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November 16, 2022

Cost-of-living ‘changing drinking habits’, says Accolade Wines CEO

The boss of Australia-based Accolade Wines reportedly said pressure on spending is affecting consumer behaviour in Europe.

By Dean Best

Wine drinkers in Europe are changing what they buy in response to pressure on consumer spending, Accolade Wines’ CEO has reportedly said.

Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, Robert Foye said sales in restaurants in mainland Europe and the UK had been the first to feel the impact.

“The cost-of-living crisis is definitely starting to have an effect,” Foye was quoted as saying.

Foye, who leads a wine group that owns brands including Hardys and Kumala, said the company’s domestic business had been less affected so far.

“We’re pretty much growing share in every channel,” he told the AFR.

Earlier this week, Accolade announced the sale of its The Park bottling and warehousing facility in the UK to glass manufacturer Encirc. The agreement will see Accolade enter into a ten-year contract bottling and distribution agreement with Encirc for a clutch of its brands.

Accolade has sold a number of assets in recent months, as rumours about a possible sale by US owner Carlyle Group continue to swirl.

Earlier this month, the Adelaide-headquartered firm announced it had struck a deal to sell its Brookland Valley Estate vineyard to Australian peer the Swinney family under sale-and-leaseback terms.

In August, the group disposed of its Nannup winery to Fogarty Wine Group, while in July sold its Beenak Vineyard in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley to Treasury Wine Estates for around US$5m.

Also in July, the company offloaded 155 acres of vineyards near the McLaren Vale to Randall Wine Group.

Foye also told the AFR Accolade was set to sell its Australian wine brand Stonier, although he reportedly declined to name the prospective new owner.

“It’s getting very close,” he was quoted as saying. “We do have a buyer. There’s no way we can grow the brand. It’s completely limited on growth.”

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