Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS FEBRUARY 2018 | 59
DEAN CARROLL, CEO
WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR
BROWN BROTHERS IN 2017?
2017 was a big year for our company. One
of the major highlights was the integration of
the Innocent Bystander brand into our own
salesforce. It’s always a challenging process
and momentum can be lost and yet it’s such a
wonderful consumer brand that with a more
concentrated focus will see tremendous upside
in the months and years ahead.
It was also a big year for Prosecco and
we have continued to lead the category by
focusing on consumer occasions. Our other
big growth driver has been our Tasmanian
wine offering predominantly through the
Devil’s Corner brand.
WERE THERE ANY UNEXPECTED
DELIGHTS OR SURPRISES OVER
THE LAST 12 MONTHS?
While not necessarily unexpected, our people
continue to inspire me. We have experienced
a phase of significant growth over the last
two years and our peoples’ ability to meet
the demands that have driven from a priority,
quality and intensity perspective all while
maintaining our core company family values
has been outstanding.
WHAT WERE THE MAJOR
CHALLENGES FACED BY BROWN
BROTHERS IN 2017?
While growth has been pleasing our ability
to meet demand now and into the future
is a challenge for us. We, along with our
neighbours, are committed to the home of
Prosecco in Australia being the King Valley
as this is where the Prosecco story started
many years ago. The challenge is that demand
continues to exceed our ability to supply and
being an agricultural business there is no tap
to turn on so we must wait circa three years
for fruit to come to bear. Tasmanian varieties
are similar being exposed to cool climate
conditions, particularly Pinot Noir.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MAJOR
OPPORTUNITIES FOR BROWN
BROTHERS IN 2018?
China is certainly our biggest market
opportunity excluding national as we continue
to learn as much as we possibly can about this
rapidly evolving market.
Innocent Bystander provides a very exciting
opportunity for our teams to connect with a
broader range of customers and channels. It
also potentially opens our wines up to new
consumers for us to interact with.
We aim to continue leading the market
in targeted growth categories – Pinot Noir,
Prosecco and Moscato while continuing
to push the boundaries as a leader of new
and emerging varietals, packages and
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE
EXCITING TRENDS FOR THE WINE
INDUSTRY IN 2018?
There is no doubt the trending towards
lighter styles in wine. By no coincidence Ross
Brown and our leadership team have set
Brown Brothers on a path over many years
to capitalise on this trend through wines like
Moscato and Dolcetto, by collaborations with
CSIRO on Cienna and Tarrango, our move to
Tasmania for Pinot Noir and finally the global
phenomenon that is Prosecco.
Anything pink is appealing and rosé is
really developing unisex appeal albeit still
off a relatively low base that we can only see
growing further in 2018.
WHAT SHOULD THE INDUSTRY BE
TALKING ABOUT IN 2018?
From a retail and manufacturer perspective
the latest recommendations from FARE
to the government are very disturbing.
Most alarming is the apparent position of
excluding the alcohol industry from the
conversation. Impacting the majority of
responsible alcohol consumers by increasing
taxes, and introducing minimum pricing
without directly focusing on the minority
who we all acknowledge create issues, is an
underwhelming policy. Flow on effects for
our industry are many and fundamentally it
is highly unlikely that problem drinkers will
reduce their consumption in the same way
that policies developed in conjunction with the
industry over recent years have.
The wine industry employs thousands of
people predominantly in struggling rural
areas and the government has worked
extremely inclusively on the WET rebate
evolution, export grants and tourism
so to preclude the industry on this topic
WHAT IS YOUR KEY MESSAGE TO
THE TRADE FOR THE YEAR AHEAD?
I’m always reluctant to speak at the trade as
they know their own challenges better than
I, and yet if I was to focus on one message it
would be that the trade and suppliers should
be combining resources to work together to
better understand the consumer and engage
the shopper. Importantly that is not about
who has the most data or power points to
share, it’s about who can extract meaningful
insights that localised can help individual
retailers improve their offer to shoppers.
From a pure Brown Brothers company
offering perspective I hope you can see that
our portfolio displays a diverse range of
exciting consumer appealing brands delivered
to you with the family values we have
treasured over many decades. We are here to
“IF I WAS TO FOCUS
ON ONE MESSAGE IT
WOULD BE THAT THE
TRADE AND SUPPLIERS
SHOULD BE COMBINING
RESOURCES TO WORK
TOGETHER TO BETTER
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