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Phillips: Oz won't stop at 30%

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite the margin and oversupply pressures gripping the industry, Australia will bounce back and reach a 30% share of the UK wine market by value in five years and then keep going and going', according to John Phillips, UK managing director of Australia's largest wine company, FGL Wine Estates.
I'm a Californian, but I think that Australia will reach 30% of the UK market five years from now. It's already on around 24% by value, and I can see it getting more than 1% growth year on year,' said Phillips.

The thing you have to remember is that Australia is just so much better understood and trusted than any other country of origin, especially among younger and future wine consumers. You also only have to look at the great number of strong brands it has. And we've hardly even started pushing regionality and the more premium wines. I can see Australia becoming to UK consumers like California wine is to Californians: the normal choice at all price levels.'

Recent AC Nielsen statistics (MAT to end of October) showed Australia commanding six of the top 10 places (although the US, with Diageo's Blossom Hill, remains at the top of the tree).

Jacob's Creek remains the bestselling brand from Down Under, with 3.6% of the total wine market by value, followed by Lindemans, Hardy's Stamp, Banrock Station and Wolf Blass (which has grown 63% in the last year and still holds an average price of 6.04).

Of the FGL brands (which include those formerly owned by Southcorp), Rosemount continues to be the major disappointment, with sales continuing to fall. Phillips commented: When we bought Southcorp, one of the immediate focuses for us was to sort out the Rosemount brand and take it back where it belongs. We have developed new packaging and improved the liquid, and we will be relaunching the brand to the trade in the spring of 2006.'

He added that the integration process is almost complete,

with just logistics and support services to go. Thirty-seven

staff have left the combined company so far.