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New Horizons Q&A: Troy Christensen, Enotria & Coe

Published:  14 December, 2020

With an end game to the coronavirus in sight sometime in 2021 as vaccine rollouts begin and up-to-the-wire Brexit uncertainties playing out an extraordinarily tough year, Harpers has been canvassing drinks businesses as to their predictions for trade deep into the new year.

We continue our series with Troy Christensen, CEO of Enotria & Coe.

Given everything thats going on, from Covid to Brexit, what are your three predictions for the next 12 months?

  • Growth in Omnichannel channel development.  Covid pushed many channels to diversify their offering which consumers widely accept this as part of their new way of purchasing food and drink.  On Trade via take away, Grocery pushing home delivery, Convenience through Deliveroo, many outlets continue pushing newly developed Ecommerce.  This will drive incremental O2O investment. 
  • Working from home will continue to be a larger part of business than pre-Covid.  Consumers are eating and drinking closer to home more frequently. 
  • Many “older” consumers were driven by the pandemic (or were forced) to get online and purchase products instead of risking Covid during shopping.  The “Silver Surfer” will become a larger share of B2C sales and marketing efforts. 

This is an uncertain future for all concerned, when you and your team sit around the table what conversations are you having?

There is a real concern about the economic impact of Government’s response to Covid and how this will impact consumer behaviour.  Shutting down much of the economy and locking people away for most of the year will have drastic economic impacts that will create as much or more uncertainty than Covid.  

What is your biggest concern about Brexit?

The current Government doesn’t not adequately consider practical impacts when deploying Covid or Brexit strategy leaving things until the last second, repeatedly making U-turns in decision making and not being open or transparent in communication.  This approach forces a “wait and see” strategy, reacting only when there is a level of confidence of policy decisions.  It is difficult to invest behind the business when there is no confidence Government won’t reverse course from a decision made the prior week or even prior day.  

How do you feel the trading environment is going to play out post Brexit

This is a difficult question as nobody knows if there will be a deal or not.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but forecast there will be a deal that is “middle of the road” which doesn’t make Leaver or Remainer happy, but also won’t have a significantly negative nor positive impact on UK – European trading relationships.  If so, this will be a very anti-climactic end to the years of drama.  

What areas of your business has Covid had the biggest impact on?

Most of our business is into the on trade, which has been closed for most of the year impacting the business significantly.  Pre-pandemic there was a shift towards larger experiential events and away from casual dining.  But, as hospitality emerges post pandemic the causal dining sector and those operators providing Covid security in outlet are performing strongly.  It will be interesting to see if post-vaccine the large events continue to grow in importance.  Consumer sentiment suggests it will, so it depends on Government restrictions.  

Anecdotally Brits have been drinking more during the pandemic  - do your sales reflect that?

We have a much larger share in the on trade, so not a good indicator of this shift.  But, our Ecommerce retail arm did certainly see hypergrowth during first lockdown and continued growth during the second lockdown.  

What have you done to take advantage of the rise in off-trade sales during lockdowns?

We worked hard to provide the independent specialists with good offers and specials for products that were primarily On Trade driven pre-Covid.    

If you had to pick the next big thing in wine what would it be?

Nothing too esoteric, but I think you’ll see some large growth in Prosecco Rose next year.  It will be interesting to see if it cannibalises Prosecco or helps grow the category.  

If you could change one thing about the wine industry, what would it be?

The trade is still a bit too insulated and snobbish towards undereducated consumers.  The entire trade would be well served in welcoming Newbies to the category and then letting them explore instead of turning our collective nose up at their choice of tipple. 


Quickfire questions:

New versus Old World?

Big and bold New World!  

Red, white or rosé?

Big and bold Red!

Screw top or cork?


Bottle versus box?


Still versus sparkling?