ZGM plans German wine offensive in UK

German wine producer and packer, ZGM, will spend nearly £5m to market a range of new wines in the UK next year, the group’s management told Off Licence News.

The spend is part of a new growth strategy for family-owned ZGM (Zimmerman-Graeff & Muller) in the UK’s off-trade wine market.

Among the new wine launches will be Entwine, a reduced alcohol brand (5.5 per cent abv) aimed mainly at women between 25 and 45.

The group was in discussions with the ‘big four’ multiple retailers, as well as independents, said Steve Howard, ZGM managing director and formerly sales director at Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine. Consumer feedback had been very positive, he said.

Entwine combines wine with pure juice or sparkling water. It is to be launched next spring, with prices ranging from £2.99 to £4.99.

“Low alcohol wine has been a speciality of ours,” said Howard, adding the group had big ranges of Buck’s Fizz and Spritzers with the likes of Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

Other launches planned by ZGM include Palatium, a new German Pinot Blanc brand from the Pfalz region, set to debut next February. RRP will be £5.99.

The new wines form part of ZGM’s plan to establish itself as an international wine supplier to the UK. It has worked through an agency to supply major multiples for 25 years, developing a speciality in the bag-in-box category, but opened its own UK office last year.

Howard told Off Licence News the group planned to expand UK volumes by 30 per cent and value sales by 50 per cent over the next three years. Current UK sales volume is around 32m litres.

The firm is also keen to spread the word on German wine. Johannes Hübinger, part of ZGM’s owning family, said: “We need to get people to respect Germany and get a different perspective on German wine.”