26 May 2023

A-UK FTA brings diverse, modern Australian wine brands to the UK

The Australia-UK FTA unlocks opportunities for Fourth Wave Wine to grow its portfolio of Australian wine brands in the UK.

Fourth Wave Wine represents a dynamic portfolio of modern Australian wine brands. They combine exciting and engaging brand concepts with a dedication to high-quality contemporary winemaking that respond to current and emerging consumer trends.

Fourth Wave Wine’s Australian portfolio is led by innovative brands such as Elephant in the Room, Little Giant, Farm Hand and Tread Softly.

‘Consumers increasingly demand brands that fit into their lifestyles and match their values. We are there to meet and excite them,’ says Brendan Edmonds, UK Sales Director for Fourth Wave Wine. ‘By working with Australia’s best grapegrowers and winemakers, we deliver high-quality wines in the contemporary styles consumers are looking for.’

This approach appears to be working. Founded in 2009, Fourth Wave Wine now sells more than 12 million bottles of wine a year. In the last 5 years, it has doubled its staff and is winning awards for its innovative products.

In August 2022, Fourth Wave Wine turned its attention to the UK, with major UK retailer Waitrose launching 3 of its wine brands. ‘We are grateful for Waitrose’s early support and our close partnership’, says Edmonds. ‘Consumers in the UK are really connecting with our brands.

‘With the close and consistent support of Austrade, we have been able to engage with more like-minded retailers,’ says Edmonds. ‘It’s an exciting time ahead as we look to delight more UK consumers.

‘The removal of tariffs on wine under the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA) will help us grow Australian wine in the UK,’ he adds. ‘We can provide consumers with our premium wines at more affordable price points.’ 

Minimising carbon footprint

Sustainability and social impact are hugely valuable to Fourth Wave Wine consumers. Fourth Wave Wine has a Sustainability Action Plan and an Environmental Policy. These enable brands like Tread Softly to be a certified member of Sustainable Winegrowers Australia (SWA) and Freshcare (Australian Wine Industry Standard of Sustainable Practice).

Tread Softly is Fourth Wave Wine’s progressively eco-conscious drinks brand. For every 6 bottles of Tread Softly sold, the company plants a native Australian tree to create a greener future.

‘Since launching Tread Softly in 2019, the wine brand has planted more than one million native trees, and this is still growing,’ says Indeya Passfield, Fourth Wave Wine’s Marketing Manager. ‘The trees are planted in partnership with Carbon Neutral in Western Australia’s Yarra Yarra biodiversity corridor. This land was once cleared for agricultural use. Rehabilitating this land encourages the return of flora and fauna, restores biodiversity and helps reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions.’

The practical benefits of the A-UK FTA

Edmonds says the A-UK FTA unlocks benefits for Australian wine, UK retailers and consumers.

‘The A-UK FTA couldn’t have come at a better time for the industry,’ he says. ‘The tariff of A$1 for every 6-pack of wine sold is now coming off, unlocking more value for UK shoppers. It’s a win for Australian wine, a win for UK retailers and a win for UK consumers.’

Austrade paves the way to the UK

‘Since our initial launch in the UK, Austrade has assisted us with market intelligence, access and introductions to other major customers, supporting the opportunity for us to build our UK market presence further,’ says Edmonds.

‘The recent International Food and Drink Event in London was an amazing opportunity to showcase our brands. Austrade’s links to the combined food and wine market are invaluable.’ 

Will Downey, Senior Business Development Manager at Austrade UK, says: ‘Fourth Wave Wine has a truly unique portfolio of brands that inspire and engage new and existing wine consumers.

‘At Austrade, we’re excited to work with Fourth Wave Wine and introduce new brands such as Tread Softly, Wild Folk and Plus & Minus to like-minded consumer-led retailers in the UK.’

Fourth Wave Wine eyes future growth

‘Fourth Wave’s portfolio targets key growth segments that appeal to the UK market,’ says Edmonds. ‘These include Pinot Noir, Organic, Certified Sustainable, Natural, and No and Low Alcohol wines.’

Data from the international drinks market analyser International Wines and Spirits Retailer (IWSR), shows no and low-alcohol sales in 2022 surpassed A$11 billion. Looking ahead, no-alcohol products are expected to increase by a third by 2026.

The world’s most valuable no and low-alcohol markets are Germany, Japan, Spain, the US, and the UK, according to IWSR.

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