Foster’s partner to raise wine prices

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th March 2011

At a time when wine seems to be getting cheaper and cheaper, Vok Beverages – a joint venture partner of Foster’s – is planning to go the other way by raising prices in a bid to draw consumers away from bargain-basement wine.

Vok, which teamed with Foster’s in late-2009, sells a number of brands with Australia’s largest alcoholic beverage group; the most well-known being the Queen Adelaide brand.

The privately owned group will be upping the price of Queen Adelaide from around $5 to about $7-$8 not long after relaunching the brand in a bid to appeal to a broader, younger market. The company said that blind taste tests place their product comfortably amongst wines in a higher price category than they currently reside and they are hopeful consumers will respect the need for change with current prices offering limited potential for profit. Such price moves could be expected across the range of Vok wine products, which also include the Andrew Garrett, Great Western and Maglieri brands.

“Initially there was scepticism (from wholesalers) because Queen Adelaide (for example) has always been sold cheap,” Vok Chief Executive Angelo Kotses told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“When you look at the quality of the product in there, the liquid, everything that goes with it – it’s never going to be a gold-medal winning vintage year but it’s a good quality product that’s been sold at too cheap a price over a long period,” he added. “And our product, based on the consumers, suggests to us we can take it a little bit… (higher) in price and keep delivering on the value and quality they are looking for.”

Winemakers have been doing it tough over recent years as cheap imports and a wine glut have forced prices down. And, while Vok looks to buck the trend, the flow of cheap imports and a continued oversupply of wine appear likely to halt upward price moves across the whole category for at least the next few years.

This article was provided by Australian Wine News (www.australianwinenews.com)