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The plus £8 wine category is here to stay, says Dedicated Wines' Edward Squires

Published:  24 June, 2011

Higher wine prices can be sustained in the UK as consumers grow to accept them and buyers recognise the higher margins that can be made for all in the supply chain, according to Edward Squires, co-founder of Dedicated Wines.

Speaking at this week's Vinexpo Squires, who alongside his partner Richard Evans, has had considerable success with branded French wines like La Difference in the UK, believes the plus £8 price category is going to be increasingly attractive to buyers and suppliers alike.

"The £8-£12 price point is where buyers can make more money and margin for themselves, the importers and the wineries. It is, after all, better to sell one bottle at £8 than three for £10," he told Harpers.

Dedicated Wines hopes to play its part in pushing higher priced volume brands with the launch of its Rhône brand, Les Dauphins, through its French wine partners, Cellier des Dauphins.

The brand has now been picked up by one of the multiples and set to go in-store from October.

But he accepted the challenge for suppliers operating in the branded French wine market is to turn the "phenomenal interest" in the category from around the word into "commercial reality". "But you can't force the pace. You have to drip feed these sort of changes through. You have to show you are in the category for the long term and find the right opportunities when retailers are looking to do range reviews."

He said the culture of only talking about volume sales as a baromoter of performance was changing. "People will talk about the number of bottles sold, not how much money they have made."

Cellier des Dauphins used Vinexpo to launch a new umbrella branded wine range, Signature, for the French market as part of its strategy of having branded wine ranges at all levels of the pricing ladder. Its second vintage will be made available for export, but Squires said we would have to "wait and see" if it works for the UK as it is based on wines with smaller yields of production. "We can't show everything," he added.