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Elephant’s Cousin to rescue wine farms

Shoprite and Checkers has purchased more than 1.5 million litres of wine from South African farms since the start of lockdown to help 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.

The wine will be sold under a new exclusive label, as well as used for its wide range of other private label wine ranges. The move 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 is called Elephant’s Cousin, to channel 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 its quirky branding and competitive price point. It also represents exceptional quality.

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, and the limited label will exist only for as long as there are large quantities of surplus wine available.

Wines in the Elephant’s Cousin range have been selected for their unique flavour profiles and easy drinkability, and include a sauvignon blanc, merlot and shiraz.

It will be available in Checkers supermarkets as well as Shoprite and Checkers LiquorShops in the following weeks.

This unprecedented bulk purchase of wines is the latest move by Shoprite and Checkers to help support the South African wine industry, which employs around 350 000 people and contributes almost R10 billion 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.

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