Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Looking ahead: Troy Christensen, CEO, Enotria & Coe

Published:  30 August, 2019


As the first half of 2019 draws to a close, Harpers asked key trade figures to highlight the current challenges, ongoing trends and opportunities

We continue our series with insights from Troy Christensen, CEO, Enotria & Coe

How has the first half of 2019 been when compared to the same period in 2018?

Our business grew 25% in H1, so there was a solid start to the year. Despite Brexit concerns, there is still strong growth in some segments of the market, and we will continue to develop our business to service and grow these parts of the premium on trade.

What were the highs and lows for your own business in the first six months of 2019?

E&C successfully completed the first year with some great new accounts like Wimbledon and Cheltenham, which reinforces the importance of premium products, coupled with clever brand activation, in driving successful events. In addition, we continue to develop our portfolio to ensure it is the most relevant and inspiring, attracting premium agencies top the E&C stable.

The lows would be that we are still seeing struggling customers looking to switch supply to someone who can degrade wine quality by another few pence a bottle, and then wonder why customers aren’t rushing to imbibe at their establishment. Additionally, we felt the hit with another tax increase on wine, which was singled out by the chancellor for political purposes, putting undue pressure on the category and the struggling high street.

What, currently, are the biggest challenges for the trade?

Brexit and shifting consumer dynamics are challenging the sector, and there has been precious little innovation through much of the beverage alcohol category. There is some product innovation, but the trade needs to consider how it will keep itself profitable and relevant for the foreseeable future. We should embrace change and category innovation, and grab more share of throat. As consumer behaviour changes, we need to be adaptive.

Will you be preparing in any way for a second potential ‘no deal’ or some deal Brexit day on 31 October and, if so, how?

We have found the three key actions in preparing for Brexit; hedge currency, increase stock holding and pray.

Taking current trading conditions into account, what’s your strategy for meeting those challenges during the second half of the year, leading up to the crucial Christmas trading period?

The business has highlighted and led with some low-no products such as Regal Rogue Vermouth and Copenhagen Sparkling Tea. We have also led a number of initiatives around Tequila and Mezcal, which are important emerging cocktail trends, following on the heels of gin growth.

What will the focus be on with regard to your portfolio (and any updates) and why?

Despite Italy’s growth versus France in the on trade, these two categories are still driving the premium on trade. The business has worked to bolster some of the French regions, as we do see these continuing to be key for future premium on trade.

For you, what are the most significant emerging trends in the drinks world?

All eyes are on Canada and the USA to see what will come from the cannabis world fusing with the drinks world. This category is going to take a big chunk of share from another, but it is not yet clear from where that will be.

What innovations in the drinks world do you believe will have the most impact going forward?

There are some great innovations related to low and no alcohol, but at very premium price points. This is a category to watch, and one on which we have been focusing our attention, building a compelling range so that we can offer category expertise and ensure that our customers can offer their customers a delicious beverage (be it low or no) and, as relevant, an elevated drinks experience.

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

Nothing better than another day at the office, working in the greatest industry in the world.