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Marketing Australia

Published:  23 July, 2008

The theme of the 2005 Australian Wine Marketing Conference, held last week in Adelaide, was navigating your route to market'.

Australian Wine Bureau UK head Paul Henry, Wine Intelligence research director Lulie Halstead and writer Matthew Jukes were among the speakers who told the conference different versions of essentially the same story: for Australian winemakers to retain and build their strong exports, they must continue to be themselves, and must be prepared to wear out even more shoe leather putting delicious, different wines into people's mouths.

Halstead told the conference that her research has identified the group most likely to spend more on Australian wine as the mainstream stay-at-homers' (comfortable income, slightly older, like to try something new). The new Wine Australia campaign, focusing on personality as well as innovative packaging, could really appeal to this group.

But,' she warned, and this is my most important message, do not take this innovation beyond the heritage and credibility of wine. Do not patronise the wine consumer - particularly women wine consumers.'

Henry outlined the challenges facing Australia's wines in UK restaurants. There seems to be a disconnect between the popularity of retail, and uptake in the on-trade. We have created a commercial landscape where Brand Australia has become an everyday wine but not an any day wine.'

Henry has set Australian wine the challenge of doing what water and Champagne brands have managed to do: exist happily on both the supermarket shelf and the restaurant wine list. I passionately believe there must be an opportunity to reflect Australia's strength in retail in the on-trade,' he said.

He urged winemakers to invest both energy and money into staff training on the restaurant floor, and to visit the market at least once every 12 months. It's vital for you to have ownership of your customers,' he said.