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Spotlight on 2020: Andy Talbot, Off-Piste Wines

Published:  16 December, 2019

As we prepare for the new decade, Harpers looks back over 2019 and ahead to what the coming year will bring – hopefully full of revived optimism for both politics and the trade.

Here, we continue our winter series of reflections, predictions and views with Andy Talbot, MD, Off-Piste Wines

1. What were the highs and lows for you and your business in 2019?

We have ended it on a high with fantastic distribution for our key brands. A low has been managing stocks and orders around the two proposed Brexit dates, leaving us with a higher average stock holding for the year.

2. What were the most significant issues and trends that occurred in 2019?

The rise of wine in a can, Off-Piste was first to market with innovation to wine in cans. It’s clearly caught on very fast with so many UK bottlers installing canning lines. It looks like there is a big future for wine in a can!

3. What Brexit outcome would you prefer to see?

Personally, I would love for us to remain in the EU. However if that’s not the case, what I would like is not to still be talking about Brexit in 2021.

4. What trends do you predict for 2020?

I think sales of canned wine will have triple digit growth. I’m also interested to see what happens to Australian wine given the slowdown in growth to China. Lastly, more focus on low calorie options.

5. What are likely to be the biggest opportunities for the trade in 2020?

Stealing back some market share from craft beer and gin.

6. What are the biggest challenges facing the trade in 2020?

Wine being the only alcohol duty guaranteed to go up poses the trade a big challenge every year. The constant risk of exchange rate volatility while Brexit gets resolved. Consumers having less disposable income.

7. Who are the people, companies or retailers to watch in 2020?

I think we will be the ones to watch next year. We have been working away on many things and most are coming to fruition over the next few weeks and months. Very exciting times ahead for Off-Piste.

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

After a year of extremely hard work, my Christmas will be made perfect by enjoying watching my two daughters playing and having some quality time with my family!

9. New Year’s resolution?

Sell more wine.