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Exclusive: Treasury’s Fast-Rising Matua Takes Aim At On-Premise With New Upscale Tier

February 3, 2014

One of the fastest-growing brands in the vibrant New Zealand wine category, Treasury Wine Estates’ (TWE) Matua label was up 34% to 184,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank. This year, the company tells SND, Matua will add to its offering with a new on-premise targeted tier, Lands and Legends, including a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir retailing around the $20 mark, roughly twice the price of the core brand.

“Lands and Legends will retain the essence of the Matua brand, but represent the finest of,” says John Grant, senior vice president, marketing, TWE Americas. “We think it gives us a very compelling proposition to take into the on-premise.”

Matua’s on-premise push follows a year in which its core Sauvignon Blanc gained notable traction on retail shelves. “Recently, major retail chains like Kroger, Publix and Total Wine & More have embraced Matua,” Grant observes. “You know a brand has made it when Costco asks you to list, and that has happened as well.”

While Matua has come into its own over the past year, Treasury has been laying the groundwork over a longer period, making “significant investments” at the brand’s Marlborough winery and revamping its packaging over the last 18 months. The new look, featuring a bright color palette, is intended to convey a contemporary feel and set Matua apart from the more traditional imagery of competing labels.

Grant believes New Zealand—particularly Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc—will continue to operate from a position of strength in the U.S. market looking ahead. “Pricing has held up well in the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc category,” he notes. “It all comes from Marlborough, which is a very discrete growing region and is getting close to being thoroughly planted, except for marginal areas that are prone to frost. That tightness of supply ensures that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc won’t fall into the same trap Australian Shiraz did.”

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