Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents 42 | FEBRUARY 2018 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
KEITH TODD, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
HOW DO THINGS LOOK FOR
THE YEAR AHEAD AT THE
Construction on the new facility is due
to commence in 2018. This new bottling
plant and integrated warehouse will be a
national distribution centre on the Berri site.
The construction time is estimated to take
approximately 12 months and during this
period between 150 and 200 people will be
employed. Once operational there will be
around 40 new roles at the plant which will
have capacity to produce in excess of eight
million bottles annually. With preferences
continuing to move towards bottled and
premium we are investing and making changes
to move with the market.
WHAT WERE SOME OTHER
MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS FOR
ACCOLADE IN 2017?
2017 was a defining year for Accolade Wines.
The smooth integration of Fine Wine Partners
(FWP) really solidifies our premium offering.
We are now in the position of having one of the
leading premium wine portfolios in the country.
We also had an exceptional year with
industry recognition of our offering and
widespread awards across our labels both
domestically and internationally. Arras clearly
had many moments in the sun but Houghton
also had an incredible year, there isn’t a more
awarded brand in the market.
HOUSE OF ARRAS HAD
A GREAT YEAR ON THE
COMPETITION CIRCUIT –
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR
Such endorsement across a broad range of
judges is an absolute statement of quality and
the entire viticulture and winemaking team is
extremely proud of this achievement. House
of Arras also won best Australian producer in
the prestigious International Wine and Spirit
Competition, which is the first time the top
Australian producer category has been awarded
to a sparkling wine.
Fruit for House of Arras is sourced across
Tasmania’s premium cool climate regions, ideal
for long, slow and consistent fruit development.
The entire portfolio of Arras sparkling wines
is held back between three to 10 years to give
them the distinction, quality and maturity they
require to be world-class.
What sets House of Arras apart from other
Australian sparkling wines on the market is the
age of its wine. There are plenty of cold climate
sparkling Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Pinot
Meuniers, but to take it to world parity, it had
to be the same age as benchmark wines and we
are achieving that age with House of Arras.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE
MAJOR CHALLENGES THAT
ACCOLADE FACED IN 2017?
Following completion of the acquisition of
the FWP business and brands in January of
last year we had to integrate people, brands,
wineries as well as IT and financial systems
while ensuring no interruption to vintage
and the trading business. It was a period
of change for many at Accolade Wines and
FWP and was handled admirably. They say
most challenges present opportunities and
I am immensely proud of what we achieved
and how well the process went. Many of our
people went above and beyond to make this
work and the result was a smooth transition
internally and for our customers.
IN WHICH AREAS DID YOU
SEE THE MOST GROWTH
The $15 plus category saw significant growth
particularly in the lighter styles. The Australian
palate is diversifying away from traditional
rich reds like Shiraz. Pinot Noir and rosé
are increasingly the drink of choice. As a
result, Stonier, Grant Burge and St Hallett all
experienced growth off the back of this.
And Hardys of course went from strength
to strength outperforming the Australian retail
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS
THE BIG WINE TRENDS?
The move towards lighter styles will continue
through 2018. Rosé in particular is expected
to become increasingly popular. Accolade will
be launching new products in this space and
will continue to leverage our existing portfolio
which has a strong offering in this segment.
Another interesting segment for big players is
looking at tapping into the craft and boutique
markets. We’ll have some innovative offerings
in this area hitting the market in 2018.
HOW WILL YOU ENGAGE
THE TRADE IN 2018?
Understanding our customers’ strategies and
aligning our approach will be a key focus for
2018. Also creating offerings that are relevant
to shoppers and that genuinely meet unmet
category needs. We’re not interested in simply
launching yet another $15 Shiraz.
WHAT KEY FACTORS DO
YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY
SHOULD BE DISCUSSING?
The number one focus for industry must be
ensuring any debate and decision making is fact
based. It will not serve the industry or deliver
the best outcomes for the community if, as an
industry, we are fragmented in our approach.
We need to work together to ensure solutions
are targeted and tackling the root cause of issues
in the community.
Another complicated challenge for the
industry is the environment and sustainability.
An uncertain climatic future is going to
increasingly become an issue.
“Understanding our customers’ strategies
and aligning our approach will be a key fo-
cus for 2018. Also creating offerings that are
relevant to shoppers and that genuinely meet
unmet category needs.”
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