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Buckingham Schenk ramps up sales of pre-filled wine goblets

Published:  10 March, 2014

Buckingham Schenk is aiming to double sales of pre-filled wine goblets this year to 1.5 million, which managing director Jon Pepper MW says are incremental to the wine category.

Buckingham Schenk is aiming to double sales of pre-filled wine goblets this year to 1.5 million, which managing director Jon Pepper MW says are incremental to the wine category.

The group has been working hard to build the on-trade side of the business - it now has 30 accounts in under a year - and is ramping up Prosecco sales after its parent firm bought a winery in the region.

Buckingham SchenkJon PepperBuckingham Schenk’s managing director Jon Pepper is focusing on four key areas in 2014: pre-filled goblets; Prosecco, Vinalba and the on-trade.

Speaking exclusively to, Pepper said it sold 750,000 pre-filled wine goblets last year, and is aiming for sales of 1.5 million in 2014. "It's nice to have something different and innovative," he said, "which fulfils a very specific need". The goblets, which include brands Cavatina and Intrepid Fox, are selling through M&S and Sainsbury's and most of the major cinema groups, while sales at railway stations are "phenomenal". The firm is also doing a lot of work with events and catering companies.

"A mini bottle doesn't fulfil the same need - this is the full solution in one go. It is incremental to the category and is focused on the end consumer. Wine is always a treat for consumers, the goblet is trying to add that back in."

Prosecco has become a major focus for Buckingham Schenk since parent company Schenk bought Baccio della Luna last year. "It's been a big focus in the last 18 months with sales over 2.5 million bottles of Prosecco in the last year."

He said the company had previously sourced Prosecco from third parties, but as it was "such a huge opportunity" it would be "crazy" not to buy an estate in the region.

Pepper believes there is demand for more premium DOCG Prosecco at the £8 to £9 mark, to "create something with more depth", both for on-trade and supermarket accounts.

The firm now has 150 wines on offer through the Buckingham Selection, that are exclusive to the on-trade and independents. "We're starting to build a presence as on-trade suppliers," Pepper said.

It launched its first on-trade portfolio at the end of summer 2013, and its second version will be unveiled at London Wine Fair in June. "We've taken on 30 accounts under one year, it's going really well. We're working with most of the major wholesale groups too," he added.

Buckingham Schenk is using regional wholesalers as its route to independent merchants as minimum order sizes are currently restricted to one pallet.

Buckingham Schenk's Argentinian powerhouse Viñalba, also had a "fantastic year", according to Pepper, with retail sales hitting 600,000 bottles last year, of which 90% were in the £8-£10 bracket.

"[Viñalba] built a new winery - not many companies are investing in Argentina now, but they are, and the first vintage is taking place right now," said Pepper. It has around 200 small format tanks, reflecting Viñalba's "boutique style". Pepper said that despite making a lot of wine they like to explore different sites and vinify individual parcels.

"2014 is going to be a really good year", he said. "2013 was a year of two halves. The first half was about maintaining trade and driving costs down while the second half brought real change, following the mood of the country coming out of recession. It opened up to new ideas and business. The mood is now very buoyant and I'm strongly optimistic."