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The Drinks Wholesaler: Intriguing Times

Published:  27 May, 2016

Welcome to our autumn issue of Drinks Wholesaler, which is packed with the usual medley of analysis, insights, viewpoints and features, plus original research into the wine market, commissioned and shared by Crown Cellars, appearing for the first time here. 




As I write the country is still jubilant over the UK's impressive collective Olympic performance, which has surely sent out a wholly positive message to the world that this eccentric island can still play at the highest level, regardless of its diminutive size. 

Similarly, both public and business confidence appear to have rebounded following the Brexit vote, although economists and commentators still appear divided as to what fallout there will be over the coming months.

One of the biggest factors, and currently the looming issue affecting any in the drinks trade that import from almost anywhere in the world, is the depreciation of sterling. We look at this in depth and what it might mean for those businesses, as well as where in the world the trade is now likely to look to source more affordable wines, spirits and beers. 

In turn, the need for the trade to be as efficient and engaging as possible has become ever more critical. Which is where that The Future of Wine in the On-Trade report from Crown Cellars comes into sharp relief. 

With various highlights and insights reported on pages 8 and 9, the report reveals much about perceptions and misconceptions held by the trade, also focusing on the major differences between the buying and consumption habits of millennials when compared with the rest of the population. 

One of the most striking issues relates to Chardonnay. It is a variety that has never, of course, been away. But so far has it fallen from apparent fashion that many on-trade outlets don't offer any Chardonnay at all. However, left to their own devices in the off-trade, 20% of UK drinkers choose Chardonnay as their tipple of choice. 

Conversely, Malbec looks a runaway bestseller on almost every list up and down the land. But Malbec is a popular choice for only 10% of the nation's red drinkers, still outstripped in popularity by the likes of Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot. 

The point is surely that we as a trade should be offering the public what they want, when they want and in the way they want, rather than either decrying their taste in Prosecco or trying to second guess what's best for them based on anecdote and hearsay. Especially in these uncertain times. 

Andrew Catchpole, Editor

Follow me on Twitter @DrinksWholesale

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