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Concha y Toro beefs up push across six core wine brands

Published:  29 January, 2015

Concha y Toro UK is planning a renewed push across six of its core wine brands for 2015, as well as aiming to boost convenience sales.

Simon Doyle of Concha y Toro UKSimon Doyle of Concha y Toro UK

General manager Simon Doyle told that 2014 had been a "strong" year for the group and that its ramped-up marketing spend had paid off. Early last year Doyle revealed it was upping its marketing budget by 20% in the UK.

"We had a really strong year - we evolved a new strategy at the end of 2013 and the first year has gone really well. We're focused on those brands with clear potential and strong distribution."

It has been supporting its key brands through marketing partnerships - just yesterday it announced it was extending Argentinian wine Trivento's sponsorship of the Aviva Rugby Premiership from one to a further three years, and Casillero del Diablo is now partnered with Sky Movies, while Cono Sur has been working with the Tour de France.

Doyle said the partnerships gave the brands a "much wider consumer group to talk to and engage with". "With regards to marketing and brand investment, we're really putting our money where our mouth is," he said.

Casillero del Diablo recently entered the UK's top 10 off-trade brands list. Doyle said it was "quite unique" in that it is not only growing in scale but also average price. Sales out grew by over 35% in the past year, with the Chilean brand securing the highest average price point in the top 10 at £6.33. He said the news should "inspire confidence in the wine category for everybody". He said it was easy to get caught up in a negative mindset as the overall wine category is shrinking, but pointed out "that's at the bottom end". "Casillero has very strong quality references and people are prepared to spend," he argued.

While Christmas was "good", Doyle said it was "quite aggressive", with a lot of "stealing of ground" as some brands took share from others. He said CyT aims to "avoid over-reliance on Christmas" and spread sales more evenly over the course of the year.

He said the group's real focus for the coming year was on those with established distribution - namely Casillero del Diablo, Isla Negra and Vina Maipo. Brands like Cono Sur, Trivento and Frontera it categorises as "next generation" - those it believes can become big mainstream brands - are also a major focus.

It will be doing a lot of work on the convenience sector in 2015 to improve its distribution, as Doyle sees an enormous opportunity continuing to emerge there. "There's massive value for brands in convenience, as people are looking for things the recognise and trust," he said.