Weight Watchers has teamed up with New World producer McWilliams to endorse a range of low-alcohol wines.
The diet advice organisation is tapping into the UK’s increasing taste for low-alcohol wines – a market which stands at one million cases per year.
The importance of the low-alcohol sector is being exploited by other Australian producers. Neil McGuigan of McGuigan Wines recently reiterated his commitment to producing low-alcohol wines.
As early as 2008 the company was researching ways of reducing alcohol and retaining flavour, and last week he said they were working out how spinning cone technology might be used to that end.
‘This is a project for us. We already sell a lot of wine at less than 0.5% alcohol to Scandinavia so [low alcohol] might be a bigger market than we think.’
The McWilliams portfolio of four wines from Australia and New Zealand, with detailed nutritional and calorie advice on the back label, will be available from October.
Weight Watchers already endorses wines produced under licence by Reh Kendermann in Germany, and the UK launch follows the organisation’s success in the Australian market where it has endorsed the McWilliam’s Balance range since 2010.
Research commissioned by McWilliams from analysts Wine Intelligence shows there is significant consumer demand for lower alcohol and lower calorie wines, McWilliam’s export director Lloyd Stephens said.
‘The Weight Watchers endorsement of our wines means consumers can now purchase full-flavoured, lower alcohol wines from a known and trusted quality producer with the clarity and assurance that the Weight Watchers brand and programme provides.’
The range consists of Harmony Sparkling Brut NV at 6% ABV, Harmony Semillon Sauvignon Blanc at 8% ABV, Harmony Shiraz at 9% ABV, and Essenze Vine Dancer Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at 10% ABV. All are priced at £8.99-9.99.
Written by Adam Lechmere