Foster’s backs indies with Oz wine focus

02 April, 2010

Foster’s is hoping to give independents a competitive advantage over the supermarkets with the launch of its Regional Icons Programme.

The initiative is designed to help retailers explain Australia’s regional diversity to customers and encourage trial.

The first year will see Foster’s promote three wines from South Australia – Annie’s Lane Riesling from the Clare Valley, Saltram No 1 Barossa Shiraz and Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.

Proceeding years will focus on other Australian states, with Victoria being the state promoted in 2011.

Retailers will be able to offer their customers “mixed discovery cases of South Australian wine”, explained innovation brand manager James Brown. They will also be provided with POS material and consumer literature to explain why factors such as soils and climate make each variety unique to the region where it’s grown.

“It’s about reducing the complexity of discovering wine,” he said. “It’s not about Australia being famous for lots of different varieties – we think by reducing the complexity of the proposition we can make it simpler for the consumer.”?The drinks giant has also pledged to expand its South African portfolio and is on the look-out for new brands. “There’s massive growth in South Africa and it’s definitely a strategic focus for our business. We know there’s opportunity there and we’re looking to develop new propositions in South Africa,” Brown said.

Senior innovation manager Rachel Hawes said Foster’s will “focus a lot of resources on South Africa” in the coming year. The company has plans to “go back to the drawing board” with it’s New Zealand portfolio and hopes to launch Chilean range Picaflores in the UK next March.

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