Accolades Echo Fruit range was launched in 2014

Accolade's Echo Fruit range was launched in 2014

Accolade Wines' fruit-flavoured Echo Falls has passed the 1m-case mark just 18 months after launch, as it pulls new consumers into the wine category.

The Echo Falls Fruit Fusion range, which was rolled out in July 2014, has sold 1.1m nine-litre cases, Accolade revealed yesterday. Sales for the brand, which comes in flavours such as White Peach & Mango and Summer Berries, so far stand at GBP43m, Accolade said.

Echo Fruit's success in the test UK market have prompted Accolade to launch in Australia, where it is starting to "get traction", Accolade's UK & Ireland GM, Rob Harrison, said without giving further details.

"It's an amazing category," Harrison said of fruit-flavoured wine. "It is one of the few examples I've seen that is genuinely bringing new shoppers into [wine]."

Harrison said Echo Fruit was attracting premium cider drinkers in the UK. "Those customers who were maybe having a pear cider have seen Echo Fruit and in terms of a taste profile it's hitting the money," he said.

He also said the brand's lower-alcohol profile of between 9.5% and 11% is part of its appeal.

"To have a glass of wine and not feel the effect of it on a mid-week basis... On a hot summer's day, you want a refreshing drink that doesn't necessarily give you a headache. There are a lot of merits to that."

A number of global alcohol producers have pledged to list more nutritional information for their brands online or on labels as pressure from health activists builds. Treasury Wine Estates said last month it is to provide calorie information across its entire portfolio of bottled wine, starting in Europe, while European brewers will also list nutritional data.

Harrison said Accolade has nutritional information "front of mind" and hinted that the company is ready to follow suit.

"We're looking at it," he said. "The [recent changes to UK] government guidelines mean we have to look carefully at what we have on our labels. Clearly there's an administrational issue we need to look at in terms of what we need to do and when, but certainly at the same time we will be considering what we put on our labels."

The UK's chief medical officer this month set a new recommendation that men should only drink 14 units of alcohol a week, down from 21 units and in line with women's recommended intake.