Lupé Wines: The Aussie Startup we are all watching
BRW wrote [not long ago] about some of the recent success Lupé Wines have experienced during their first year of business. With a little over a million dollars in revenue, this modestly small team from Melbourne are become major game changers in the wine industry and are well ahead of the curve.
It is not an easy task to change the way a customer consumes a product, even viewing content on the internet instead of in the newspaper took a while before the printing industry really made it a part of their strategy. For something like wine though, a beverage [even an experience] steeped in tradition it was always going to be hard to change the way people viewed the product and give them a value proposition that would make the product something consumers wanted.
Lupé was always created to be a unique packaging company for winemakers, a place where their products could be turned into a 4 pack [4 standard glasses] of wine, that would then be sold to retailers. But in order to prove the concept, founder Georgia Beattie needed to forge some very strong relationships across the industry to get an example product out to the market.
Beattie knew the wine industry well, and her father, a winemaker himself has played an integral part in assisting Beattie to choose the right products to trial – the wines used are all high quality product that by the bottle would cost approximately $30.00 – Beattie admits her father would probably kill her if she was to ever use anything cheaper!
Some major wins for the company over the past year have included a partnership with Treasury Wines for the Boxing Day Cricket, a huge event which got the product in the hands of tens or thousands of people. Other success has also happened in the Asian market, where the product has been really well received, particularly in Japan and Korea: A lot of the meetings here were also from the assistance of the Victorian Government trade missions, who have been very supportive of the product and set up contacts and meetings.
One of the notes that needs to be made with this particular success in Asia is that Australia have a lack of free trade agreements in that market. This makes it somewhat difficult to get wine into the market at a profitable margin. With the Lupé product however, it is new and stands out on the shelves in those markets as a complimentary product to the wine bottles.
It is this education about it being a complimentary product to a winemakers existing product that has lead to the second phase of the business now being realised, and so the business to business sales process [which Beattie has been looking forward to] begins. The goal is to walk down the aisle at Dan Murphy’s and see a complimentary Lupé packaged 4 pack offering with all your favourite wine brands. Nobody really owns the events / picnic /BBQ space when it comes to easily transportable, easily identifiable serves if you are driving market, and Lupé allows winemakers to enter that marketplace.
In addition to this conversations are already taking place with keen hotels wanting to stock the product in their minibars, airlines wanting to use the products on flights and other brands wanting to get a piece of the action.
Although hefty financials were needed to get the business going in the first place [this came from private investors and some investment based out of Singapore] and the factory took longer than expected to have all the equipment etc installed for it to be up and running. Lupé is now on track [a bit ahead really] for it’s current financial goals and by the sounds of it is gearing up for a rather busy year.