In the 2021 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Brown Family Wine Group CEO Dean Carroll describes the focus of the business for 2021.

While some impacts of 2020’s challenges linger, Brown Family Wine Group (BFWG) has its sights set firmly to the future and is ready to seize the opportunities of a new year.

CEO Dean Carroll said the business is focused on opportunities surrounding customer, shopper and consumer interaction, noting that BFWG is already well positioned to pursue such areas.

“Lighter styles are what we are observing across all beverage categories so we see an opportunity to lead the wine category in this area. We already produce some of the best selling wines in this area with varieties like Cienna and we see that expanding in the year ahead,” Carroll said.

Star performers in the BFWG portfolio for 2020 also illustrate this valuable position in the year ahead, especially as Carroll described: “We have been lucky to experience a year where most of our brand and focus varieties have grown and performed ahead of budgeted expectations.

“The Brown Brothers brand continues to grow on the back of Prosecco and a resurgence in our fruity category market leaders – Moscato, Sparkling Moscato and Cienna. We are also pleased with the launch of our Brown Brothers Winemaker’s Series range, hand crafted in the kindergarten – our micro-winery. The range highlights our diverse winemaking capabilities with a Tempranillo/Graciano blend, Fiano and a Heathcote Shiraz.

“Devil’s Corner continues to perform well, this year enhanced by the release of our new Devils Corner Rose made from Pinot Noir, and invites consumers who appreciate cool climate wines to the precious ever-increasing value of Tasmania as a region. We have seen the investment in the quality of our Pinot Noir at Tamar Ridge start to bear fruit with numerous awards and an endorsement of the Kayena vineyard in Australia’s Top 50 vineyards. Innocent Bystander has experienced double digit growth in 2020 and we expect to see that growth continue throughout 2021.”

Brand and customer planning sessions are an immediate focus for BFWG in 2021, as the company seeks to grasp opportunities across this whole portfolio. Further helping in this goal is the development of a new state of the art production facility early this year.

2021 is also entered with an air of caution, as BFWG readies to encounter challenges around the situation in China and staffing shortages.

“The shortage of overseas workers who often work in [the vintage and hospitality] fields and the generosity of the JobSeeker program creates a flow on impact that needs to be addressed regionally,” Carroll said.

Highlighting the value of people

“In most years, we would talk about market share gains, business growth or NPD successes and yet reflecting on the past year every recollection leads me to our people being the company’s biggest success in 2020,” Carroll said.

The people of Brown Family Wine Group were core to the business being able to successfully navigate challenges of the year. From the very start of 2020, Carroll noted how teams worked through the bushfire crisis and the pandemic, and were set to tackle anything the new year threw at them.

“Our teams now face into the challenges of the China wine tariffs but they do so optimistically and with an open approach to how we combat the obstacles,” he said.

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Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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