By Ian Neubauer

Foster’s Group has turned around its losing streak in the US and lifted its wine sales for the first time this year, according to market research firm AC Nielsen.

Foster’s US wine sales grew 2 per cent in July — its first positive result there since October 2007. It was spearheaded by the positive performance of Merdian and Penfolds brands (up five per cent), Chateau St Jean (up 21 per cent), Gabbiano (up 8 per cent) and Bohemian Highway (up 81 per cent).

But sales of its leading Beringer and Lindemans brands remained flat, while sales of Rosemount and Wolf Blass fell 15 and 10 per cent respectively.

Foster’s corporate affair spokesman, Troy Hey, said the result reflected the multi-beverage company’s commitment to its US wine business.

“We’ve restored promotional and marketing investment since earlier this year and the results are showing in the US market,” he said. “Our Australian imports are performing well in a tough market. Our Californian brands, especially Chateau St Jean, Founders Estate and Bohemian Highway are again winning share.”

The US wine market remains solid despite a general economic downturn and softer restaurant sales, with value growing 3 per cent in July.

Australian imports declined 1 per cent in the period and continue to lose market share to producers from the US, Argentina, New Zealand and Spain.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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