Beer, Wine and Spirits represent one of the most dynamic
areas of grocery. Craft Beer, for
example, has exponentially enshrouded traditional global brands; displacing a
number of long-standing lines, due to their higher value delivery, in some of
the biggest category re-organizations to date. Across both the cider &
premix categories we’ve also seen a similar pattern of brand & line
It’s not just about taste delivery (though this is a vital component). Consumers are increasingly looking for products that are beautifully packaged, emotionally satisfying & capable of representing them as a lifestyle marker (#Instagram)
And so it is with heightened interest that we look to some
new products moving the goalposts in wine: in Asda, ‘Mad Dog &
Englishman’ offer a 4x25cl Tempranillo & Sauvignon Blanc and in Tesco,
‘Craft & Origin’ 50cl serve up Shiraz & Sauvignon Blanc.
The contenders line up against aforementioned consumer
trends – convenient formats that mimic
what consumers are used to from craft beer & cider (or indeed miniatures in
wine); individualistic appeal from the
more distinctive way of drinking wine.
However, it is our suggestion that neither
proposition is doing enough to stand up as genuine, confident and credible.
The design is unlikely to cut through on shelf. It’s not particularly eye-catching and very
unclear as to the contents – you have to look quite closely to discover it’s actually
wine! Furthermore, the branding fails to
communicate anything about a taste profile – not least an experimental taste profile.
Though Craft & Origin speak of being ‘craft’, it becomes clear that
this relates solely to the grapes being ‘hand-picked’.
Against a backdrop of increased marketing savviness among
consumers, we are totally aligned to the notion that innovation must discover
its true authenticity. As far as
we're concerned, that can only be delivered if the proposition is signalling
the same message across brand, pack and product – prioritizing well-chosen functional
and emotional characteristics at key moments across the consumer journey, from
communications to well-engineered sensory attributes.
With everything we know about Millennials and their effect
on the wider population, we can say with conviction that people want innovation
to be braver and bolder. But if you’re going to try something new, brands must
do it with more conviction than these two contenders. Making a clearer statement of intent and then
supporting it in a way that feels seamless.
That said, this is the start of something we feel will only
get bigger. Wine is losing occasions to
other beverages (not least, non-alcoholic), so we can at least praise these efforts
for moving things on a bit.
Jeremy Taylor is Research Manager at MMR