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    Analysis and data to help you buy and sell better

    Insight
    Robin Chin will be sharing his experience of building up drinks brands

    Aquilini’s Robert Chin on creating successful brands

    Ahead of this week’s One Step Beyond webinar on October 13 Richard Siddle talks to Robert Chin, chief executive of leading US and Canadian drinks company, Aquilini Beverage Group, about how, in just over two years, he has transformed it from being largely a bulk supplier of alcoholic drinks to a leading drinks brands producer in its own right with a number of fast growing lines across North America. Here he looks at what he thinks it takes to be a successful drinks brand.

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    One Step Beyond Oct 13: What to expect from consumer webinar

    There is so much talk about the so-called changes that consumers have been through during the pandemic, but what are they in reality and how relevant are they for the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors? That is what the third in our series of One Step Beyond webinars, organised in partnership with Sophie Jump, will look to tackle with experts from the fields of consumers behaviour, innovation, technology as well as leading figures in the drinks industry. Here’s what to expect and how to sign up to the free webinar being held on October 13.

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    One Step Beyond Debate: What’s good content for online retailing

    Enter into any debate around digital, e-commerce and direct to commerce and one of the buzzwords and terms that everyone quickly refers to is “content” – and the need not just to have it, but to have a lot of it. But what exactly do people mean by “content” when it comes to online retailing and running a website? That was the topic in question for our panel of “content creators” as part of One Step Beyond webinar, hosted by The Buyer and Sophie Jump, held earlier in the summer. Richard Siddle, who helped chair the discussion, analyses what we can all learn from producing good content and what impact it can have on your direct drinks sales.

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    Why premiumisation is gift that keeps on giving: Richard Siddle

    Drinks trends come and go but there appears to be one constant in the drinks industry that for producers, brands, retailers and bars alike is the gift that keeps on giving – premiumisation. Whether it is a tequila shot, a glass of malt whisky, a Provence rosé, a crafted world beer, we are all seemingly willing to pay that little bit extra. Providing we think it is worth it. And there’s the rub. The rush to premiumise the drinks category means you have to know what you are doing to convince trade buyers and consumers to trade up, argues Richard Siddle. 

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    Gobelsburg’s 850th one of many highlights at Grafenegg 2021

    Grafenegg 2021 was the Austrian wine industry’s single vineyard summit – an opportunity to taste the new 2020 vintage alongside the monumental 2019s – but because annual conference VieVinum did not happen again this year it was also a chance to catch up with some other more far reaching developments. David Kermode talks with producer body the ÖTW to find out about how its recent classification system is working and what’s happening with Wachau, he also manages to toast 850 years of Schloss Gobelsburg, visit its new cellars and taste some of its sumptuous library of wines.

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    Bordeaux Project

    What makes Bibendum’s Bordeaux Project so important

    Accessing aged, top end Bordeaux by the bottle, direct from the châteaux cellars at competitive market prices – Bibendum’s new Bordeaux Project solves many age-old problems for the on-trade, particularly around cash flow. For the châteaux it means a more direct relationship with the end consumer and increased listings in top restaurants. Mike Turner talks to Bordeaux-based negociant Pierre-Antoine Mairet from Compagnie Medocaine, Bibendum’s head of fine wine, Omar Raafat, and its head of Bordeaux sales Robert Mathias to discover how the project works.

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    One Step Beyond: Dan Cullen-Shute on how to sell wine

    Ahead of the third One Step Beyond free webinar on October 13 we look back at some of the highlights from the second session earlier in the summer where our panel experts from the worlds of consumer insights, technology and innovation looked at some of the lessons we can take from lockdown and see how they might now be applied in our businesses and personal lives. Here we look at the world of wine through the creative eyes of Dan Cullen-Shute, co-founder of Creature London, that claims to “make game-changing advertising that real people can’t help but care about” and why he thinks the wine industry’s. most powerful and profitable customers are the people who drink wine, but don’t think twice about it. Attract their attention, he says, and half your battle is won.

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    Banfi Debate 2: UK buyers on role of Brunellos and Super Tuscans

    In part two of our buyers’ debate on premium Italian wine in partnership with Banfi we turn the focus on two of Italy’s stars of its famous fine wines: Brunello and Super Tuscans. Just where do these bastions of wine styles now sit in the minds of buyers looking for fruit forward, fresh, approachable wines? What styes of Brunello are buyers looking to list? Are Super Tuscans enjoying a new lease of life as other fine wine styles price themselves off wine lists? Richard Siddle hosts and writes up the second part of our in-depth report.

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    The Buyer Banfi Debate: What’s next for Italy’s premium on-trade

    A local neighbourhood is not the same without a good, friendly Italian restaurant with a long list of classic, well priced wines to choose from, but how popular are Italian wines across the premium on-trade as a whole? To find out The Buyer teamed up with traditional Italian producer, Banfi, to host a debate between leading UK on-trade buyers and sommeliers to assess their views on which styles of Italian wine are making it on to their lists, what they would like to see more of and also the chance to taste though a range of Banfi red and white wines to showcase what different regions can now offer UK restaurants and their customers. In part one of our debate we concentrate on Italian whites and opportunities for the country’s indigenous varieties. In part two, later in the week, we shine the light on Brunello and Super Tuscans. 

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    Bordeaux Debate Part 2: Buyers on sustainability & single varietals

    With a legacy of quality wine production in the region dating back centuries, it’s unsurprising the Bordelais like to take their time when it comes to making big strategic changes in the way their wines are made and brought to market. In the second part of The Buyer’s online debate between Bordeaux producers and key UK importers, buyers and independent wine merchants, in partnership with the CIVB, we continue our exploration of Bordeaux’s modern reds, where these fit into the region’s long-term strategy and why the panel are particularly excited to see the emergence of so many quality, commercially focused single varietal wines and where they might work best in the premium UK on and off-trade.

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    Buyer Debate: What ‘Modern Bordeaux’ means for UK buyers

    On the face of it Bordeaux has everything going for it. It is one of the most famous, respected and influential wine regions in the world. Yet when it comes to debates around modern winemaking, new viticultural techniques and what’s new in the world of wine, due to its classic reputation, it is often overlooked as a place you look for innovation. But that is not the real picture of what is actually happening in the region. Far from it. To help analyse the emerging trends in Bordeaux, The Buyer teamed up with the CIVB (Bordeaux Wine Council) to bring together key trade players, including UK buyers, importers and sommeliers, and Bordeaux producers to examine just what “Modern Bordeaux” is, how well understood it is and what aspects are best communicated to the wider trade and wine consumers at large.

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    Buyers on why Luberon’s red & white wines are ideal for the UK

    It is arguably in its white and red wines that the Luberon really starts to show its Rhône credentials with both wine styles made from a wide selection of varieties where the emphasis is very much on bringing out the freshness, acidity and balance in the wines. In part two of The Buyer debate, in partnership with Wines of Luberon, we ask wine buyers, sommeliers and importers to taste and assess a selection of white and red wines and give their overall impression of where they see the opportunities for Luberon in the UK.

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    Buyers’ Debate: Opportunities for Luberon wines in the UK

    Ask the average UK wine buyer to give their views on the Rhône and they could probably spend a couple of minutes talking about the region and why its various styles of wines taste the way they do. But could they do the same for the wines of Luberon, made in the south eastern extreme of the region? To help widen buyers’ knowledge of Luberon wines and what they could offer the UK, The Buyer teamed up with Wines of Luberon to bring together a panel of sommeliers, wine importers and merchants to taste and assess the opportunities for the region in the premium UK wine market. In part one of our two part report the buyer’s shared their first impressions of the region and then focused in on Luberon’s rosé wines and the opportunities for them in the UK. Part two will examine the region’s red and white wines.

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    Tony Blair was the master of using the power of three to drill home a political message - like his famous "education, education, education" plege

    Military mirroring & repetition: master them & increase sales

    If you have watched any of the episodes from the SAS Who Dares Wins show on Channel 4 what makes it so gripping is not just seeing how average men and women tackle the SAS training course, but the techniques the former SAS officers use to get the candidates to open up about why they are really taking part in the programme. Mirroring is very much one of them, where you literally repeat back what someone has said. Here Harry Crowther explains why using simple mirroring techniques can have a dramatic direct impact on wine sales and the bonds you can instantly create with customers.

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    How Catena’s terroir of Malbec study ‘proves that terroir exists’

    In February the Catena Institute published a report into the terroir of Malbec that offered scientific evidence to ‘irrefutably prove’ that terroir exists and is not just a concept dreamed up by the French. Discussing the findings, and broadening the discussion into related fields such as climatology, was a panel of experts that included Laura Catena, journalist Jane Anson and professors from Oregon, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Mendoza. Will historic terroir designations need to be altered in the future to reflect climate change? Should we talk about ecosystems rather than terroir? And will this type of research help to sustain consumer demand for high quality wines? All this and more was discussed while David Kermode took notes.

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    The shadow of Brexit has brought a prolonged and dangerous period of uncertainty over the drinks industry and its supply chain. C&C's ownership brings new security to both Matthew Clark and Bibendum

    Cross-industry support sees government u-turn on VI-1 forms

    Breaking industry news does not normally happen on a Sunday afternoon, but just as many in the trade might have been thinking about what bottle of wine to open for Sunday lunch, news broke that would have got many reaching for a bottle of fizz to celebrate the surprise government u-turn that it was to scrap completely its intention to introduce what the wine sector saw as expensive and dangerous VI-1 forms on future wine imports from the EU. The Buyer looks back on the efforts made by so many in the wine industry, driven by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, to stand up to Whitehall bureaucracy which showed how strong the sector can be when it has the support of all its influential leaders and a sympathetic ear in the financial and business press.

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    The debate

    The Buyer Debate 2: What is the future for Centre-Loire red wines?

    In part one of our report on The Buyer’s debate with key importers, sommeliers and retailers on the opportunities for Beaujolais white wine and Centre-Loire red wines, in partnership with Inter Beaujolais and Centre-Loire Wines, we analysed what the buyers thought specifically of Beaujolais’ less well known white wines. Here we turn the spotlight on the Centre-Loire and look at the styles, the producers, and the price points that our panel feel have the best opportunity to do well in the specialist retail and premium on-trade.

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    Buyer Debate on Beaujolais whites & Centre-Loire reds

    If you were looking to hold a buyers’ debate and tasting of Beaujolais and Centre-Loire wines your immediate assumption would be looking at red wines for Beaujolais and whites for the Centre-Loire. Not this time round. For both regions are also producing a diverse range of quality wines that you would not normally associate coming from those appellations. To help explore and assess just what sort of white wines are being made in Beaujolais and red wines in the Centre-Loire, The Buyer teamed up with Inter Beaujolais and Centre-Loire Wines to bring together a leading panel of buyers, wine importers, sommeliers and restaurateurs to taste a selection of wines and then analyse just how suited they might be for different channels of the UK market in our “The Secret Gems of Beaujolais & Centre-Loire debate’. In part one of our report we explore what the two regions can offer for reds and whites and then delve more deeply into diversity and quality of Beaujolais white wines. Part two of our analysis, later in the week, will focus on the red wines from the Centre-Loire.

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    One Step Beyond Webinar July 12: The post-pandemic consumer

    We might have had our fill of 90 minute events come the end of the Euro 2020 football champions next month, but here’s news of an alternative way of spending 90 minutes with the second One Step Beyond webinar, co-hosted by The Buyer and Sophie Jump, to be held on July 12 that will once again share the insights and expertise of leading figures in consumer behaviour, technology and innovation, both in and outside the drinks, retail and hospitality sector. Here’s what to expect from those 90 minutes.

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    Pix’s Paul Mabray on entering the “Golden Age” of wine online

    We are all now (finally) living in the ‘Golden Age’ of wine online, where the opportunities are enormous for those operators prepared to invest and put digital at the top of their agenda. That was the stand out message from Paul Mabray’s inspiring talk at the first One Step Beyond webinar for 2021 held in April where he also cautioned the wine, retail and hospitality sectors about how to make the most of the universal switch to digital during Covid-19 and that sales won in lockdown won’t necessarily be there long term without a real understanding of what you are doing online, reports Richard Siddle.

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