The Australian federal government has awarded a grant of almost A$3m (£1.6m) designed to boost quality and innovation within the burgeoning low-alcohol and alcohol-free wine market.
This grant from the Australian government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects funding scheme will be used to drive further innovation and improve standards within the no/low category. The project is called ‘Advancement of Australian Lifestyle Wines’.
Australian Vintage, whose portfolio includes McGuigan and Tempus Two, will serve as the project lead for the research. The chief winemaker Jamie Saint said: ‘The grant allows us to conduct research with a key objective of optimizing the flavor and mouthfeel of no and low products, as well as drilling down into consumer and market insights of the category.’
The company will team up with 10 industry partners to conduct the research: Treasury Wine Estates, whose brands include Penfolds and Wolf Blass, along with the University of Adelaide, the Australian Wine Research Institute, Flavourtech, DrinkWise, Tarac Technologies, S. Smith and Son, Danstar Ferment, Mauri Yeast and CHR Hansen.
‘The opportunity to work with a group of leading industry partners to take the growing no/low category to the next level is something we are enormously excited by, improving the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of the Australian wine industry,’ added Saint.
‘We want to position the Australian wine sector as the largest global producer of no/low wines.’
In 2022, the market value for no/low-alcohol drinks surpassed $11bn among 10 focus markets across the world, according to IWSR analyst data.
IWSR expects consumption to grow by 33% to $14.67bn by 2026, spearheaded by health-conscious adults in Germany, Spain, the USA, Japan and the UK.