Less weight for light wine

Weight Watchers is hoping to gain a larger slice of the market with four wines made in partnership with McWilliam’s.

McWilliam’s Harmony and Essenze wines are sourced from Australia and New Zealand and feature Weight Watchers stickers to highlight its endorsement that the calorific content meets its guidelines for consumers.

The labels are designed to be peeled- off so consumers who want to drink the wine with friends do not have to show they are watching their calorie intake.

The lower-alcohol wines include a Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, a Shiraz and a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and range in strength from 6%-10% abv with price tags of between £8.99-£9.99. McWilliam’s claims a 12.5cl glass of its Harmony Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc is a third lower in alcohol and kilojoules than 12% abv wines.

The portfolio, which will be distributed by PLB, join Weight Watchers’ existing German wines produced under licence by Reh Kendermann.

The UK launch comes two years after McWilliam’s and Weight Watchers joined forces to introduce a similar range in Australia.

McWilliam’s export director Lloyd Stephens said the roll out was the result

of research from Wine Intelligence which demonstrated a “significant con- sumer demand” for lower-alcohol and lower-calorie wines.

He said: “The overwhelming message was that consumers aren’t that engaged in the lower-alcohol trend, but they are interested in calories.

“Weight Watchers is a huge brand, but there are a lot of consumers who wouldn’t necessarily want to see Weight Watchers on the label because they don’t want to have the conversation publicly that they are on a weight-loss programme.

“Retailers want to embrace lower- alcohol wines and this range has a real point of difference.”

Neil Murray, licensing manager at Weight Watchers UK, said: “Australia and New Zealand are clear growth categories and this partnership is about making dining and entertaining choices wider and easier for consumers we know are looking to make healthier choices.”

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