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Going against the grain : The Kim Crawford Wines story


Kim Crawford Wines was established in 1996 by husband and wife team Kim and Erica Crawford. With NZ$20,000 start-up capital, the Crawfords could not afford to purchase land and winemaking facilities. Instead, they operated as a virtual winery, outsourcing grape growing and bottling, using external winemaking facilities, and operating initially without a cellar door. The company initially exported to the UK market. Seven years on, sales had grown from 4,000 to 86,000 cases and turnover from NZ$340,000 to NZ$10 million. In 2003, the Crawfords sold the company’s brand and intellectual property to their Canadian importer Vincor International for NZ$18 million. Kim and Erica negotiated an earn-out clause to remain in the business for at least five more years. In 2006, Constellation Brands Incorporated purchased Vincor International, and within two years the Crawfords had left the business This case demonstrates innovation and product development in the New Zealand wine industry. It illustrates how relationships and being prepared to do things differently can assist success.

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Case Description
Business Case Study NoUA-2009-002
Number of Pages11
CompanyKim Crawford Wines Limited
Setting - CountryNew Zealand
IndustryFood and beverage

SourceAuckland, NZ. Publisher: University of Auckland Business Case Centre. Pages: 244 - 255