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Some in the trade consider English wines to be underwhelming and overpriced. I disagree; we are making world class wines. Quality is on the rise and customers are eager to support local winemakers. Its why English wines make up 25% of our list at Wickhams.

Wine retailer Majestic is expecting record sales of sparkling wine, ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend, while data specialist Kantar predicts supermarket sales increases across several categories.

Cult Wines has introduced a new trading platform for buying, selling and investing in wine with secure blockchain technology to prove the authenticity of the products. 

The Drinks Retailing Awards are now open for entries for the 2023 event. The awards, which have been given a makeover for 2023, celebrate the best in the UK off-trade.

This issue marks a change for our Top 100 Most Influential list. We’ve opened it out beyond wine to include all drinks categories and we have made it into an industry poll.

Non alcoholic drinks

Waitrose has released its Drinks Report 2022, highlighting some of the key trends in beer, wine and spirits. From the rise in retro cocktails to eco-conscious bag-in-box wines, Pierpaolo Petrassi MW, trading director for BWS, said consumers are becoming “increasingly keen to expand their horizons when it comes to their drinks cabinet”. 

London Wine Fair 2019 event centre

London Wine Fair 

Morrisons has purchased around 1,100 McColl’s stores after the convenience chain briefly went into administration.

Chernigivske beer can Ukraine humanitarian relief

AB InBev’s UK arm, Budweiser Brewing Group, has announced the introduction of popular Ukrainian beer Chernigivske into UK retailers, with profits going to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. 

Sales of beer, wine and spirits fell almost 16% (15.9%) in the four weeks to April 23, according to the latest data from NielsenIQ.

sustainable whisky bottles

As part of its 10-year action plan to operate more sustainably, Diageo has outlined plans to discontinue the use of cardboard gift boxes within its Scotch whisky portfolio. The phased removal of 183 million gift boxes will cover brands such as Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s and Bell’s. If successful, the programme will extend to more Diageo-owned brands in 2023.

London Wine Fair 2019 stand

Wines of Ukraine has been invited to exhibit at the London Wine Fair (LWF) in June, marking the first time the country will be at the show. In light of the conflict in Ukraine, organisers are currently liaising with the generic body to create a special destination stand for the winery on the trade floor, free of charge. 

We caught up with Mark Jarman (right) and Charles Cutteridge at the Morrisons Spring, Summer 2022 press tasting to talk about what’s new, the challenging consumer landscape and why Provence pink still has it

New research has suggested that nearly half of shoppers with children at home claim they are already aiming to save money day-to-day so they can spend as much as they normally would this Christmas.

Waitrose wine tasting event

Waitrose has announced the re-launch of its Wine Tasting at Home experience after offering a virtual service for two years in line with social distancing regulations. 

Ahead of World Earth Day (22 April), FMCG data analysts Levercliff found the majority of consumers (71%) are prioritising value for money over sustainability when shopping for food and drink. As energy prices rise and interest rates increase, 36% of consumers said their shopping choices were driven by the need to budget. 

Online retailer The Whisky Exchange has launched a search functionality that allows customers to shop for spirits, wine or Champagne based on sustainable credentials.

Naked Wins has reported a rise in sales for the fiscal year ending March 28. The online retailer said in a trading update that reported group sales were up 3% year-on-year – or 5% on a constant currency basis.

Man in wine shop standing in front of bottles

You have wine-interested customers coming through the door, they’ve found a wine they love, at a price they like, and they frequently come back for more. But as overheads and the price of wine continue to rise, how can you get customers to trade up and remain loyal without spending a penny? 

London Gin can and glass pink grapefruit

The RTD category has matured: brand proliferation is rife; gimmickry and consumer distrust have been swapped for authenticity and credibility. But the acronym also now covers a spectrum of product types, making stocking and merchandising decisions tricky for retailers. 

a woman standing in front of shelves of wine

The owner of Brighton-based independent drinks retailer Seven Cellars has gathered almost 7,000 signatures in a bid to stop the site being taken over by a neighbouring Co-op store.

Drinks glasses on pink background

NielsenIQ 2021 data shows its boom time for big beer brands, with the category taking six of the top 10 spots in the list of biggest alcohol brands. Diageo does well in the spirits list, with Smirnoff , Gordon’s, Baileys, Captain Morgan and Bell’s Original all featuring. With the recent delisting of Russian products by major retailers, Russian Standard is unlikely to make the cut for 2022.

Big drop no alcohol beer cans

Drinks Retailing has polled 20 independent retailers from across the UK to pinpoint trends in style and flavour across spirits, mixers and sparkling wine. Retailers also reveal their bestsellers and rising stars.

Drinks Retailing has polled 20 independent retailers from across the UK to pinpoint trends in style and flavour across spirits, mixers and sparkling wine. Retailers also reveal their bestsellers and rising stars.

A perso with a delivery bag and bicycle outside a supermarket

Waitrose has bolstered its partnership with Deliveroo, as it looks to add around 70 more stores to the fast delivery service by summer.

Grow with Aldi farmers field with UK flag

Channel 4 is partnering with Aldi to broadcast its Grow with Aldi food and drink producer competition in a TV series that will air later this year. Platforming local British food and drink suppliers, the show is calling for applicants to appear in the six-part series, including alcohol producers. 

Dan Farrell-Wright launched online wine and spirits merchant Wickhams in November 2020 – the depth of the pandemic. The business has grown and will this year evolve to include in-person tastings with wine presenter Tom Surgey. Farrell-Wright tells Drinks Retailing how he got here.

NielsenIQ’s Total Till sales report for April has revealed a steep decline in beer, wine and spirits sales across UK supermarkets. Alongside confectionery, the alcoholic drinks category saw the greatest decline in sales (-17.6%) compared to last year’s data. Overall, grocery sales dropped 4.1% over the last four weeks ending March 26, continuing the monthly downward trend seen in 2022.

Store front till with drinks bottles challenge 25

Covid has accelerated the use of technology in store by probably three to four years,” says Duncan Potter, chief marketing officer at Pricer, a company that makes electronic shelf labels. The system allows retailers to change prices in real time, in line with promotions, and labels can also feature flashing LED lights and corresponding barcodes, allowing staff to find stock more easily.

Lay and Wheeler wine vineyard landscape

Wine merchant Lay & Wheeler has announced a company-wide rebrand as it looks to the future of wine retailing. Since returning to private ownership in 2019, the business said it has invested in both its team and technology to modernise the retailing process for both its producers and customers. To reflect the rebrand, it has adopted a new tagline: ‘1854 onwards’.