By Andy Young

Earlier this month Australian Vintage Limited launched a new range of wines branded YOU, marketing manager Scott Burton talked to TheShout about the thinking behind targeting Gen Y drinkers.

Available nationwide through Dan Murphy's the range features four wines including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and has a recommended retail price of $12.99. But beyond that the wine and the brand has been specifically created to target Gen Y drinkers and a lot of work has gone into identifying a gap in the market and creating a brand that can fill it.

Burton told TheShout: “Our thinking around the launch was that, like all producers and all suppliers you are constantly analysing and reviewing your portfolio and your brands and where your brands are targeted in terms of demographic. We did that as a periodic review and realised that most of our brands are targeted at the 30-plus type drinker and there’s not too many wine brands out there that are appealing to a younger generation.

“So following that internal review we took that further and looked at the broader market and realised that there was something of a gap here. Then we talked to various retail partners about the younger generation and gleaned from them that they were struggling as well with how to engage the younger wine drinker, the Gen Y drinker.

“Then we thought that we need to understand this generation, because they are different; they are different consumers. In our research we came across some articles from generational psychologists who also happened to be wine industry people as well and they were from Love & Wine. So we met up with them and discussed the wine industry’s lack of ability to engage with Gen Y versus what’s happened with craft beer, cider and also spirits. And then we set about this project and it was very interesting and we’ve all learned a lot about this generation and what makes them tick.”

So what is it that makes them tick, and how did AVL go about addressing their needs?

Burton added: “Many people think that Gen Ys are anti-brand, but they are not, they just only engage and interact with brands that reflect the image that they want to reflect. Through some of our key learnings we realised that we have to interact with this generation in a completely different way.

“The wine industry has traditionally thought that we can just wait for younger people to naturally mature into wine. But because Gen Y is more influenced by the friends group, rather than adults, we can’t sit back and assume that they will naturally engage with wine. Craft beer, craft cider and spirits have all done it well and we are a bit behind here and we have to create products or brands that this generation actually wants to engage with. 

“This is not a generation that wants to be talked down to, but they do want to learn so what we’ve tried to do is say ‘you don’t need to know a lot about wine, but here’s some key things’ and that’s why matching personalities to grape varieties and really bringing them out on the label was a key part of it.

“It’s been an interesting project and it’s been about a lot more than just sticking a label on a bottle. There’s been a lot of psychological modelling and understanding involved in bringing it to life and getting it onto the shelf.

But Burton adds that there has “absolutely” been as much work on the liquid as there has on the branding. He said that the wine “has to over deliver and at $12.99 these wines do that, so we are very happy with the quality.”

In terms of the choice of wines for the brand, Burton added: “We tried to stick with core varietals and we already looking to expand the range, but those four varietals that we’ve gone with give the consumer the opportunity to enter the category but also develop their palate within the brand structure.

“I think it looks great on shelf, the plans we’ve got in place are really robust, so I look forward to it being a great success.

“We’ve engaged the guys at Dan’s throughout this project and we’re fully focused on our ranging at Dan Murphy’s and in time we’d love to see the brand roll out to other banners within Woolworths.”

YOU Wines are now available nationwide in Dan Murphy’s.

The Shout Team

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

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