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30 Under 30: The drinks trade’s future leaders

Published:  15 December, 2021

Harpers is launching 30 Under 30, a brand new list highlighting the top young talent blazing a trail in wines and spirits. Self-nominate or nominate a colleague now to be in the running and to help us celebrate the rising stars working in our trade.

Harpers is on the hunt for the next generation of rising stars – the up-and-coming young talent from across the bar, restaurant, retail and wholesale sectors to take their rightful place in our new 30 Under 30 firmament. With a challenging yet invigorating 2021 almost behind us, and with the understanding that many businesses have been sustained by the enthusiasm and hard work of younger colleagues, we have decided to take stock of the creativity, gusto and pure dedication that is the lifeblood of the industry’s next-gen talent.

Whether you’re front or back of house, in NPD, supply management or buying, if you’re under 30 and carving your own path in the UK wine and spirits industry, we want to hear from you. We want to hear from companies, too. If you’re a standout supporter of staff, this is an opportunity to champion the under-30s who have made a real difference to your organisation.

Judging will take place across a number of criteria. These include leadership skills (how and when have nominees taken ownership of an objective or project to the betterment of business?), and commitment, whereby nominees have gone above the call of duty or dedicated themselves to a passion project. Communication and education will be considered, too. Have candidates pushed themselves to advance their understanding of the sector and communicate outside of the trade? We will also be looking for innovators in terms of product development and sustainability initiatives.

As part of our sleuthing work to identify the best and the brightest, we will be asking for individuals to nominate their colleagues and peers, in order to build a full and accurate picture of the young talent working in and enhancing the UK trade.

We are also asking for members of the trade to be brave and nominate themselves. All it takes to nominate a colleague or self-nominate is name, job title and contact details by Friday, 21 January and we will pick up the baton, with candidates thereafter asked to provide some background on their achievements, before revealing the final results in April 2022.

We will be looking to highlight the top entrants in their field, from sommelier through to retail buyer (for example), with the final list to be announced in April 2022.


What: A 30 Under 30 list highlighting the up-and-comers in the UK trade, to be published across Harpers’ print and digital channels in April 2022.

When: Deadline for nominations: Friday, 21 January. Candidates will thereafter be asked to provide some background of their achievements in February, which will then be put forward to our judging panel to decide the inaugural 30 Under 30 list.

How: Head to our homepage at for a 30 Under 30 link to our nominations page, which will ask for name, title and contact details of nominees, so we can get in touch directly. Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged, too.

Who: Open to anyone working in wines and spirits in the UK under the age of 30 at the time of entry. Entries are welcome from all sectors, including suppliers, brand owners and producers, plus those working in the on and off-trade in bars, restaurants and retail.

For any more information, contact