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Interview, Part 1: Treasury Wine Estates COO Robert Foye And CMO Michelle Terry

September 11, 2018

In recent weeks, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) revealed a healthy set of results for its fiscal year through June, with EBITS up 18% at constant currency to A$530.2 million ($385m) on a 1.7% sales rise to A$2.4 billion ($1.7b).A large part of TWE’s recent growth has come through innovation—in particular its 19 Crimes brand, which topped 1 million cases in the U.S. last year. Now, TWE is reloading with two new wine brands: EmBrazen, targeted toward the female demographic, and Cavaliere d’Oro, meant as an introduction to the wines of Italy. SND managing editor Daniel Marsteller spoke with Treasury COO Robert Foye and CMO Michelle Terry to get the details on the new launches in the first part of a two-part interview.

SND: What’s the premise behind TWE’s new EmBrazen brand?

Terry: We designed EmBrazen ($13-$16) to pay tribute to trailblazing women. Following in the footsteps of 19 Crimes (which tells the stories of Australian convicts turned colonists), we thought about how to incorporate the authentic stories of real women of the past who refused to let boundaries stand in their way and made a significant contribution. The idea is to provide a platform that celebrates women of the past, present, and future who defy convention, and then affect a positive change on the world. We worked with our female winemaker, Olivia Teutschel, and a bunch of women here in our Oakland and Napa offices to create these wines. They feature three varietals—a red blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay—and three unique women: actress and entertainer Josephine Baker, reporter Nellie Bly, and singer Celia Cruz. The stories of these women will be brought to life by augmented reality through our Living Wine Labels app. We expect to have the same growth trajectory as on something like 19 Crimes.

SND: How heavily do you expect the brand to skew toward the female demographic?

Terry: We’ve deliberately blended the wines to appeal to the millennial female palate. But I think the brand will cross boundaries.

Foye: Sometimes brands, if we do them well, turn out to be broader in appeal than we initially thought. The secondary target market also gets very excited about them, as has been the case with 19 Crimes. I wouldn’t be surprised if EmBrazen ends up at a 50-50 split. It has great packaging, along with the digital aspect with Living Wine Labels. We’ve had more than 2 million downloads of that app. This has probably been the fastest listed brand in the retail trade that I’ve seen. Many of our large customers actually listed it off-cycle, which is pretty rare. They want to list a brand out of their normal reset cycle only once or twice a year, and this has been one of those brands they’ve picked up.

SND: Would you consider sourcing EmBrazen outside California for other markets, as you have for other brands?

Terry: Certainly we’re thinking about taking the brand to Australia and also to Europe, and we may have non-Californian sourcing. Whilst some of these women we may showcase globally because they have global pick-up, we may seek to also highlight local women in local markets.

SND: You also have a new Italian proposition forthcoming in Cavaliere D’Oro.

Terry: Yes. Cavaliere D’Oro will be launched at our Castello Di Gabbiano winery this month, with wine on shelf in January. It retails at $10-$20. Cavaliere d’Oro—which translates as “Golden Knight”—invites consumers to explore Italian wine. Like Maison de Grand Esprit in the French category, Cavaliere D’Oro is a multi-region sourced brand that will disrupt another Old World wine category and its traditional-marketing mindsets. It will have three tiers: a Chianti range; a regional varietals range from Italian growing regions like Tuscany, Sicily, and Puglia; and a Light and Refreshing range including a collection of white wines and Prosecco. We’re targeting the “social adventurer” consumer set, defining the brand as fun, adventurous, and full of style, emulating the Italian way of life.

Treasury Wine Estates Americas – Top 10 Brands
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Rank Brand Origin 2016 2017 Percent
Change*
1 Beringer California 5,945 5,851 -1.6%
2 Lindemans Australia 1,536 1,332 -13.2%
3 19 Crimes Australia 517 1,056 104.4%
4 Sterling Vintners Collection California 725 888 22.5%
5 Beaulieu Vineyard California 569 585 2.7%
6 Chateau St Jean California 564 544 -3.6%
7 Matua New Zealand 353 430 21.7%
8 Gabbiano Italy 332 290 -12.7%
9 Meridian California 283 273 -3.8%
10 Stags’ Leap California 136 141 3.5%
Total Top 10 10,960 11,389 3.9%
Other Brands 1,735 1,478 -14.8%
Total Treasury Wine Estates Americas 12,696 12,867 1.4%
* based on unrounded data

Source: IMPACT DATABANK

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