SOUTH AFRICA – Leading African retailer, Shoprite has once again come to the rescue of South Africa’s wine industry with the introduction of a new exclusive private label wine brand known as Elephant’s Cousin.
The new wines with unique flavour profiles and easy drinkability i.e., a sauvignon blanc, merlot and shiraz, will be widely available in Shoprites and Checker’s LiquorShops.
Much like the supermarket’s popular Odd Bins range, the exact origin of the wine is kept secret to ensure it remains both affordable and accessible.
Shoprite has indicated that the limited label will exist only for as long as there are large quantities of surplus wine available.
Since the start of lock-down, the supermarket chain owner has purchased more than 1.5 million litres of wine from South African farms in a bid to ease the burden brought on by COVID-19.
Global import and export restrictions, a struggling local economy, and multiple COVID-19-induced liquor bans have left many South African wine farms sitting on massive wine volumes with over 300 million litres languishes in warehouses and cellars.
According to SA wine industry lobby body, Vinpro the sector has lost more than R7 billion (US$480m) in revenue following the ban on alcohol sales.
This recent move by Shoprite will help wine farms move surplus stock more rapidly – without a route to market, the knock-on effect of this unsold excess will be devastating for the industry.
At the same time, Shoprite and Checkers saw an opportunity to provide its wine-loving customers with a new and exciting range that offers superb value.
The new wine label’s name Elephant’s Cousin, channels the Cape’s popular dassie, the closest living relative of the African elephant.
“The small rock hyrax, which is sure of foot and big of tooth, is the perfect ambassador for this new range that will stand out on shelves for their quirky branding and competitive price point. Each also represents exceptional quality,” indicated Shoprite in a statement.
This unprecedented bulk purchase of wines is the latest move by Shoprite and Checkers to help support the South African wine industry, which employs some 350,000 people and contributes almost R10 billion (US$665.2 million) to the local economy.
In October last year Checkers launched its ‘Pour it for your country’ campaign to voice its support for local wine producers.
South African retailer Pick n Pay has also commitment to purchase 25 million bottles of wine in 2021 to support the industry.
Meanwhile, Checkers is expanding its relationship with Farmer Angus to include an exclusive range of artisanal charcuterie.
In a supermarket first, the range of charcuterie has been cured without added nitrates and nitrites, making Checkers the only national retailer to offer charcuterie of this incredible quality.
The new charcuterie range prioritises health, quality, and environmental concerns as they are produced using farming methods like regenerative agriculture and rotational grazing, so as to limit the impact of their operations on the environment.
And its pigs are raised on a natural diet in pastures where plants, animals and insects thrive in harmony with one another, which make for an exceptional product that’s sensitive to the environment.
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