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Looking ahead: Mark Lansley, Broadland Wineries

Published:  30 December, 2018

Once again we are catching up with the trade to find out how businesses are making the most of the all-important Christmas trading period, while also looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities 2019 will bring.

Our series continues with insights from Mark Lansley, chief executive officer, Broadland Wineries.

Is the trade is in a stronger or weaker place now than at the same time last year?

The UK trade has come through some difficult challenges over the last two years, but those who have adapted to current trends and changes in demand have become stronger. The UK trade is an exciting place to be, despite the challenges of Brexit.

What were the highs and lows for your own business in 2018?

The high point for our business in 2018 was seeing our move towards branded wines bear fruit – our business is being transformed with the help of branded innovation and gearing up our expert marketing and sales teams. As a result we accelerated growth into the UK multiple grocers with our latest innovations - Minivino single serve and Proudly Vegan. Our business in the USA also took off with significant listings for our Advent Calendar and New Zealand wine, Waipapa Bay. Our sales are up by 20% this year, along with our profitability.

The low has to be dealing with political uncertainty and potential outcomes of Brexit. We’ve completed a stock build and brought in extra consumables and spare parts for our filling lines just in case things go badly in March.

What were the most significant trends in the drinks world that occurred in 2018?

For me, it’s the seismic changes that are occurring between generations in the developed countries. Vegan, organic, botanicals, palm oil, lower sugar, lower consumption, fake-woke, true-craft, Live Kindly brands – these are all pointing to a different needs set for the drinks sector to satisfy.

What drinks trends do you predict will emerge or become more firmly established in 2019?

For Broadland, the vegan trend is experiencing the most uplift. All our key retailers are categorizing this sector above others now. Organic wine sales are seeing a year on year growth too - both sectors seeing the most growth from the under 45s.

We mustn’t forget the over 50s that have the spending power - they are drinking less, focusing on alcohol levels and being more experimental.

The wine industry is at an exciting point in its development and we think all of these trends will continue to emerge and evolve.

What are likely to be the biggest opportunities for the trade in 2019?

Definitely lower alcohol and Live Kindly brands. Millennials are growing up and demanding more from us.

What will be the biggest challenges facing the trade in 2019?

The economy could tank if Brexit continues to be mismanaged by the UK Government.

Who are the people, companies or sectors to watch in 2019?

Argentinian wine is looking good value for money for 2019. As for companies, Majestic/Naked is one I find interesting to watch

What, for you, would make for a perfect Christmas?

Family at home, followed by a few days skiing. My favourite tipple for Christmas Day will be a big red, probably our El Tesoro Malbec.