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Hardys releases regional William Hardy wines

This month, Bill Hardy has launched new packaging for his namesake brand, William "Bill" Hardy, and announced a move to regional blends.

The relaunch reflects an ongoing premiumisation of the brand. The new packaging incorporates new and UK exclusive labelling techniques, which ensures the product looks notably premium and the wines have been upgraded from South Australia appellation to Limestone Coast for the Chardonnay and Langhorne Creek for the Shiraz.

Marketing director, Amy White says: "With the William Hardy wines we are creating a clear and credible step up for consumers from the more familiar Hardys wines such as Nottage Hill and Stamp of Australia. Through collaboration with our packaging suppliers, we've developed a new delivery for these wines that is truly market leading and we're very pleased to be able to offer our consumers the opportunity to try wines from new, premium regions whilst giving them the reassurance of the Hardys name.

“We have an ongoing partnership with Collotype UK (a Multi-Color company), which allows us to work very closely with their innovation and development teams to take advantage of new technologies available globally. We did exactly that with the development of the new William Hardy label, which now, amongst other upgrades, includes a small resin stamp. This resin is brand new technology to the UK and Accolade has exclusive use of this for a period of time.  We hope that our long term, partnership with Collotype and other packaging suppliers will enable us to continue to develop new and exciting packaging, which in turn enables Accolade and its branded portfolio to lead the way in the UK wine category.”

Growth in key European markets continues at pace for Hardys, with great results being recorded over the crucial Christmas period - in the UK, for example, the brand sold 1.5 million bottles more than in the previous Christmas period, and the brand's growth, in both volume and value, shows no signs of slowing. In 2014, over 158k bottles of Hardys wine was sold every day in the UK and the brand is currently seeing strong value growth of 7% vs the overall wine category which is still suffering decline year on year. Hardys also boosts the largest market share held by one brand in the UK at 5.7%, which is now 30% larger than the next nearest competitor*.

Commenting on this positive growth, Amy adds: "Hardys is having some phenomenal success at present. In addition to the growth figures, our flagship brand has just been named as a Consumer Superbrand for the second year running and we're especially proud to share that Hardys has also just been named as the UKs Most Trusted wine brand in a large scale consumer survey**. Both these accolades cement the brands position as the UK's favourite wine brand and we're looking forward to launching the second year of our England Cricket sponsorship programme next month."

Stand-out activity both above and below the line has meant that the brand is gaining traction with yet more consumers. The high-profile sponsorships of both the Australian and England cricket teams has helped in expanding the collaboration internationally to another major cricket playing nation; notably India.

* Nielsen - MAT data to 15 Jan
** Brandhook Brand Tracking Survey 14 Nov

2 April 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor