand wine Red Birch Sauvignon Blanc which will be released from the Sowman Estate in Marlborough (rsp £7.99) later in 2000, followed by a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Looking to the future, ECS believes the next New World' is South America. "Argentina in particular offers excellent potential for growth in the UK market, although the focus for development in the next five years will continue to be in South African wines," says ECS md Gary Proctor. EDL what? He believes the UK wine market has largely defied the drive for Every Day Low Pricing, pointing to the growth of premium brands over the last 20 years in spite of discounting. "There is a view that EDLP is not a new phenomenon in the UK market. It's been done before by the major multiples ­ everything tends to run in cycles," says Proctor. "The only thing which will hinder our brand is if we as producers do not offer the best quality we can at the most competitive price and if we then fail to support our product." But he adds: "At ECS we would welcome the opportunity to sit down with major multiple buyers and discuss how we could grow and manage the category. "To persuade consumers to trade up, we must continue to promote our wines in all the recognised ways to encourage the consumer to pay that little bit extra." Net gains Whether wine on the web will be an integral part of that campaign remains to to be seen. "It is too early to say whether or not wine on the web is having a significant impact on our business now," says Proctor. "But clearly it offers an additional route to the consumer that we have not had before and, like all channels of trading, it needs to be approached in a positive and open manner." {{Z SUPPLEMENTS }}