German wine group Reh Kendermann has established its WeightWatchers wine range in the UK but is struggling to push the low calorie concept into other markets.

The trend contrasts with WeightWatchers' food fortunes, which are booming in the US while floundering domestically.

Kendermann, whose portfolio includes the Black Tower brand, wants to secure off-trade agreements for WeightWatchers wine to be distributed in the US, Germany and Scandinavia, with discussions ongoing.

Kendermann export marketing manager, Andrea Hoffmann, told just-drinks at the London International Wine and Spirits Fair this week: "We are working on this directly with supermarket operators in the US, Germany and Scandinavia.

"The UK is the most open market for this kind of low-calorie alcoholic drink but other countries say that alcohol does not come into a diet."

All of the wines use grapes from the Rhein region of Germany, from 2004 and 2005 varieties, and are between 9 and 11% volume. They are marketed 25cl and 75cl bottles at UK supermarkets including Asda, Tesco and Somerfields.

The 75cl range of five wines, called Smooth Red, Fruity White, Refreshing Rose, Purely Pink and Riesling, retail between GBP3.99(US$7.49) and GBP4.99 per bottle.

The low calorie wine idea was devised between the two companies three years ago and incorporates one WeightWatchers point per glass, making it "very easy for dieters to calculate," said Hoffmann.

Kendermann's WeightWatcher range is targeted at the 3m UK dieters said to follow the company's diet, most of whom are women. "We realise wine is a very important part of the UK female consumer diet," she added.