|McWilliams to launch Weight Watchers endorsed wine range in the UK|
|Written by Richard Siddle|
|Monday, 10 September 2012 17:29|
Under the three-year exclusive arrangement, McWilliams will display the Weight Watchers endorsement on four of its Harmony and Essenze brands, giving customers the choice of peeling off the slimming club label when appropriate. Bottles will carry the Weight Watchers ProPoints® value of a single serve, and additional nutritional information including calorie content on the back label.
Lloyd Stephens, McWilliams export director, told Harpers: "This is a real departure for wine and it gives us the potential to get in to the mainstream grocery basket. The power of linking up with the Weight Watchers name, which is the 14th biggest grocery brand in the UK, is pretty exciting and a real no brainer."
It will, he claimed, help bring wine to a whole new audience as it is able to target and talk to weight conscious consumers through the 2 million members of Weight Watchers. It will also use its range of newsletters, social media activity and 5,000 face to face meetings held every week across the country. "It gives us a new way to talk to the consumer outside of the wine aisle," he added.
Neil Murray, licensing manager at Weight Watchers UK, said: "Australia and New Zealand are clear growth categories and this partnership is about making dining and entertaining choices wider and easier for those consumers who we know are looking to make healthier choices."
The deal follows a similar McWilliams endorsement campaign that has run since 2010 for WeightWatchers in Australia for its Balance brand.
It will join Weight Watchers own branded wine on UK shelves, which is produced under licence by German producer Reh Kendermann.
The deal also gives McWilliams the opportunity to extend its branded portfolio outside its Australian stronghold and is looking at lower alcohol lines in areas such as a Californian Zinfandel or Italian Pinot Grigio.
This will also allow it to hit the 5.5% abv level compared to the 6%-9% abv Harmony and 10% abv Essenze lines. "But we are not trying to hit the three for £10 offers for 5.5% wine. We are looking for great quality wines with great communication to the consumer," added Stephens.
The range, being distributed by PLB, includes: Harmony Sparkling Brut NV (6% ABV - RRP £9.99); Harmony Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (8% ABV) and Shiraz (9% ABV - both RRP £8.99); and Essenze Vine Dancer Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (10% ABV - RRP £9.99).
McWilliams is currently looking for major distributors across the on and off-trades with the hope of hitting shelves in the new year.