The bigger they are, the harder they can fall….
I’m not saying that TWE has crashed and burned, but the sudden cessation of trading made for plenty of alarmist headlines and speculation in the trade press in Australia yesterday. There have been a few changes of leadership (e.g. new CEO) over the last 12 months and with it a few changes in marketing strategies. Today’s media is full of the announcement that they have reduced their forecast earnings for 2013-14 by 40 million dollars – not peanuts. One of the explanations they have given is that they decided to “increase prices on some of its commercial portfolio, participate in less deep promotion initiatives across the portfolio over the Christmas period”. Is this not another way of saying “we got greedy and thought that consumers were so silly that they would keep buying regardless of whether we made the effort or not?”
I, for one, think that it is extremely unhealthy to have large corporations (in particular ones that are not necessarily wine producers at the core of their operations and experience) in control of such a significant proportion of Australia’s wine production and sales.
It’s time for Australian winemakers to take back control of its wine profile, return to its roots and take individual pride in the many fantastic wines they we produce. No longer can big corporations assume that, if you send it to the UK, regardless of the price you put on it, that it will be bought without a second thought. The world is spoilt for choice these days – they don’t need over-priced and under-exciting Aussie wine any more.
It’s time to get real – Australia doesn’t need TWE-like giants any more!