In the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ CEO, Bryan Fry, discussed key successes of the company in the past 12 months.

Looking back on the tumultuous past year, there was one obvious standout moment for Pernod Ricard Winemakers in 2022, according to the company’s CEO Bryan Fry.

“A highlight for many of the team, and a personal favourite of mine, was the launch of our first sparkling Tasmanian wine, Mumm Tasmania Brut Prestige,” he said.

This release responded to ongoing trends in the Australian wine market, with Fry noting:

“As one of the best regions in the world outside Champagne to produce sparkling wine, and with recent data from Wine Australia showing a 47 per cent uplift in domestic off-trade sales between 2020 and 2022, Mumm Tasmania offers something unique in the Australian sparkling market at an affordable price point.”

Headline Acts was another recent product line that serves to demonstrate one of Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ key 2023 ambitions: to reach and cultivate a new market of younger wine drinkers.

“For the wine category to recruit and remain relevant with these consumers, we need to drive excitement and a deeper engagement with the category,” Fry said.

“New products are an important way to ensure that we evolve with the trends and continue to attract new consumers into the wine category.

“Headline Acts has been created to recruit younger consumers into the wine category by combining music and wine. It’s a purpose-driven brand that champions and supports local Australian live music.”

In addition to connecting with a younger culture, Fry has highlighted alternative varietals as a means of reaching a different market.

“In 2022, we saw changes in the consumption of traditional red and white varietals, whereas the consumption of niche varietals and lighter styles, like Malbec, Sangiovese and spritz [style drinks], have experienced growth that will likely continue into 2023.”

Retaining a sustainability focus

In 2019, Pernod Ricard Winemakers launched its Good Times from a Good Place Sustainability and Responsibility Roadmap. Fry updated National Liquor News on the company’s progress, recent highlights and immediate sustainability objectives.

“In the past year, we have expanded our regenerative agriculture trials four-fold. Our teams stepped out into nature in June, planting over 20,000 seedlings, shrubs and trees on our vineyards and in our local communities, learning about biodiversity along the way,” he said.

Packaging and transportation are widely known to be some of the wine industry’s biggest ‘climate hotspots’, and Fry illustrated how Pernod Ricard Winemakers is taking steps to reduce its footprint here.

“A key way to reduce our impact is by reducing the weight of our glass bottles, and in FY22 we successfully used 88 per cent lightweight glass bottles across our 750ml still wine ranges globally,” he said.

“We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our footprint as we advance our target of 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.”

Close alignment with viticulturalists will be crucial to the company achieving its sustainable agricultural aims.

“We will continue to work with growers towards our target of 100 per cent grapes sourced certified to local sustainable production standards by 2030,” Fry said.

And ultimately, the CEO noted that agility and cooperation will continue to lead Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ approach.

“As we look to 2023, we recognise the sustainability space will constantly evolve, and we are ready to move with it as more guidance, technology and innovation is developed,” Fry said.

“We also know we cannot achieve our targets alone. Collaboration with our partners and industry will be key to overcoming challenges and creating and scaling sustainable solutions.”

Find more from the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum here.

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