Spar launches two own-label wine ranges to simplify category

Spar is aiming to simplify the wine category for its shoppers with two new own-label ranges. 

A five-strong line-up called Everyday Drinking focuses on taste profiles and includes Crisp White, Fruit White, Fresh Rosé, Smooth Red and Bold Red variants, all with an rrp of £5.

Spar consultant Philippa Carr MW told DRN: “A lot of care and passion has gone into this whole range to find products that are benchmarked and deliver for the £5 price. I benchmarked on a weekly basis and I am very happy that they over-deliver.”

The next tier up is a range that encompasses 12 single varietal wines, including Malbec, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, retailing at £6. 

Carr added: “We have tried to make these benchmark, elegant, fruit forward wines that over-deliver – so people feel confident exploring the rest of the range – and give our retailers a quality offering. The labels are modern, eye-catching and appealing.”

Head of BWS Ed Evans added: “We have had a fantastic year across beers, wines and spirits overall. We are trading ahead of total off-trade and this channel. We have benefited from Spar as a total business performing really well.”

Evans pointed to Prosecco, gin and craft beer as star performers, and said there is plenty of scope for sales to continue on an upward curve.

“Growth in beer is coming at a premium level,” he said. “In spirits it’s also at a premium level. Gin is our fastest-growing category in spirits. We are relaunching our Spar brand premium gin. We see that as a platform to keep developing Spar brand spirits at a premium level, while recognising the need to have the best range possible at an everyday level as well.

“We are constantly evaluating our beers, wines and spirits market to ensure that our range is always relevant. The opportunity is for wines ranged by grape variety, premium spirits and craft beer. 

“We work collaboratively with our retailers and wholesalers, who all have the opportunity to taste the wines at trade shows and sales events. We are supporting the launch with marketing materials such as bespoke POS, shop window displays and digital platforms. It’s very much a 360° approach to the launch, to ensure we have the right traction.”

Evans is confident in the new wine ranges, adding: “Own-label has a significant share of our sales, so it was a great opportunity to reinvigorate
and relaunch our Spar brand wines. Having Philippa Carr, a Master of Wine, working with the team on a consultancy basis, has been fantastic.”

Carr served as wine controller at Spar 20 years ago before going on to enjoy a varied career in the industry, including a long stint at Asda. 

She said: “Spar still has a great family ethos, but it has moved with the times. There is lots I recognise, and there is the embracing of modern technology and lots that is new, so it’s really exciting.

“The retailers know their customers on a real micro-level. As a team we have been going to all sorts of meetings and introducing these wines, and
we are absolutely delighted
that retailers are excited about them and have been tweeting their displays.”

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