Casella Family Brands, the company behind the Yellow Tail wine brand, will be launching a premium wine brand into the US and is hopeful that a lower AU dollar will boost export sales.
Managing director of the company, John Casella says that as the Australian dollar – which is at its lowest level since January – continues to drop, the financial health of the company increases.
Casella says that the company suffers significant losses when the Australian dollar trades high, adding that the company does not make any money from US sales if the dollar rises above US90¢
“Anything below US90¢ we are happy with,” Casella told BRW. “If it’s between US80¢ to US85¢ it’s even better.”
Although Casella is hopeful that the dollar will work in his favour, he is not placing all his eggs in one basket. Casella is preparing to launch a range of premium wines under the Casella label to tap into the rising demand for premium drops in the US. The new range will retail at up to US$100 per bottle as opposed to Yellow Tail which sells for around $7 per bottle.
At present, the Yellow Tail brand makes up for 50 percent of Australian Wine exported to the US and due to its low price point, has often been blamed for Australia’s ‘cheap and cheerful’ wine image in the US. Casella has always rejected the criticism, and believes that the Australian wine industry as a whole needs to work on promoting itself better, specifically within restaurants and bars.
“Australia has a job of rebuilding its image,” Casella told BRW.
“The decline in sales wasn’t all about the currency. We [the wine industry] are not engaging the off trade. We need to go back to the US and look at that. We have done very well with the on-trade [retailers] because that was easier.”