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Aldi's expanded Christmas wine and spirit ranges focus on premium and innovation

Published:  27 September, 2016

Aldi's Christmas wine and spirit ranges provides some great insight into where the business may go over the next 12 months including an expanded range of premium wine and spirit products.

Wine in particular has been a major focus for the retailer as the category helps to attract new customers into stores and to build trust in the retailer's ability to deliver quality products.

"Arguably wine is both the hardest category to get right, but the easiest way to differentiate yourself. We sell wine across a number of different price points but we concentrate on offering value which is different from some of our competitors. Value is not just about price, it is about offering a great quality wine at a good price,' said Mike James, UK's wine buying director of Aldi.

Differentiating on quality has been a massive focus for the wine buying team, both in response to market trends but also in response to changes in customers' buying habits. Aldi's premium own label ranges have done very well.

"We sell 1500 bottles of our Exquisite collection every hour. We have been doing our Lot series which are only between 30,000 to 40,000 bottles for two years now and when they are gone they are gone," said James.  Aldi sold 90 million bottles of wine last year and one in every twelve bottles of Champagne now bought in a UK supermarket or off-licence is Aldi's Veuve Monsigny Champagne.

"Our Champagne has really helped to open that door for other lines like the Exquisite range and the Lot range of wines. I don't think that consumers are put off now at spending £10 at Aldi for a great bottle of wine. I think we have changed that perception over the past couple of years. It may have been different four or five years ago, but it has totally changed. I am really proud of that," said James.

The premiumisation trend is something that the wine buying team is looking at trying to capitalise on and the expanded Christmas range is an excellent opportunity for the retailer to trial new products and test the willingness for customers to trade up. This year larger format bottles like Gucci Prosecco Magnum NV will be on offer as will a magnum from Argentina.

Spirits are equally trialling more premium products during Christmas for gifting purposes but also just making the most of people who want something a bit more premium over the holidays.

Dan Hobson, the UK buying director for beers and sprits said: "We are definitely seeing the trend that people may not be drinking as much but they are drinking better, particularly so among younger people. But this is great opportunity for us to show that we are not about doing just what is normal, yes we can offer some great valued products for the everyday, but we can also be your retailer for premium quality products as well."

In an effort to fill that growing demand Hobson has added three different premium gins to range: Topaz Blue Premium Gin (£13.99), Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin (£18.99) and Gin Mare premium gin (£27.99).

"We have never sold a gin for £27.99, but it is premium and people will recognise the brand.  We will see how they do and if they are successful we may look at selling them beyond Christmas," said Hobson. Equally Aldi offers a 28 Glen Marnoch single malt whisky for £39.99.