supermarkets rely on low prices

The September 2020 wine fair, despite a market destabilized by the health crisis, had good results: 424 million euros in overall turnover, or 4.7% better than the ‘previous year, according to the trade magazine Beverage department, which evoked a “Incredible rebound”, compared to the decline observed in previous editions. The restaurants having remained closed part of the year, the French had emptied their cellar and the fair was timely to help them fill it up again. According to the brands, another reason explained the success: they offered bottles at lower prices than usual and a better targeted offer. A winning strategy that they are emphasizing for this 2021 edition, which stretches like never before, from the end of August to the end of October.

Most striking element: the fall in the average price of the bottle. It decreased by 23% at Intermarché, from € 13.98 in 2020 to € 10.72 this year. “It is a strong choice, which can induce a drop in overall turnover, but what interests us above all is to increase the number of bottles sold, says Stéphane Friez, head of the brand’s wine industry. We have seen that the health crisis has lowered the purchasing power of the French. We therefore had to take this lasting effect into account. “ As a result, for this 2021 fair, 70% of the bottles offered at Intermarché will cost less than € 12 (compared to 63% last year). In the same spirit, promotional offers (one free bottle for every three purchased) now concern 6.1% of the “Musketeers” catalog, against 4.6% last year.

Fewer grands crus

Auchan is also reducing its prices by 15%, and up to 20% for the bottles displayed in its advertising brochure. It is true that this sign, unlike others, had recorded a disappointing turnover last year. It has therefore completely rebalanced its offer. “We worked a lot on the price, concedes Olivier Merlevède, head of the Auchan wine group. Now, 75% of our offer is below € 10, and a third below € 5. “

For Franprix, whose so-called convenience supermarkets are located in city centers, the turn had already been taken in 2020 (with a very good result, with turnover up 25%). The brand has reinforced this winning strategy: “77% of our volumes sold throughout the year concern wines for less than € 10”, notes Marc Costes, manager of the “liquids” sector. And to go again further: 90% of the assortment presented at the Franprix wine fair will be below the € 10 threshold.

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