Wine sales are likely to pick up as the weather heats up. Here, in RN’s first five-step brand guide, Pernod Ricard UK’s James Middleton profiles the company’s premium wine brand, Brancott Estate, and explains how stores can take advantage of the opportunity it provides

The Brancott Estate name has been associated with New Zealand wines for around 40 years. As tastes have changed and the UK market has matured, customers have been looking for new flavours, and this has provided an opportunity for Brancott Estate’s owner, Pernod Ricard UK, to establish and promote this wine range as a trusted option for discerning drinkers. 

Yet as any retailer looking to encourage shoppers to trade up knows, educating customers in this category is vital. 

With this in mind, Pernod Ricard UK’s channel director, James Middleton, provides a five-part brand profile filled with facts you can share and category management advice you can use in-store.  

1 Brand positioning 
Wines from New Zealand are in growth – the categ-ory’s highest growth by country – and command the sector’s highest average price. In fact, wines from New Zealand are adding £2.19 versus the average store transaction. At Pernod Ricard UK, our premium New Zealand wine brand, Brancott Estate, is performing well across the range, with a number of wines in the portfolio out-performing the category. 

2 Heritage
In 1975, Brancott Estate makers defied the New Zealand wine makers’ convention that the Marlborough region was too cold to grow grapes, becoming the first to make sauvignon blanc there. Since taking on the brand, Pernod Ricard UK has continued to craft striking wines under the Brancott Estate brand, including naturally lower alcohol, sparkling, organic, oak-infused and age-worthy sauvignon blanc and pinot noir-based wines. Brancott Estate wines have since won numerous industry awards.

3 Ranging 
If retailers provide a range of wines from different countries and regions, it will minimise the chance of shoppers going elsewhere. Origin is more important to wine shoppers, and retailers should consider how they can increase shoppers’ knowledge on different flavour profiles of grapes from different regions. While sauvignon blanc remains the UK’s favourite grape, Pernod Ricard UK’s Brancott Estate range also includes pinot grigio and chardonnay. 

4 Merchandising
Our research shows stocking a range of wines from one brand makes it easier for shoppers to navigate the shelf and encourages trading up when, for example, purchasing for a special occasion or a gift. We would also recommend merchandising wine firstly by colour followed by sparkling wines. Establishing a brand hierarchy with a ‘good, better, best’ range – with Brancott Estate’s Terroir Series included at top – will help retailers to reach more shoppers and drive value.

5 Product development 
In line with the trend for premium wines, we continue to promote in-store sampling and activation at UK festivals for our premium Brancott Estate Terroir Series. With demand for sauvignon blanc continuing to grow, Pernod Ricard UK remains heavily invested in the Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc range, with four styles available including Terroir Series, Letter Series and age-worthy Chosen Rows.