Wine Oz boss ‘must drive value’?

The new head of Wine Australia for the UK has to make sure producers know this market isn’t just focused on volume, according to the body’s former boss, Paul Henry.

He told an audience at the A+ Australian Wine annual trade tasting on Wednesday: “It’s critical Yvonne [May, the new UK head of Wine Australia] communicates that this market is still looking at Australia in all its depth and not only its width.”?Mathew Bird, head of marketing for wine at Pernod Ricard, said that Jacob’s Creek was “very focused on delivering value”.

He added: “We’ve worked hard to focus on value ahead of volume. If it’s a strong brand there’s a long-term proposition. It’s not a volume game for Jacob’s Creek or Pernod Ricard.”?Henry warned smaller producers would start looking “closer to home” to export, or concentrate on the home market because of exchange rate pressures. He also said retailers shouldn’t be relied on to build brands.

“As wine brand owners we haven’t been protective enough of our own brands. To expect supermarkets to look after our brands is a folly.” He said negotiations with retailers needed to leave “some investment for the brand”.

The landscape had changed for Australian wine, he said. “Nothing creates demand quite like scarcity now. Five or 10 years ago demand was driven by distribution.”