• People’s Choice Wine Awards: bursaries to help those entering

    Entering major international drinks competitions is an important part of any producer, importer or retailer’s marketing budget. But it’s going to be harder than ever to find the resources to enter your products with all the other costs and issues that Covid-19 has thrown up. Which is why The People’s Choice Wine Awards has introduced new bursaries, with the support of Wines of Portugal and Smurfit Kappa, to help with entries to three of the categories in its 2021 competition.

    Entering major international drinks competitions is an important part of any producer, importer or retailer’s marketing budget. But it’s going to be harder than ever to find the resources to enter your products with all the other costs and issues that Covid-19 has thrown up. Which is why The People’s Choice Wine Awards has introduced new bursaries, with the support of Wines of Portugal and Smurfit Kappa, to help with entries to three of the categories in its 2021 competition.

    mm By September 7, 2020

    If you are looking to enter this year’s People’s Choice Wine Awards here’s how bursary schemes can help those entering the ‘New to Market’ and ‘Boxing Clever’ categories. Click here for more information on the bursaries. 

    Janet Harrison, founder of People’s Choice Wine Awards

    Janet Harrison – the founder and inspiration behind the People’s Choice Wine Awards

    Can you explain your new bursary scheme and how it works? 

    We wanted to work with generics and sponsors who are keen to support the producers and suppliers they represent – to help them put their money where their mouths are effectively. With less money spent on ‘live events’ this year, we thought there might be money available to directly support people by reducing the cost of the submission fee.  We’ve had a huge response from Portuguese suppliers already (see below).

    How have you supported and promoted them ?

    We’ve created a separate page on our website for the winners of the 2020 ‘New to Market’ categories (sponsored by Wines of Portugal). The producer can upload a video, give some information about their wines and even have a direct link to buy the wines.  This is an exciting new ‘add on’ to the existing promotional opportunities offered by the awards. 

    Both ‘New to Market’ winners from last year have found UK distributors: Vinchio Vaglio Serra, Vigne Vecchie 50 2016 is with Husky Wines; and Champagne Jacques Chaput Brut Tradition 2014/2015 is with Latin Wines Online.

    We are really keen to support those who are looking for a ‘leg up’ in the UK market and what better way for them to say they have already won a UK award, with an endorsement from consumers, not just trade.

    What else are you doing in the 2021 awards that is new to keep it fresh and interesting?

    We are in discussion with a national consumer publication which will be our consumer media partner. This will make the whole process seamless and will be another great way for wine lovers to engage with the awards and discover the wines voted for by other consumers.  Watch this space.

    The People’s Choice Wine Awards stands out as it involves both consumers and professional wine trade judges in deciding its shortlists and winners

    Any new categories and why have you introduced them? 

    We’ve expanded the number of ‘New to Market’ categories to include Fortified and Sparkling Wines as there is a real need to showcase these wines to the UK market.

    It was always in the back of our minds to introduce spirits categories and we’ve been asked by so many people whether we would consider this.  Rather than going ‘all guns blazing’, we have just introduced eight categories this year, to make sure we get the processes absolutely right.  You can see the categories and how to enter here. 

    We’ve got an amazing round two professional panel who have been helpful in spreading the word and advising on the judging process generally. This includes The Three Drinkers (Helena Nicklin, Aidy Smith and Colin Hampden-White); Dawn Davies MW of Speciality Drinks; Kristiane Sherry,  Master of Malt; Dave Marsland, of The Rum Festival Manchester and Drinks Enthusiast agency.

    We hope to expand the People’s Choice Spirits Awards in 2022 to include more categories and may separate out the competition dates (judging/ceremony).  We don’t want the ceremony to become too long and boring!

    What is the entry process for the 2021 awards in terms of deadlines?

    The submissions are currently open and the deadline is October 31 2020.

    Are you still planning on going ahead with live tastings and judging later in the year?

    The judging dates are November 15 and 16, in Manchester.  We have no plans to alter the dates, unless we need to, but have re-designed the way it is carried out to respect Covid-19 regulations and we will incorporate social distancing.  Safety is our top priority.

    And are you having to think about how you do the awards ceremony in 2021?

    Ditto re the ceremony – it’s due to happen on February 8 2021. We have, as a matter of course, investigated online and digital options, but will make that call nearer the time.  One way or another, it will be a cracking night!

    New to Market Bursary Scheme

    Q&A with Frederico Falcão, ViniPortugal chairman and chief executive, Wines of Portugal

    Wines of Portugal is offering Portuguese producers the chance to win bursaries to enter the People’s Choice Wine Awards

    Why did you want to expand your partnership with People’s Choice Wine Awards by offering this bursary scheme?

    We really believe that this is a great initiative to help our Portuguese wine producers to find a business partner in the UK. And Portuguese wines definitely need to expand representation in the UK market. We’ve got amazing importers working with our wines, but the more, the better and there are so many new wines coming out of Portugal right now, that it would be a shame not to promote them in the UK market.

    How are you going to work with your producers to select which ones are involved

    This is open to all Portuguese wine producers who can enter their wines to receive a maximum of two bursaries per producer. Also, we’ve informed them of this initiative so they can enter this competition directly by following the special link created.

    How does the bursary work?

    Our goal is to give an extra incentive to Portuguese wine producers to enter the ‘New to Market’ white or red categories. We believe this can be of great help to those looking for distribution in the UK. Producers will only have to pay half of the cost of registration and Wines of Portugal will pay the other half.

    This goes further than just sponsoring a category – what do you hope the bursary scheme can offer the People Choice Wine Awards?

    We really believe that this bursary scheme will definitely promote the competition amongst Portuguese wine producers and will let them know about how different it is, having consumers really involved in the judging process. We also need more Portuguese producers entering these competitions so that we can continue to spread the word about the diversity and quality of our wines.

    Why do you think the People Choice Wine Awards are so different?

    We strongly believe that this competition is willing to show things from a different angle.   Having consumers’ choice instead of winemakers and professional’s choice is a different perspective and, maybe, more commercial. This initiative is interesting for Wines of Portugal as, apart from considering it an excellent idea for new to market producers, it is also a really modern approach to wine and wine competitions in general.

    ‘Boxing Clever’ Bursary Scheme

    Q&A with Jenny Simpkins, Bag in Box and wine market manager, Smurfit Kappa

    Smurfit Kappa hopes its bursary scheme can really help support brand owners and importers looking to build the bag i box wine category

    Why did you want to expand your partnership with People’s Choice Award by offering this bursary scheme?

    To encourage more brands and fillers to showcase their great boxed wine offerings, in turn enabling the UK wine shopper to discover and enjoy bag in box products, which they can drink by the glass over a period of six weeks from opening. Buying with reassurance the wine comes highly recommended from the ‘Boxing Clever’ category by a number of like-minded wine lovers.

    What does the bursary involve and how will it be applied?

    There are 20 bursaries, offered to each entrant on a first come-first served basis with a maximum of two bursaries per entrant.  It’s as simple as that, so people need to hurry!

    This goes further than just sponsoring a category – what do you hope the bursary scheme can offer the People Choice Wine Awards?

    We hope to contribute with increased entries for the awards, encouraging producers, brands and packaging companies to participate in more categories, and as a result celebrate even more of their delicious wines through the great platform that the People’s Choice Wine Awards offers.

    Why do you think the People Choice Wine Awards are so different?

    We love that the judging process is so inclusive, with both everyday wine enthusiasts and industry experts making up the panel. The resulting shortlist for each category are trusted wines, enjoyed by those with a range of tastes. Making them both appealing and accessible to wine lovers, particularly as each category is essentially a purchase occasion.

    We know that the UK is crying out for more choice of bag in box wines, wanting to discover something they really enjoy, and the People’s Choice Wine Awards is all about sharing exciting wines and encouraging people try something new, so what a fantastic way to link a shopper barrier with a buying solution – all topped off with a cracking awards night!

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