Fred Franzia is taking his 'Two Buck Chuck' brand to Australia.
Franzia’s Bronco Wine Company has taken on the Australian ‘critter labels’ with the launch of Down Under, a US$2.99 range of entry level wines made from surplus Australian stock.
Bronco, best known for its Charles Shaw – Two Buck Chuck – brand, released the first Down Under wine, a chardonnay, in California last Wednesday.
The logo features a koala on a tree limb, mimicking the many animal labels, including Casella Wines’ Yellow Tail and Lindeman’s The Little Penguin, which have become prolific in the US market in recent years.
The wine is being marketed under the slogan ‘Three dollar koala’.
Down Under is based on the same production model as Bronco uses for Charles Shaw, buying surplus stock at cheap prices, to produce what chief executive, Fred Franzia, calls ‘super-value wines.’
Industry reports in Australia suggest that Bronco paid as little as AUS$0.40c a litre for the wine used to produce Down Under.
Australian exports to the US in the 12 months ended May 31 were worth an average of AUS$3.11 a litre.
‘We price our wines so consumers get super value,’ Franzia, said in a recent interview.
Bronco was targeting Yellow Tail which retails at about US$7 a bottle and has sales of about 8.6m cases a year in the USA.
John Casella, chief executive of Casella, said there was nothing he could do about Down Under except let consumers decide what provided the best value.
Tim Boydell, director of sales and marketing for Angove’s Family Winemakers said the Down Under price was the cheapest baseline price for an Australian wine in the US that he had heard of.
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Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide