Tesco trims 'confusing' Aussie range

  • Monday 18 July 2005

Tesco is cutting a swathe through its Australian offering in order to increase its breadth of varietals and producers.

As part of a major review the giant supermarket chain, which commands 20% of the UK wine off-trade, wants ‘a range which will be much easier to shop,’ Mark Murphy, category director for beers, wines and spirits, told decanter.com.

Wines from the following Australian brands will be dropped this August: Nottage Hill, Hardys, Barramundi, Lindemans, Banrock Station, Jacob’s Creek and Rosemount.

Spokesman Nick Juby would not say which wines within the brands would be delisted – although he suggested from Jacob’s Creek it would be the Shiraz or Merlot.

Murphy said customers were ‘intimidated’ by the ‘wall of wine’ in many stores. ‘Offering people 23 different Australian Chardonnays, or six Aussie Shiraz at £4.99 is just confusing.’

But there would still be ‘a significant amount’ of Australian wines on the shelves, he added. ‘It is a very important region for us.’

Seventy-two new wines will be added, keeping Tesco wine listings to around 800 lines. ‘We’re losing no more than 5-6%’, Murphy said, although he added that only a handful of the biggest stores would carry the full range.

The new lines include wines from Banfi, Laboure Roi, Cave de Roquebrun, Montes, Yalumba, De Bortoli and Mondavi.

Varietals like Chilean and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier and Tempranillo, would be available in more stores as shelf space is freed up.

More unusual grapes like Aglianico and Touriga Nacional will be put in the Tesco ‘Finest’ premium range. ‘Ninety-eight per cent of customers won’t have heard of them, but putting them in Finest may give them the courage to try them out,’ Juby said.

In terms of price, Murphy intends to increase the £6-£10 range and trim down the £4-5 sector, which he says is ‘flabby.’

‘We have opportunities in Australia, Chile and South Africa. We now have the space to really show people what is going on in the £6-10 range.’

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