In the 2021 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Giesen Group General Manager, Kyle Skene, discusses the role of innovation in 2021 and beyond.

It’s no secret why wine consumers are finding Giesen Group’s Estate range to be at the top of their list. Giesen has been at the forefront of innovation as trends indicate consumers are searching for healthier and more low alcohol options.

According to General Manager Kyle Skene, recent research conducted in the Australian market has demonstrated a strong consumer drive towards moderation and mindfulness. He said this includes 25 per cent of consumers seeking organic options; 15 per cent vegan; and 31 per cent opting for choices considered ‘better for you.’

The introduction of Giesen 0% struck a chord with consumers as Skene adds: “The world’s first alcohol-removed Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Giesen 0%, perfectly meets the evolving needs of the conscious consumer, selling out in Australia and New Zealand launches.”

It is one of many ways the company has developed strategies to consider its impact on its stakeholders. Giesen was also able to continue its new product launches throughout 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It refreshed its Giesen brand labelling, focusing on its family crest and more modern packaging, and took a similar route in the repositioning of its craft beer brand, Kaiser Bros with a fresh new look. Giesen also launched its first product in the seltzer category in New Zealand, rolling out low carb seltzer, Tink, in three flavours: Tropical, Berry Rose and Lemon & Lime.

Skene said he has plans for stock to hit Australian shelves in early 2021: “The next 12 months will continue to present challenges for the on-premise segment with the probability of future lockdowns.

“We’re supporting this with our own team in New Zealand and the Oatley Fine Wine Merchants team in Australia and ensuring our offerings help entice consumers back.

“The continued roll-out of our refreshed Giesen packaging will keep our team busy, along with innovation in new product development and continued growth in the low and no alcohol category.”

Sustainability in focus

Giesen also takes pride in the environmental stability of its 13 Marlborough vineyards. Working closely with growers, Giesen has continually improved its methods of enhancing its soil and reducing its footprint.

Skene said the importance of the treatment of the land is not only reflected in the percentage of its vineyards which have been certified organic with BioGro New Zealand, but also in its organic and sustainability practices with the remaining vineyards and the close relationships with the growers.

Despite this, Skene explained to National Liquor News that there is more work being done throughout the company to continue reducing its impact on the earth.

“We are continuing to reduce nonrecyclable materials used in our packaging to improve our sustainability,” he said.

“Recent changes have included switching to paper stock made from recycled materials including grape marc, our new Ara Resolute brand uses recycled grape marc paper stock and our new Giesen Organic Sauvignon Blanc label is made from 30 per cent recycled material.

“We’re also considering how we get our product around the world – freighting and carbon miles are a consideration while still protecting the provenance of our products and brands.”

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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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