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On-trade too brand-averse

Published:  18 January, 2007

Eight months on from my departure from the safety of the grocery retail world, I still appreciate the importance of brands within a supermarket wine range.

Too often I see lists dominated by no-name offerings whose presence is dictated by the lack of retail-price comparison, thus allowing the establishment to add a significant multiple of the original cost price and charge premium prices, in a way which is less easily done with brands.

And too often I see customers at gastropubs and restaurant chains looking confused. They want to make a quick selection in order to enjoy the experience, but the wine list is hard work.

I have seen the look of relief on people's faces when they find a wine that they have heard of on a list. It eases the selection process, removes the stress, and enables many, on-wine-focused consumers to relax and enjoy. It may even encourage them to trade up.

With Champagne, customers gravitate towards brand names they know and accept the on-trade mark up. Why not with still wine?

Angela Mount is MD of Love That Wine and associate director of Wine Intelligence