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New Zealand wine promotion works for independents

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: Independent wine retailers saw sales increases of 900% when promoting NZ wine this summer

New Zealand Winegrowers has announced the names of the seven finalists of its Independent Promotion, having tweaked the criteria to include two more than originally planned.

The competition, now in its third year, ran from the end of June to the end of August, during which period stores had to promote wine from New Zealand for a minimum of four weeks.

Participants - 63 retailers who between them own 167 stores - demonstrated a high level of creativity, hosting tastings, outdoor events, creating imaginative window displays, and their own pos. The result was often not just nine-fold sales hikes, but also increases in the average spend per bottle.

Warren Adamson, director for New Zealand Winegrowers UK & Europe, said: "Working with independent retailers in this way continues to be a huge learning curve for us. We have adapted the competition this year, realising that we need to be flexible, in recognition of the needs of the retailers."

He added: "The original intention was to have one finalist from each of five regions. But in some places there were two of three participants who were equally deserving."

This year New Zealand Wine's support for the retailers was provided in the form of POS and information packs, as well as consumer leaflets and a dedicated website. In line with changing consumer demands, and in recognition of the very personal service independent wine retailers provide, material was also made available through email; recipe cards with matching suggestions were produced; and retailers were given both educational material and data to help improve sales.

The seven finalists each win a trip to London, scheduled to take place early in November. During their stay they will be invited to attend the New Zealand Winegrowers dinner where the UK trade winner will be announced.

The overall winner will receive a trip for two to New Zealand, timed around Wine New Zealand in October 2008.

The judging panel will this year include Harpers' editor, Richard Siddle.