By James Atkinson
Liquor retailers are flooding the market with 'buyer's own' or private label wine brands, posing a huge threat to the Australian wine industry, warns Ross Brown, chairman of Australia's First Families of Wine (AFFW).
Speaking after AFFW's Unlocked event this week, Brown told TheShout that there's been "almost an avalanche" of buyer's own brands coming onto the market over the last few years.
"People aren't thinking it through long-term," he said. "They're just buying what would normally be surplus wine and sticking a label on it and that's masquerading as something of higher value."
"At the end of the day if they are not supporting brands like AFFW, the industry doesn't have a long-term future."
Brown, executive director of Brown Brothers, said private label products are clearly impacting on Australia's iconic wine producers.
"If they didn't exist our brands would be getting more support," he said. [continues below]
The heads of Australia's First Families of Wine
Earlier, speaking to the trade audience at the Unlocked event, Brown said AFFW is about "lifting the bar" for the whole of the Australian wine industry, through a unique assembly of brands and people.
"What you're seeing today is what the true brands are, it's about history, tradition, people, reality," he said.
"Those things are getting eroded in the marketplace today, with so many labels that have no truths."
"My rallying call was to say, 'don't overlook this, and make sure you are supporting brands that are going to build the business for the future'," Brown told TheShout.
"If you're an industry that's going to have long-term perpetuity, you have to have brands that ooze all the values that build aspiration and also innovation," he added.
"If that activity stops, the industry just goes into a nosedive."