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Bottle Green's on-trade arm toasts busiest month to date

Published:  18 August, 2014

Bottle Green Wines' sales have risen 15% year-on-year to July, as the company took the biggest ever number of orders from the on-trade to date.

Bottle Green Wines is the group's on-trade and independent division, which launched in April 2012. It now accounts for a third of the group's business, with the remainder dominated by off-trade retailers including convenience sales.

Marketing director Richard Hitchcock told that after two years it was "becoming established as someone who can provide excellent service and products - it didn't happen overnight".

 He added that it is working very hard to ensure its range is "constantly honed and reviewed on a regular basis". Its April review yielded positive results, and core lines such as Chile's Vistamar are putting in consistently strong performances, he said.

"I'm sure there's an element that the on-trade and independents are seeing confidence return and things pick up a bit. But we're not saying it's easy," said Hitchcock.

He said the return to London Wine Fair this year, solely as Bottle Green Wines, had helped send a message to the on-trade and independents and "put us on the map".

June and July's good weather had also helped boost sales, added Hitchcock.

He predicted a strong rest of year as the SITT and Beautiful South tastings get underway in the autumn.

As for the rest of its business, which "still accounts for the lion's share", Hitchcock said it is seeing significant growth, year to date, especially in the convenience channel.

"We have a nice spread of business now - something we didn't have three years ago," he added.

Bottle Green Wines was an early signatory to the Harpers Best Practice Guidelines.

The firm has been working as an agency, importer and wine brand owner to the off-trade for the past 24 years. Its new on-trade and independent operation was launched in April 2012.