Each year the IWSC recognises individual bottles, awarding gold, silver and bronze medals to wines entering our Wine Awards. Looking beyond these bottles, we are also keen to recognise the creativity of the companies bringing these drinks to the customer. These companies are distinguished through our Business Awards.
The judging panels for this year’s award comprised of experts from across the wine industry: Masters of Wine Junior Vianna and Sarah Abbott - as well as drinks retail consultant, Cat Lomax. Christelle Guibert, CEO for the IWSC completed the panel.
A very successful model with an ongoing focus on value with a range interspersed with exciting wines – Aldi is still able to inject its range with interesting wines, adding 150 new SKUs over the past year.
While maintaining a focus on affordable wine, Aldi is doing an impressive job of getting new styles into customers baskets. Hats off to them for their sales of wines from the Douro, in particular the sales of Vinho Verde are outstanding – with Aldi claiming 30% of sales of Vinho Verde across retailers last year.
Our judges recognise that one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is a loss of consumers as the cost-of-living bites, and as people pull back on purchasing luxury products, as wine is considered by many, Aldi is keeping their customer base.
Over the past year, M&S has introduced 58 new products into its range, including four new wines in its popular Found range showcasing lesser-known styles and varieties.
The range has also been further bolstered with the addition of new top tier range ‘Collections’ showcasing a selection of 16 wines starting at £12 from some of the very best producers and regions in the world.
Working hard to improve the customer journey, M&S has started rolling out Enomatic machines across its store to help customers try before they buy. Additionally, the training of the in-store Wine Heroes continues apace, with M&S now having 160 trained wine personnel across 60 of its UK stores.
Highlighting its long-term commitment to the future of its wine category earlier this year Waitrose announced the appointment of Barry Dick MW with a specific remit of sustainability. Working closely with the broader team to minimise packaging and waste and source all our drinks sustainably and ethically, Waitrose has already started replacing its small bottles with cans.
Waitrose introduced 197 new lines to its range last year, broadening its laudable selection of wines from producers across the world.
Showcasing a real understanding of their customer and an ability to engage with the effectively, bolstering its communication channels already including magazines, in-store wine tastings and the Waitrose Food & Drink Festival, in the past year Waitrose has launched its new podcast, Dish.
Our winner for Wine Supermarket Trophy will be announced at 10.00 on Friday 3 March.