An amazing Australian story of success. Yellow Tail turns 20.

An amazing Australian story of success. Yellow Tail turns 20.

An amazing Australian story of success. Yellow Tail turns 20.

November 30, 2021

Yellow Tail celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021. Today it is a 13.5 million (9LE) case brand, available in over 60 countries worldwide. Parent company Casella Family Brands employs over 900 staff in locations across Australia and works with 155 distributor partners to bring Yellow Tail wines to consumers around the globe.  

John Casella, Managing Director of Casella Family Brands, created Yellow Tail in 2001 as he endeavoured to create a wine that people could enjoy on any occasion and that consistently over delivered on quality and value; a flavoursome wine and approachable Australian brand that would appeal to people wanting to avoid the complexity of wine.  

Mr Casella said, “At its inception Yellow Tail stood out in an overly crowded and traditional wine category due to its unique personality and differentiated positioning. As the category has become increasingly cluttered and fragmented, with consumer tastes and trends constantly changing, we have had to work extremely hard to maintain our position and continue to grow Yellow Tail worldwide.”

National Sales Manager Mark Churi has worked with the Casella Family Brands for almost nine years, starting when it was a single brand business.

 

He told the Drinks Association, “In 2003, Yellow Tail global sales reached five million cases globally. After the incredible success overseas, John decided to launch the brand in Australia that same year.

“Eighteen years later, we’re now edging towards becoming a million case brand in Australia, slightly behind Jacob’s Creek Classic. Of the $6-$10 segment, Yellow Tail has a 10.5 per cent share and growing, which means that one in every ten bottles of wine sold from this price range is a bottle of Yellow Tail.”

Twenty years ago, its ‘unique personality’ was ground-breaking but its success and continued growth is inspiring, says Mr Churi.

“Throughout the years, Yellow Tail has been awarded over 550 wine awards, which reinforces our wines' consistent great taste and quality. Being voted the World’s Most Powerful Wine Brand by Wine Intelligence for four years in a row is a testament to how consumers continue to connect with this iconic brand,” he says.

Casella Family Wines has expanded its portfolio since Mr Churi began with the company, acquiring a range of premium brands: Peter Lehmann Wines from the Barossa in 2014 followed by Brand’s Laira of Coonawarra, the world-leading and highly decorated Morris of Rutherglen earlier this year, and Baileys of Glenrowan, a fully certified organic winery.

“These additions to the wine portfolio have driven our goal of premiumisation for our customers, and ultimately the consumer,” he says.

Mr Churi predicts that the trend to premiumisation will see retailers significantly reduce the number of core brands in the $6-$10 price range, which is an opportunity for continued success for Yellow Tail.

“As retailers focus their shelf and floor space on strong brands that deliver consistent margins, they will only carry two or three core brands in the $6-$10 price category. This will open up space to cater to the premiumisation trend and bring consumers more choice in the higher price tiers.

“Therefore, it is essential brands like Yellow Tail offer shoppers consistent quality, value, and a meaningful emotional connection to remain relevant and hold shelf space. “

Remaining relevant

From two founding products (Shiraz and Chardonnay) to a portfolio of 23 varietals, the focus has been on developing varietals and styles to suit consumer tastes and different consumption occasions.

Yellow Tail has continued to develop new products and to innovate in Australia launching a range of new products including, Rosé, Prosecco, and Sangria. Most recently it launched a low-alcohol offering, Yellow Tail Pure Bright in Coles and through IBA (independent channel) to support the consumer trends towards health and wellbeing and is showing solid uptake in retail, which is very exciting, says Mr Churi.

The company has also launched the new to market Yellow Tail Whiskey Barrel, aged in Australian Whiskey barrels.

Mr Churi adds, “The pack refresh for Yellow Tail Bubbles has seen double-digit growth for the last seven years in a row, positioning it as the number two sparkling in its price segment. Yellow Tail Prosecco has also experienced success, breaking through the $10 price point. This offering is a more premium one attracting a younger consumer to the brand. “

In the next twenty years, Mr Churi’s ambition for the brand is that it takes the number one position in the sub $10 segment.

“While the segment will be smaller, it will be led by high-quality brands like Yellow Tail which have delivered customers and consumers consistency in style and value for money. 

"Yellow Tail will continue to innovate and provide customers with new offers that excite shoppers. There will also be a focus on attracting a new cohort of younger consumers to the brand,” he says.

As a result of the chaos of 2020 -21, consumers expect more from the companies, brands, and products they support and want to feel they are making a difference through the brands they purchase and consume. Momentum behind this will only continue to build, and established brands like Yellow Tail need to play a role in these conversations in an authentic and genuine way. 

Mr Casella concludes, “We are fortunate to have a unique, strong, and powerful global wine brand. I’m very excited for the next chapter – there is still so much opportunity for Yellow Tail, and I know we have the passion, the people, and the ability to ensure [yellow tail] is the world’s most loved wine brand for years to come.”

 

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