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Top 25 brands continue to drive the wine market

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the overall off-trade wine market stumbling - posting just 2% growth in the last 12 months - the top 25 branded wines are pulling ahead of the rest of the market, showing 12% volume growth in the last year.

From the AC Nielsen figures to 17 June 2006, it is clear that the big brands are getting bigger, with US brands posting particularly good figures. The UK's second biggest brand, Blossom Hill, posted 24% growth to 4.7 million cases cases, with third place E&J Gallo showing a massive 37% growth to 4.3 million cases. If current trends continue, the UK's best selling brand, Australia's Hardy's (4.8 million cases and 4% growth) will be overtaken by both Californian brands by next year.

The biggest climber in the top 25 tables is Brand Phoenix's FirstCape, which more than doubled sales to 472,000 cases(106% growth) at the same times as increasing its average price from 3.35 to 3.74.

We are delighted that FirstCape has hit number 17 already, although we keep the top ten firmly in our sights for year end,' said Steve Barton, a Brand Phoenix director. With FirstCape's distribution still only 55% of the off-trade market, the brand's potential is very exciting.'

The ex-Southcorp brands continued to struggle, with Lindemans' volumes dropping 20% (eight place) and Rosemount down 50% (22nd place). Penfold's has dropped off the list altogether.

Southcorp's new owners, FGL, did have the success of Wolf Blass to celebrate, however, which posted 30% growth (1.2 million cases) and had the highest average price point in the top ten at 5.47.

Elsewhere, Chile's Concha y Toro grew its sales 20%, reaching 587,000 cases at an average price point of 4.35. JP Chenet (11th place, 18% growth) was the top Old World brand, with Diageo's Piat d'Or one place behind (-7% growth).