Retailers slam budget wines

31 October, 2008

Buyers: value ranges are bad for morale in financial downturn

Buyers: value ranges are bad for morale in financial downturn

Leading retailers have ruled out launching budget lines as Tesco's new Value wines hit shelves - priced £2.89.

Despite having less cash as the credit crunch hits, drinkers don't want to buy wines branded as budget products, according to Morrisons wine development manager Arabella Woodrow MW.

"A value range in a recession, isn't that depressing? You don't go to a friend's house saying 'all I could afford was a bottle of £3 wine'. Don't let's make it look miserable," she said.

Woodrow added that Morrisons strives to offer value for money without having a range that is specifically targeted at shoppers wanting to save money. "Prices are pretty keen, we have 30 wines under £3."

The Co-op has also said it will not roll out a budget wine label. Wine development manager Paul Bastard said: "We're not going to have a value range, we've always been about value. I'm not sure about a knee-jerk reaction against the current climate. You can't keep changing direction every six months because it plays havoc with stores."

Bastard added that two price tiers are currently in growth in Co-op stores - entry-level and premium. "People who used to buy mid-range are trading down and others are drinking better, for less," he said. Last month the retailer introduced a range of premium own-label wines called Eclectic, retailing at £7.99.

Tesco's three Spanish wines from Félix Solís Avantis - a red, a white and a rosé Vino de Mesa - launched this week in

1-litre Tetra Paks in response to concerns over consumer spending power.

OLN reported in July that the retailer had approached suppliers about sourcing a budget offer as it put a greater focus on entry-level wines. The company said it had previously resisted extending Value into BWS, but felt the current economic climate meant the time was now right.

Asda and Sainsbury's also have budget own-label wine ranges.

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