Own label battled cranked up

16 May, 2013

Sainsbury’s has upped the ante in the own-label wine battleground with the launch of the next phase of its Winemakers’ Selection range.

The mid-tier offering was first introduced in October with seven wines from Spain and Portugal and has now been extended to include lines from France, Italy and the US, taking the total range to over 50 wines.

The retailer has described the portfolio as the “backbone” of its own-label proposition and said, since their launch under the Winemakers’ Selection banner, sales of the Spanish and Portuguese wines had grown by 34%.

The move comes after rival Asda overhauled its own-label, relaunching 100 existing and new SKUs as Wine Selection. Waitrose also gave its range a makeover and rolled-out a tranche of wines for under £5 carrying its name.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “The influence of Sainsbury’s two in-house winemakers on the style and quality of the wines is reflected in the name of the range. It sits between House – the Sainsbury’s value varietal range – and Taste the Difference, Sainsbury’s premium range which sources wines from iconic regions around the world.”

New white wines within the range will include Gavi, Orvieto Classico, Côte du Rhône White and Californian Sauvignon Blanc, while the red range

Judges ruminate over the white spirits category will include Red Burgundy, Costières de Nîmes, Nero d’Avola and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Andy Phelps, Sainsbury’s category manager for BWS, said: “Listening to our customers is the most important step in delivering the right new products to build our range successfully. The introduction of Winemakers’ Selection was the natural next step in encouraging our customers to explore our own-brand wine range with confidence.

“Our customers are increasingly wine savvy and the affordability and navigability of Winemakers’ Selection means they can experiment with new wine styles and find new favourites.”

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